Recruitment Options

Recruitment Options - Whats best for your business?

Hiring a new member of staff is one of the most important and influential decisions you will make as a manager or employer. Here we look at the stages of the process – exploring some of the different options and providing some hints and tips about getting the right person for the job.

Before you decide to take on a new employee, it is important to think about all your options – there may be more than you think. Be certain of all the tasks and timelines that are involved in the role, and what level of experience you believe is necessary to complete them. Maybe you are going through a busy period and could really do with an extra pair of hands to help out with the admin, or maybe you are looking to grow your business steadily and are ready to teach a fresh young apprentice all the tricks of the trade. Be clear about your purpose before you begin the recruitment process.

Download our "Employer Best Practice Recruitment Guide".


Australian Apprenticeships & Traineeships

Taking on an apprentice or trainee is a great way to provide an opportunity for a young person to kick-start their career in your industry or sector. For information about taking on an apprentice or trainee contact Apprenticeship support Australia on 1300 652 235.

There are an enormous range of apprenticeships and traineeships available across all industry types. Apprenticeships typically last for four years, culminating in a qualification (normally Certificate II, III or IV), while traineeships are usually completed in less time. Apprentices and Trainees require a degree of commitment from the employer to manage their training. They also need to attend classes at a registered training organisation (RTO) or TAFE on a weekly basis, as well as fulfilling their commitment to on- the-job training with the employer. The Australian Government provides financial incentives to employers who take on an apprentice or trainee within a skills shortage industry or sector.

Apprentices and trainees can be hired in the traditional way (e.g. through word of mouth or local advertising), via a recruitment agency or through a Group Training Organisation (GTO).

GTOs provide a special type of service more suitable for small and medium-sized businesses that can’t guarantee a permanent position, or don’t have the time to undertake all the employment and training functions. The GTO employs the apprentices, placing them on-hire with host companies. They manage the training and look after all the paperwork and payroll of the apprentices. Should there be any issue with the apprentices or not enough work, the GTO will rotate them between employers to ensure they receive a good range of training and experience.

School students can start working towards their qualification while studying for their senior school certificate. This typically involves one or two days a week getting work experience with a local employer, plus lessons with an RTO. The program can also run during the school holidays and must be developed through collaboration between the student, school, RTO or TAFE and employer. Following completion of school, many school-based apprentices and trainees go on to complete a full time apprenticeship with their employers.

For information about taking on an apprentice or trainee contact Apprenticeship Support Australia on 1300 652 235.

Register for free to download our E-guide to establishing an Apprenticeship program in your business.


Register for free to download our E-guide to establishing a Traineeship program in your business.




University graduates have the latest up-to-date theory, but usually lack industry experience. If you wish to take on a graduate, you may want to appoint a more senior member of staff to act as a mentor to teach them how things work in the ‘real world’ and the application of their knowledge.

Graduates are typically driven and ambitious and, although are sometimes prepared to start in a junior role, expect their skills and knowledge to propel them onwards and upwards. They will look for rapid development and promotions. If you have a graduate or training program that has a structured approach and a clear career-development path, employing a graduate could be an ideal choice.

Junior Role

This could be anyone from an office admin assistant to a novice site labourer – usually a young person who has just left school and has little work experience. There are a number of decisions you need to make before starting the recruitment process:

Do you require someone on a permanent basis? Is the role one that will need to be carried out for the foreseeable future? Is the role full or part-time – how many hours per week does the employee need to work? 

You can choose to go through the recruitment process by yourself – advertising the job etc. or you can ask a recruitment specialist to help you.

If the position is only required for a limited amount of time e.g. during a busy time of year, for maternity cover, or for a specific project – you can hire someone on a temporary basis. Depending on your requirements you could advertise the position as a contract role, which is like a permanent position, except with a time limit – usually 6-18 months.


Alternatively, you can use an employment agency who hires staff to you for an hourly rate. There are many different types of agencies out there ranging from specialists in office support roles, right through to suppliers of trade or factory workers. You choose how many hours per week that you require the staff for and you simply receive an invoice at the end of the week based on hours worked. If you decide after a period of time that you need the employee on a long-term basis, you can transition them into a permanent contract.

Work Experience

During secondary school, many students are given the opportunity to visit a workplace on a short- term placement. These are normally unpaid placements designed to introduce young people to the working environment and to give them some insight into an industry. The students  are mostly there to observe and learn so should not be expected to do any tasks unsupervised, or without appropriate training.

If you are interested in offering your business as a potential work-experience site, you can contact local schools, Registered Training Organisations directly or talk to a Work Placement Service Provider.

Each State government provides more detailed information about what is involved with work experience for students.


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