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Community Development Resource Kit

SECTION A: Community Development Practice

SECTION B1: Setting Up A Community Group - Introduction

SECTION B2: Setting Up A Community Group - Legal Structures

SECTION B3: Setting Up a Community Group - Incorporated Societies

SECTION B4: Setting Up a Community Group - Charitable Trusts

SECTION C: Planning and Managing

SECTION D1: Employment Matters - Agreements

SECTION D3: Employment Matters - Support

SECTION D2: Employment Matters - Recruitment

SECTION E: Running Meetings

SECTION F: Project Management

SECTION G: Financial Management

SECTION H: Funding

SECTION I: Keeping Good Records

SECTION J: Technology - The Internet

SECTION K: Political Processes and Submissions

SECTION L: Legislation

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SECTION D2: Employment Matters - Recruitment

Recruiting and Appointing Paid Workers

Budgeting, Job Descriptions, Recruiting

One of the biggest shifts an organisation can make is from being entirely voluntary to employing paid workers. The move should be considered carefully.

Does An Organisation Need A Paid Worker?

Before employing staff, an organisation needs to consider:

Can the work be done another way? Can the organisation, for example:
  • recruit more volunteers?
  • agree among the group to keep the workload at its current level?
  • contract out for specific projects or tasks?
  • reduce their services?
  • amalgamate with another organisation with similar aims and objectives?

The bottom lines

  • No-one should ever be recruited to fundraise their own salary
  • If the objectives, tactics, or management of an organisation are faulty, then employing a worker will not save them; and
  • A worker can not be expected to fix all the difficulties an organisation may have.
  • Return to Recruitment Index

    Budgeting for Hiring Staff

    Before an organisation considers hiring staff, a preliminary budget should be drawn up, including:
    Initial costs of:

    • advertising
    • labour: the organisation’s time plus any paid interviewers, etc
    • vehicle running: the person’s own or the organisation's car
    • travel: if the organisation pays applicants to travel
    • accommodation: for applicants from out of town
    • incidentals, e.g. photocopying, postage, toll calls
    • major purchases: office furniture, stationery, a vehicle for the worker; and
    • other equipment.

    Ongoing costs of:
    • salary (including PAYE and ACC levies, holiday pay, increments, perhaps bonuses)
    • (where appropriate) relieving staff to cover for illness and leave entitlements of worker
    • costs of training and skills development
    • vehicle running
    • tea/coffee
    • project funding: materials, advertising, postage etc
    • phone
    • power
    • rent;
    • hire of other venues as required;
    • repair and maintenance of equipment;
    • travel: air fares etc; and
    • fees for support networks and/or supervision.
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    A flowchart for appointing a worker follows.

  • Return to Recruitment Index

    Level of Salary

    Invariably the levels of pay in an organisation are dependent on the success of its fund-raising. If the money available is limited, it may be better to look at flexible working arrangements, e.g. employ a worker at a reasonable rate for 30 hours rather than 40. It is important to establish a reasonable rate of pay for a particular job. The organisation can find out what salary ranges other comparable organisations pay, or if it is a member of the Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations (PO Box 9715, Wellington, email tel 04 385 0981, fax 04 385 3248) it can seek their advice.

  • Return to Recruitment Index

    Some Sources of Salary Funding

    The main sources of funding for salaries are:

    • corporate sponsorship
    • fundraising by the organisation
    • the local council
    • trust funds, such as the J R McKenzie Trust
    • user pays services
    • government funds, such as COGS, District Health Boards, the Community Employment Group or the CYF Contracting group
    • the NZ Lottery Grants Board.

    (For more information about raising funds refer to Section G.)
  • Return to Recruitment Index

    Job Descriptions

    A job description (also called position description) is a way of formalising an organisation's expectations of a worker. It shows the worker what their contribution will be to the overall goals and objectives of the organisation. It is very important in affirming or valuing a person's contribution to the organisation. It is also important when it comes to clarifying their roles and responsibilities within the group.

    All positions should have a job description, whether they are for unpaid or paid workers or the management committee.

