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Common Human Resources Mistakes That Companies Make

by Stella Kabura
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Human resources plays an integral role in the growth of a business. After all, the people you hire to help grow your business are your greatest resource. Furthermore, human resources isn’t just about hiring and firing; it’s also about ensuring each employee is treated fairly and equally, as well as bringing the right people on board. Hiring mistakes costs companies millions of dollars every year. And employee management directly correlates with company culture—a critical area that impacts both internal and external perception of your brand. 

However, many businesses—especially startups and small businesses that are learning the ropes of running a company—don’t give human resources the careful attention it deserves. You can choose to hire a human resources company, or you can spearhead your human resources efforts in-house. Whatever the case, taking the right precautions will go a long way. Here’s what you need to know:

Document Performance Issues

One of the most crucial human resources mistakes people make is not documenting performance issues. Documenting performance issues protects the company in the future, and provides a detailed reference system should you need it. Although this process may seem like another item on your to-do list (which can be frustrating if you already have a lengthy list of action items), it can save you plenty of headache later down the line. This provides crucial evidence for terminating an employee based on performance, and can even help you in the event of a lawsuit. And lastly, it can help provide clear and concrete guidance when it comes to employee reviews. 

Hiring too Quickly 

Quick hires are often a huge and costly mistake. Everyone wants things done quickly, but there’s an ironic danger in moving too fast. If you rush to hire, chances are you’re cutting corners. You need ample time to vet candidates, and candidates need ample time to vet you. 

The more thorough the interview process, the more likely you are to ensure a good match. Hiring too fast also prevents you from really analyzing your candidate pool, and potentially missing a great match. A speedy vetting process means that you might unintentionally be compromising your requirements to get someone in the door, or that you might overlook some early warning signs. 

Not Writing an Employee Handbook

Your employee handbook sets clear expectations for your employees. It provides an overview of policies, procedures, and guidelines. Furthermore, it defines employee rights and states your legal obligations as an employer. Although it can protect your company against lawsuits and claims, it also provides an important introduction to new hires and helps them better understand your mission and values. 

Inaccurate Job Descriptions

Hiring the best talent starts with creating a great description. Before you even think about bringing someone into the company, you have to really take the time to hone in on the job description and flesh out your requirements. Why do you need to hire this person and what type of soft and hard skills do you require from them? If you have a high turnover rate, it may be because the employee is in a position that they didn’t expect to be in or performing tasks that they aren’t happy with. This is one of the most common reasons that people leave a company—they were sold a position that didn’t align with the reality of that position. 

Take the time to create a solid job description to help avoid future complications. These job descriptions aren’t just about attracting the right candidates; they also offer a detailed reference point and map for the human resources team during the hiring process. Your description should have an engaging overview of the position. You may even want to turn to current employees for help writing the description to ensure it’s as accurate as possible. 

Ignoring Employee Compliance 

Every company must be compliant in local and federal laws and regulations. In an ever changing employee environment, access to resources and information is critical. For instance, if you were to accidentally classify an employee as a contractor, you could run into serious legal issues that create a serious financial dent. Not providing overtime or failing to comply with OSHA could also become costly oversights. 

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