HR departments will make mistakes. Even if your company has strong HR policies and practices in place, your HR may still face pitfalls that have serious consequences for the business. Below are three common mistakes HR departments and steps that can be taken to avoid the mistakes.
1. Failure to Provide Employee Handbooks
There are still many companies that still fail to provide an employee handbook that sets forth employment terms and conditions in accordance with the Employment Rights Act of 1996. If a company employs at least five employees, it is imperative that the company implement an employee handbook that states HR procedures. Further, having an employee handbook in place can protect a company who fires an employee for failing to adhere to company rules and procedures from a wrongful termination lawsuit.
The easiest way to prevent this mistake is to create an employee handbook and then make sure each employee receives a copy. Also, have each employee sign a document acknowledging that he or she has read and understands the handbook. Taking the time now to implement an employee handbook will help the company mitigate future risks.
2. Ignoring Reference Checks
Reference checking via telephone is always an annoyance. Often trying to get a previous employer on the phone to speak about a candidate proves difficult. Even if the previous employer is reached, often the reference provided does not provide the necessary insight.
Implementing an automated reference assessment that uses behavioral based questions is a lot more effective. This assessment can be done online, which eliminates chasing down the previous. In addition, the questions are more focused on how an employee performed their duties. For example, instead of asking a previous employer over the phone were they happy with the candidate’s work ethic, the assessment may ask “how did the candidate demonstrate concern for clients?”
3. Focusing Only on the Hiring Process
Many HR departments lose contact with employees once they are hired. However, it is extremely important to track how new employees are adjusting and performing in their new positions. HR should make it a point to follow up with employees on their one month, 60th day and 90th day anniversaries.
The job applicant tracking system that was used during the hiring process can also be used to track and follow-up with new hires. Developing a company policy that requires check in with new hires will go a long way to employee retention.