Tag Archives: hr best practices

Human Resources Decisions

Top Human Resources Decisions to Avoid

Human Resources (HR) is an integral element of business operations and directly impacts the long-term success or failure of a company. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes overlooked by some small to mid-sized businesses simply because of its meticulous and time-consuming nature.

However, when poor HR decisions are made, it can create a host of issues and compliance concerns, which put a business at unnecessary risk. Accordingly, there are three primary human resource decisions to avoid.


1) Rushing the Hiring Process

When you’re desperate to fill a vacant position, it’s a natural reaction to approach the process hastily and try to rush things along. However, this can quickly open a can of worms and harm your company in the long run. Whether it’s not having a clear idea of the skills you’re looking for in an employee, failing to dive deeper into applicants’ credentials or not interviewing enough candidates, rushing the hiring process can hurt your productivity and profitability.

In fact, information from a survey found on the CareerBuilder website states that “27 percent of U.S. employers reported a single bad hire cost more than $50,000.” Besides that, making the wrong hire can be toxic to your company culture if employee morale and customer relations take a blow.


2) Skimping on New Hire Orientation

Regardless of a new hire’s existing experience and talent level, they’re likely to need some orientation to get started out on the right foot. Otherwise, a lack of initial training puts new employees at a disadvantage that not only hinders their progress, but can hurt your company’s bottom line.

By properly preparing new hires and equipping them with the tools needed to perform their jobs at a high level, you’re placing them in a position to succeed, which is mutually beneficial for everyone. You can also increase your retention rate and improve the likelihood that employees will stick around for the long haul. Information on Capterra’s website even found that “New hires that undergo a structured onboarding program are 58% more likely to be with the company after three years.”


3) Failing to Establish Comprehensive Workplace Policies

A formal set of workplace policies is important for three main reasons. First, it lets employees clearly understand your expectations and what is and isn’t acceptable. Second, it can prevent a lot of problem behavior from arising and keep your workplace running smoothly. Third, it establishes uniformity in terms of employee rights and responsibilities, which is important from a legal standpoint and reduces your chances of getting hit with a lawsuit.

However, deciding not to establish a thorough set of workplace policies can have a host of negative consequences and invites a lot of problems. If your workplace policies are insufficient, it’s smart to clarify any ambiguous areas ensuring there’s no confusion.

Here are some specific elements to touch on:

  • An at-will employment statement
  • Employee responsibilities
  • Employee conduct
  • What constitutes harassment
  • How performance and behavioral issues will be handled
  • Safety protocol
  • Grounds for termination


Making the wrong human resource decisions not only makes your workplace less efficient, it can create a lot of unnecessary headaches. But, by giving HR plenty of attention and doing things the right way, your business can operate more fluidly and with less friction.

Five HR Mistakes to Avoid in Your Small Business

Small businesses are often at a disadvantage in the Human Resources department, when compared to larger corporations. Typically, small businesses lack a formal HR department to oversee matters and ensure compliance. This is problematic because making the wrong mistakes can create inefficiencies, hurt productivity and potentially leave you open to costly litigation. There are five particular HR mistakes to avoid at all costs.


1) Misunderstanding or Ignoring Employment Laws

A myriad of federal and state laws govern nearly every aspect of business, including the number of hours employees can work, what constitutes discrimination/harassment, safety protocol and so on. As an employer, it’s critical that you fully understand all applicable laws and stay abreast of any changes. If you don’t, you could be inviting penalties or lawsuits that could harm your business. If time is an issue, consider enlisting the help of a professional HRO agency.


2) Lacking or Failing to Update Workplace Policies

A set of policies establishes boundaries and guidelines for your employees and helps keep behavior in check. Formal policies include a dress code, employee benefits, or specific grounds for termination.

If you’ve never created policies, make it a top priority. It’s also a good idea to revisit your policies each year to ensure they are up-to-date and accurate.


3) Inadequate Documentation

In a litigation-happy society, it’s important to do everything possible to protect your small business from lawsuits. Thoroughly documenting things like employee misbehavior and poor performance is one of the best ways to do this because you’ll have something tangible at your disposal in the event of a lawsuit.

Unfortunately, it’s common for small businesses to slack in this department simply because of the effort it takes to maintain documentation. If this sounds like your business, you’ll definitely want to become more diligent about this. Find advice from the All Business website.


4) Ineffective Onboarding

An effective and efficient onboarding process that’s standardized is essential for equipping new hires for success and getting them started out on the right foot. However, many small businesses lack adequate orientation programs, causing new hires to begin with ambiguity rather than clarity.

If you’ve been skimping on orienting your new employees, it’s wise to develop a comprehensive system for employees to receive the training, educational materials and support necessary to succeed.


5) Asking Unacceptable Interview Questions

When conducting interviews, it’s only natural that you’ll want to uncover as much information as possible to determine whether or not a candidate would be a good fit for your company. Keep in mind the limitations to the specific questions you are legally restricted to ask.

For instance, questions pertaining to a person’s race, religion, age, national origin, etc. are not permitted. Basically, anything that could be deemed as discriminatory should be avoided.


Although your small business might not have the same advantages as that of a formal HR department at a large company, that is no excuse to take HR lightly. By understanding which HR mistakes to avoid and taking adequate measures to do so, you can eliminate a lot of problems and run your business with greater peace of mind.