August 26th, 2021

How to Avoid the 5 Most Common HR Mistakes

The human resource function has a lot of responsibility — with the responsibility comes risk. HR mistakes are bound to happen. Outsourcing your HR can help mitigate your risk. But if you’re currently handling HR internally and want to avoid some of the most common HR mistakes, we’ve outlined them below and how you can avoid them. 

5 HR Mistakes to Avoid

1. An outdated or non-existent employee handbook

Not having an employee handbook or an outdated one puts your business at risk. 

Employee handbooks are important tools for HR, but are where a lot of common HR mistakes happen. They serve as a reference and communication of an organization’s policies, procedures, and expectations. It’s also more difficult to uphold your HR practices without one. 

For example, if an employee doesn’t follow a policy, it’s much easier to address the problem when a handbook is available to reference — even better if you have employees read and sign your employee handbook as part of the onboarding process. This provides additional protection and adherence to your policies and procedures. 

Employee handbooks can contain a variety of aspects related to your organization but usually address HR policies. HR policies will change on an annual basis due to changing laws and regulations, so it’s important to regularly update your handbook. 

To avoid this HR mistake, thoughtfully build your employee handbook and make sure you’re updating it each year. At a minimum make sure your handbook addresses your code of conduct, harassment and discrimination policy, compensation, benefits, employment and termination guidelines, and time off or leave policies. 

2. Poor employee documentation

With people, comes paperwork. While tedious, HR documents have a significant impact on how you grow and maintain your business. 

Job descriptions are one underrated document that can cause HR mistakes down the road. Job descriptions classify employees and roles which translates to how you hire, manage, and promote people. If not updated or done correctly, they can create misalignment on job hiring, salaries, and promotions. 

There are many ways you can improve your job descriptions, but most importantly make sure your they accurately reflect the job at hand, are updated at least every other year, and can be used as a means to evaluate employee performance. 

Employee performance evaluations are another area where HR mistakes take place. Evaluations that don’t include a paper trail create liabilities if an employee were to pursue a discrimination claim. Use a platform or written document to outline performance evaluations — the good and the bad. This way a promotion or termination is backed up with evidence. 

Last, if you have a business with employees, there are some tax responsibilities your HR function must understand and manage. Tax issues are probably the easiest but most common HR mistake you can avoid. On an annual basis, there are numerous tax forms to store and collect on your employees and business. From W-2s to Form 944, you’ll want to make sure you’re paying the correct amount of taxes at the right time or you’ll receive penalties. 

3. Lack of compliance knowledge

Adhering to federal, state, and local laws requires a lot from businesses. Larger organizations will have entire compliance departments devoted to staying compliant. Or some will use external legal support. Smaller businesses don’t often have these kinds of resources, and as a result compliance issues occur. 

Keeping up with workplace compliance trends can feel impossible. Top-of-mind HR compliance mistakes have to do with workplace safety. But violations can also occur when it comes to your hiring, termination, and pay.

Compliance issues can leave businesses with thousands of dollars in fines. To avoid this outcome, hire a legal expert or use a local HR partner who has a team of experts educated on the latest laws and regulations both federally and in your state. 

4. Poor hiring process

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates turnover can cost an organization up to 30% of an employee’s total compensation — both salary and benefits. So every employee you lose because of a bad hire has a significant impact on your bottom line.

A bad employee can also negatively impact your reputation, productivity, and culture. To improve your hiring process and avoid this HR mistake, look to your hiring and interviewing practices. Consider networking to attract top talent and implement some better practices for interviewing

5. Forgetting about your people

Being bogged down in administrative work and trying to handle everything mentioned above means you may not have the time to focus on your workplace culture and people. 

The function of HR requires a lot of tedious and administrative work. Research from Deloitte, reports that 41% of your or your HR team’s time is spent on tactical HR work. Having more time to analyze HR data, conduct workforce planning, nurture your company culture, and improve your hiring and training practices will allow HR to have a more positive impact on the organization. The best way to get more time to do this and avoid these HR mistakes — outsource your HR. 

Avoid Common HR Mistakes by Outsourcing Your HR

We will help you craft an employee handbook and HR policies that ensure your complaint. Our team has the legal expertise on the latest laws and regulations both federally and locally so you don’t have to worry about staying on top of them. 

We have a platform that will make it easier to track your hiring process and applications so you can focus on the interview and hiring the right employee. Our platform and payroll services will also take care of paying your employees, tracking employee documents, and we’ll even file your tax forms for you. 

As your HR partner, we cover the administrative burden of hiring, paying, and managing your new employees so you can focus more time on taking care of your people and growing your business. And less time dealing with common HR mistakes. To learn more about the benefits of outsourcing your HR, download the guide below. 

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Learn more about outsourcing HR to help you save costs, stay compliant, relieve administrative burden, and more!

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