    Most funding bodies will require an organisation to have a job description written for a position before they will consider any application to fund a salary for it.

  • Return to Recruitment Index

    Writing a Job Description

    Before an organisation begins developing a job description, it should check that the members of the organisation have a copy of any planning documents. A budget that includes the full cost of employing staff is useful.

    The organisation needs to meet to clarify what its requirements are for the position and prioritise and record all the things it wants the worker to do. After that the committee can then write the job description – probably delegating the task to one or two members.

    When deciding on the priorities for the position the committee needs to remember:

    • That employing a paid worker is not an excuse for the management committee to offload work that is their responsibility
    • To be realistic about what a worker can achieve in the time available, particularly when the job is time-limited due to funding constraints, and
    • To include all resources they can provide the worker apart from wages.
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    Job Description Format

    There are a number of possible ways to format a job/position description. The main requirement is that both employer and employee understand what the job is and how it is to be done. Here is one example:

    Name of organisation:

    Position: the title of the job the worker will be doing.

    Location: where the job is based. Specifically describes the area covered by the job e.g. if the organisation works in a particular suburb, name it.

    Salary Range: the minimum and maximum amounts the organisation can pay for the job. An organisation should not name a maximum they cannot afford to pay.

    Responsible to: the person or people who will directly supervise the worker.

    Responsible for: name of any positions the worker will be responsible for supervising, and any amount of money the worker is directly responsible for (note: budgets are usually spent within boundaries set by the management committee).

    Working Relationships: names of the people inside and outside the organisation with whom the worker will have a significant and ongoing working relationship (including clients).

    Purpose of the Position: a one- to three-sentence statement of the worker's main area of work - making sure it is understandable and attainable.

    Services Provided: no more than three or four for the whole organisation. They should be lifted directly from the annual plan, so there is a good fit between the organisation's overall objectives and what the worker is doing.

    Key Tasks: for each service there should be a list of key tasks that enable the service to be provided. Detailed, specific lists that deal with technical matters should be avoided. Example of a key task: publish three newsletters a year, in April, August, December.

    Performance Standards: some statement about how the performance of the person doing the job is measured. It is important to assess service delivered rather than the task completed (the standards must relate to the services and tasks).

    The Organisation should think about:

    • measuring the quality of the worker’s services as well as the quantity;
    • having objective performance standards that are easy to measure; and
    • having clients as well as organisation members help to measure the performance.

    Ideal person specification: this lists the qualities and experience you would like the employed person to have. It should also note any educational qualifications required. Some of the attributes will be essential to the person's ability to carry out the job, and others will be desirable only. The person specification is a useful tool during the recruitment process, because from it you can develop critical factors against which the suitability of applicants can be measured.

    Job description approved:

  • Return to Recruitment Index

    Sample Job Description

    Position: Youth Worker
    Location: Central Auckland
    Salary Range: $24,000 - $30,000
    Responsible to: Chairperson, Ka Hao Youth Trust
    Responsible for: staff : nil; budget: nil
    Working Relationships:

    • management committee members;
    • Ka Hao Youth Trust Administration Officer;
    • Ka Hao Youth Trust volunteers, Auckland;
    • City Council community development worker;
    • Youth Justice Co-ordinator (DSW);
    • Youth Aid (Police);
    • young people (central Auckland etc);
    • other youth workers; and
    • local secondary school.
    Purpose : to provide crisis support, referral services; and lifeskills programmes to young people and their families.

    Service 1 : the provision of crisis support (including referral services) to young people and families.
    Key Tasks
    • receive client referrals
    • access appropriate resources e.g. accommodation, benefits, medical
    • provide initial counselling to identify problems
    • provide a link with clients’ family group, and
    • provide clients’ families with information on available support services.
    Service 2: the provision of life skills programmes to young people and their families.
    Key Tasks
    • identify life-skill needs of young people
    • prepare programme guidelines
    • identify and gather resources
    • run programmes, and
    • evaluate programmes.

