3 Common Mistakes in Human Resources
Human Resources is one department where minimizing mistakes is critical. It isn’t easy to manage human resources in any company, no matter the size. Between the ever-changing state and federal employer regulations, the expectations are high and the stress can be even higher. That is why it is critical to develop a department that is a well-oiled machine, which includes avoiding the most common mistakes.
If you know which mistakes are most likely to occur, you will be better able to prepare your team and your organization for them. You will also be able to work proactively to avoid them in the first place, which can improve the human resources department and the company as a whole. Common mistakes are things like:
- Hiring decisions: Whether decisions are made without enough information or the hiring practices are just ineffective, hiring decisions can lead to a lot of other issues down the line in any business. This can be easily resolved by developing a solid hiring routine, including screenings, interviews, and other discussions about candidates before onboarding. You should also implement an onboarding process that is efficient and effective at getting the right candidates in the running for the position.
- Compliance issues: Often unknowingly, companies create fatal mistakes out of a lack of information or awareness of certain regulations and guidelines. While hanging the Labor Standards posters in your break rooms or communal areas is a simple task, actually understanding the laws and regulations surrounding hiring is something else entirely. Make sure that you take the time to effectively train supervisory staff, as well as their employees and assistants. Ensure that your entire Human Resources department is aware of federal and state regulations, local business laws and statutes, and hiring policies in your organization specifically. Have a current employee handbook at all times. It’s a simple thing that can make a big difference in your organization.
- Missing paperwork: Another very common mistake in human resources is lost or missing paperwork that is required to be kept on file for employees. First, your department needs to develop an effective filing system and implement it. Then, they have to stick by it and use it every day to ensure that employee files are complete, in-tact, and ready for review by anyone at any time. If federal or state agents come into your business and the human resources paperwork isn’t in order, they could very easily fine your company, or stop it from running altogether. No one likes paperwork, but having it all in order is a must for a successful human resources department, which is, in turn, a must for the success of your company.
Tips to Avoid HR Mistakes
If you want to make the most of your human resources department, the key is planning and effective processes. Start by creating an effective hiring structure that includes: a detailed job description, a profile for the ideal candidate, targeted sources for recruiting, measurable and relevant interview questions, and a system for comparison of candidates.
For payroll and tax purposes, you also need to make sure that your employees are classified correctly. Be sure to designate between:
- Temporary and regular employees
- Part-time and full-time employees
- Exempt and non-exempt employees
Create a solid hiring and onboarding process that will put new hires at ease. People like a plan, and want to work for a company that has one in place. Create a training and onboarding schedule so that new employees know what to expect. Include time for socializing and interacting with new co-workers and management.
Make sure that you (or your human resources managers) review wage, hour, and other employment rules regularly. State and federal regulations can change at anytime, and violations can be costly to your organization. Check with your state and the federal Department of Labor for current laws and regulations, and make sure to stay updated in case any of them change.
Make sure that you document everything. This is another reason that having a structure in place is critical. Something as simple as one missing paper from an employee file can cost your company thousands of dollars. By planning ahead and taking the time to make sure that your human resources team is set up to be the best resource for your organization, you will be able to avoid many of the common mistakes discussed here and your business will benefit in many ways as a result.
The Bottom Line
If you want to avoid these and other critical (yet common) HR mistakes, you need to have a well-trained team in place. Take the time and invest the money into making sure that your employees understand their role, what is expected of them, and what federal and state regulations affect their everyday duties. Education is the key to avoiding mistakes in anything that you do. Start by hiring the right people for your human resources team and you will have a great department and a great staff in no time at all.