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Avoiding common HR errors

HR errors
Alexandre Diard
HR errors

Human resources may sound and look like a straightforward topic, but it's not one that should be taken lightly. Errors can cost you time and money, and your reputation. Here are some errors made by human resources departments to be aware of. Companies of all sizes, from global corporations to mom-and-pop outfits, are prone to these potentially critical errors.

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Error: Rushing through the hiring process

When you have an immediate need for a new hire, such as a marketing associate or perhaps even an HR manager, it's tempting to accelerate the hiring process and skip seemingly less important steps, running the risk of errors. But in doing so, you are potentially creating many problems for yourself, such as putting yourself at risk of hiring the wrong person for the job (while simultaneously missing out on other top talent).

Before hiring someone, make sure you know everything about the role you are recruiting for: the tasks, who the person would be working for etc. Spend time writing a good job description that is clear and concise but that explains the job perfectly to avoid any misunderstandings by potential new recruits and therefore errors in the hiring process:

Make sure you also know at this stage the type of person you want to recruit and what skills you require the person to have. 

Error: Not keeping an updated employee handbook

The employee handbook may be something that your workers joke about and chuckle over, but it's an extremely important mechanism for establishing rules, guidelines and parameters. For many companies, having an employee handbook at all is a perennial "to do." That's unfortunate, because not only should you have an employee handbook, but you also should update it regularly as the landscape of your business and industry evolves.

The employee handbook should include the company's code of conduct, communications policy, nondiscrimination policy, compensation and benefits and employment and termination guidelines. It should be updated every two years or so.

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Error: Providing inadequate training

In the same way you may want to rush the hiring process, it's equally easy to fail to provide the necessary training for your new hire to succeed within your company. This is especially true in small businesses where there is plenty to do and new employees are expected to contribute from Day One. Make a conscious effort to offer all new employees sufficient tools, resources and support. Otherwise you are setting up both the employees and your business for failure.

Error: Being lax on compliance issues

Whether it's violating wage standards, not paying your taxes correctly, failing to document an employee termination or anything in between, HR is full of complex issues that you may know "a little" but not enough about. To avoid these types of pitfalls and errors, communicate with HR staff to ensure that your business runs smoothly and efficiently.

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