    Organisational Tasks
    • complete time sheets fortnightly
    • maintain a diary of activities and clients
    • maintain confidential client files
    • operate petty cash
    • attend management meetings; and
    • provide monthly report to management committee.

    Performance Standards
    The job is performed well when, for each young person worked with, the following standards have been met:
    • The personal safety of the young person has been maintained
    • The family is involved in any decision-making about the young person
    • The young person is involved in any programme or support service
    • Appropriate resources have been accessed for the young person (housing, benefits, education etc.)
    • The young person has been linked into culturally appropriate networks
    • The relationship with the youth worker is promoted as a short-medium term one which aims to move the young person to independence as soon as possible
    • Appropriate, confidential records are kept on clients, and
    • Management committee meetings are attended.

    Person Specification
    • successful experience in working with young people in a developmental way (this is essential)
    • a driver's licence and an ability to travel (essential)
    • initiative and self-management skills (essential)
    • experience with youth and/or community groups
    • a commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi

    Job description approved.
    Signature: ...................................

  • Return to Recruitment Index

    Recruiting a Paid Worker

    Recruitment is the process of locating people who might be appropriate to work for your organisation.

    Organisations should be careful about:

    • the advertising
    • creating clear processes so everyone has a fair chance of getting the job and
    • giving the panel enough time to make their selection.


    The kind of people an organisation wants to work for them will determine where and how they advertise for their worker.

    Some possibilities are:

  • Return to Recruitment Index

    Sample Advertisement


    A fulltime position is available for a youth worker.

    The position covers central Wellington and is responsible for providing crisis support and life skills programmes to young people and their families.

    Experience in youth and/or community work, knowledge of te reo Mäori and tikanga Mäori and excellent communication skills are essential for this position.

    This is a contract position for two years, to start in June 2003.

    Ka Hao Youth Trust is a youth organisation committed to providing quality youth services.

    Further information and a job description can be obtained from:
    Heather Makara
    Ka Hao Youth Trust
    PO Box 10000
    Telephone: 04 555 5555

    Applications close on March 15. Interested applicants should forward a curriculum vitae with a letter of application.

  • Return to Recruitment Index

    Selecting the Worker: Shortlists, Interviews, Sample Letters

    Before selecting a shortlist, it is important to organise an interview panel. You should try not to have more than 3 people on the panel. Give consideration to:

    • gender balance
    • people with experience relevant to the advertised job
    • cultural balance including tangata whenua representation, and
    • the person who will supervise the position.

    When Selecting Panel Members

    Be wary about potential conflicts of interest (e.g. it is not appropriate for family members or partners to interview one another).

    Think about whether or not you want or need to have the person leaving the job on the interview panel. This might encourage history to repeat itself (people tend to select people similar to themselves). Sometimes an entirely fresh approach is what an organisation needs.
    A coordinator of the interview process should be appointed. This person oversees the selection of the interview panel, and ensures the selection process is followed.

    Making a Shortlist

    The interviewers should shortlist up to five applicants for each position. Five interviews should provide a good selection of candidates and will require a full day of interviewing.

    To shortlist, the interviewers should read each application thoroughly, and check each applicant’s skills and experience against the ideal person specification. The final decision about shortlisting is best made in a meeting where panel members have the opportunity to discuss their individual preferences fully and establish common ground.

    Applicants have the right to have their applications treated confidentially. That means the interviewers must not talk about who has applied or disclose any information applicants have included in their job applications to anybody except appointed referees or panel members.

  • Return to Recruitment Index

    Preparing for the Interviews

    The interview co-ordinator should:

    1. contact the panel to arrange the interview date. The panel should spend at least two hours before the interview date to meet and develop critical factors (refer to “Assessing Applicants against Critical Factors”) prepare the questions they will ask at the interview to cover each one, and organise who will ask each question. It is important to ask questions that require the applicant to demonstrate their experience in that area, e.g. “Tell us about (an) example(s) of when you .…”

    2. timetable the interview date/s - some interviews may need to be carried out in the evening, but it is best to try to set aside a full day to interview the applications and make the recommendations. Most interviews should be able to be conducted within 45 minutes. The co-ordinator should try to make sure there is at least half an hour between interviews, for recording how the applicant scored against the critical factors. If the panel are interviewing for a full day the co-ordinator should make sure to timetable a lunch break and organise the lunch.

