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2 Common Mistakes Every HR Department Should Avoid

ByDave Stopher

Feb 7, 2020 #Business

If you work in human resources, you’ll know first-hand just what a varied role it can be, with so many moving parts and an ever changing landscape, mistakes can and often will be made. However, by taking a step back and accessing current process and systems, it’s easy to get a clearer view on how your HR team functions and avoid making such errors.

In today’s modern business world, a HR team can be supported by tools and HR systems to help alleviate some of the more manual tasks, leaving them free to focus on the bigger picture, but things can still go wrong. Here are 2 of the key HR mistakes to avoid, if you wish to run a successful HR operation.

  1. Rushed hiring

It’s not uncommon for HR teams to receive briefs for new employee requirements from teams across the business. These teams may have had someone leave on short (or zero) notice, and need a replacement ASAP. The business may be losing money due to this role currently being void, which can put a lot of pressure on the HR team to find a replacement as quickly as possible.

This can often lead to a rushed job description which doesn’t fully cover what is required of the role, and the subsequent hiring of a new employee who isn’t fully qualified or experienced to fulfil said role. Or even if they do have the skills and experience, the training for the role may be limited in order to get them started as quickly as possible, which can and often will lead to problems later on.

A new hire is something which should never be rushed, even if the vacant role is harming the business. It may be better to bring in a temp or someone else from another team within the business while the time is taken to find the right new hire for the role – the benefits will be obvious in the long term.

Not only is rushed hiring bad for the business, but it can also give a bad impression to the new hire themselves, leading them to think they’ve just joined an unorganised business, which can damage the way in which they see the business and how engaged they are in their role. 

  1. Insufficient HR policies

HR policies are the cornerstone of any successful HR team, without them, or with inadequate policies, employees simply do not understand how things work or where they stand in certain situations.

Unclear HR policies can lead to serious issues, such as employees not understanding how to make a complaint or raise a serious issue, which can lead to them leaving the business or being seriously unhappy in their role. 

Less serious gaps in HR policies, such as an unclear process to booking holidays and how pay is handled during time off, can still have  a serious negative impact on a business. Not only does it lead to confusion amongst a team, but it can also look very unprofessional and paint the business in a bad light to it’s employees. This can be particularly damaging with new employees, who are starting to build an image of the company they’ve just joined.

In addition to not looking good, it can create obvious operational issues, with employees taking more time off than has been allocated, or expecting to be paid for holiday leave when in fact their contract may not permit this. 

Having clear policies for key areas of HR is vital, and they should be documented and shared with employees at the earliest stage. It’s also advised to ensure all employees have a full understanding of such policies, or at least the ones which are related to them, which can be achieved through regular HR catch ups.

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