    3. contact the shortlisted applicants to arrange interview times.

    4. check that all shortlisted applicants have a job description and other appropriate information e.g. pamphlets, the organisation’s annual report, etc.;

    5. check whether applicants want to bring whänau support. Whänau support has come to mean providing people of any culture with the opportunity to bring support people to the interview. The co-ordinator should make sure they find out how many people the applicant is bringing, so they can make them comfortable - providing enough chairs, making sure the room is big enough and so on.

    6. confirm the interview times with a letter; and

    7. make sure all the interview panel members have a timetable of who is being interviewed when, and a copy of each person's curriculum vitae.

    The Interview Environment

    The co-ordinator should ensure the room is prepared before the interviews take place:

    • interview in a quiet comfortable room;
    • have enough chairs, appropriately arranged;
    • consider whether the panel or the applicant will want a table or surface on which they can put their papers
    • make sure the sun won't be shining in the face of the applicant
    • have the phones diverted or off the hook
    • make sure others in the building know that interviews are going on so they don't interrupt
    • have somebody ready to greet applicants as they arrive and make them feel comfortable, and
    • have drinking water available.
  • Return to Recruitment Index

    Conducting the Interview

    The essence of conducting interviews well is to treat all applicants with respect. Remember that applicants and their whänau are visitors and should therefore be hosted appropriately.

    The applicant and any support people should be greeted and introduced to each member of the panel. The co-ordinator should explain why each member is on the panel and who they represent.

    The co-ordinator should outline the process the interview will take. All panel members should participate in the interview. Proceed through the list of questions.

    Once all the questions have been covered, the applicant should be given the opportunity to raise any issues or questions they have.

    If neither the panel nor applicant has anything further to raise, the co-ordinator should draw the interview to a close. The co-ordinator should let the applicant know when they can expect to hear the outcome of the interview one way or another, thank the applicant for their time, and show them to the door.

    The panel should ensure they take regular breaks for fresh air or refreshments, to ensure that all interviewees receive the same level of attention and consideration from the panel.

  • Return to Recruitment Index

    Whanau Support

    If the applicant has brought whänau support to the interview, the most senior member of the panel should welcome and greet the applicant and their whänau. The welcome is likely to vary depending on the composition of the interview panel.

    In some situations it may be appropriate to begin the interview with a karakia and formal mihi and give the whänau time to respond.

    In other circumstances it may be sufficient to welcome the applicant and their whänau to the interview and to introduce all members of the panel. The applicant's group is then likely to respond to the introductions.

    A member of the interview panel should then establish the ground rules for the interview. Be clear about when it is appropriate for the support group to have input. Some options:

    • The whanau or support group can be asked to speak on behalf of the applicant at the beginning and end of the interview. The questions themselves would then be directed at the applicant
    • The whänau or support group could be invited to supplement the candidate's answers to questions regarding his or her background and experience, either by prompting the applicant or by volunteering additional information; and specific questions about the applicant's background and experience could be directed to whänau.

    Whichever option is chosen, it should be made clear at the beginning of the interview so everyone present knows what to expect. Also it should be made clear that the panel are there principally to gather information about the applicant's ability to do the job.

    When closing the interview the most senior panel member should offer both the applicant and their whänau the opportunity to ask questions and raise issues. Depending on the composition of the panel it may be appropriate for someone on the panel to close the interview by formally thanking the whänau for their support of the applicant and by leading a karakia.

  • Return to Recruitment Index

    Interview Questions

    The panel should remember to:

    • ask open questions, e.g. those that start with what, when, who, how, where;
    • ask about actual experiences;
    • include some questions designed to test attitudes such as "What would you do if.......?"
    • keep an open mind: the last applicant interviewed may be the best;
    • look for experience that may have been gained in a broad range of areas, e.g. management and organisational skills that may have been gained during full-time parenting, client contact skills gained as a volunteer and so on;
    • be flexible in asking questions: if an applicant has answered two questions with one response, move on.

    Interviews that become a discussion of relevant issues are ideal and are often more useful in gauging attitudes.

  • Return to Recruitment Index

    Assessing Applicants against Critical Factors

    One way of assessing each applicant's suitability is to use a critical factors chart. Each factor is weighted in relation to its importance to the job. The critical factors are taken from the ideal person specification. No more than five or six critical factors should be identified. The importance of the critical factor to the job performance is assessed and given a rating of between 1 and 5.

    The weighting should reflect the importance of each critical factor, more importance = higher number out of 5.

    The panel prepares and asks an interview question for each critical factor. The applicant's performance or demonstrated ability illustrated in the answer to the question relating to the critical factor is also rated between 1 and 5.

    Finally, the "factor importance" rating is multiplied by the rating the applicant received for their answer, and entered in a "Total" column. The total is the score for the applicant in respect of that critical factor.

    The panel should prepare the critical factors chart when they meet prior to the interviews. Note that all panel members should have a say about the weighting each factor is given.

    Note: during the interview, each panel member should take notes to help them fill out the critical factors chart at the end of the interview.

    They should also take notes if they are not using a critical factors chart, as notes will refresh their memory when all interviews have been carried out and the panel is making its decision.

  • Return to Recruitment Index

    Sample Critical Factors Chart


    Name of applicant: John Taieri

    out of 5
    out of 5
    Experience in youth work5525
    Communication skills5210
    Experience in running life skills programmes, etc.326
    Total score41
    Name of Applicant: Jo Warrington
    out of 5
    out of 5
    Experience in youth work5420
    Communication skills5210
    Experience in running life skills programmes, etc.313
    Total score33

  • Return to Recruitment Index

    On Completing the Interviews

    Using the critical factors charts or other interview notes as a guideline, the panel should discuss the merits (or shortcomings) of each applicant in turn. A recommendation can then be made to management groups that this person be selected for the position. It often happens that one applicant is preferred by all the panel members.

    If, however, the panel is split on who should be offered the position, a process of negotiation should follow to achieve a consensus decision, using the critical factors scores and any other information offered by the panel members. It may finally come down to a majority decision among the panel (having three members on the panel is useful in this respect), or by a co-ordinator of the panel taking a casting vote.

    Second interviews should only be used as an absolutely last resort - it is unfair to put applicants through further hoops just because the panel can not make a decision. A second interview should only be used if the panel genuinely believe it will provide additional information.

    Once the panel has decided on a recommendation, it should be made to the organisation's management group, so they can make the final decision about the appointment.

    The co-ordinator should then let all applicants know of the decision. Those not interviewed can be notified in writing. For those interviewed but who were unsuccessful, it is good practice to phone them. This gives the co-ordinator the opportunity to offer feedback on the interview and tell the applicant why they were unsuccessful, if the applicant wants that information. Phone calls should be followed up with a formal letter.

    The co-ordinator should contact the successful applicant and tell them they are the preferred candidate. A time should be arranged to negotiate their employment agreement. Once the agreement has been negotiated, the co-ordinator can then formally offer the successful candidate the job.

    If the recruitment and selection processes are clear and obvious to everyone, there are less likely to be challenges or accusations about unfair selection.

  • Return to Recruitment Index

    Sample Letter of Acceptance

    Dear Ms Warrington

    I am pleased to offer you the position of youth worker with the Ka Hao Youth Trust.

    Attached is a draft employment agreement for you to look at. You may wish to take the advice of a lawyer or union before we discuss the agreement further. Please contact me as soon as possible to arrange a suitable time to do this.

    I look forward to you accepting this position.
    Yours sincerely

    Heather Makara

    Sample Letter to Unsuccessful Candidates

    Dear Mr Taieri

    I am sorry to advise that your application for the position of youth worker with the Ka Hao Youth Trust has been unsuccessful.

    Thank you for your interest in working with us.

    Yours sincerely

    Heather Makara

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    Last updated: 13/05/2005