The human resources department is the backbone of any organization. HR is what connects all of a company’s employees and departments together. The fact that HR has a hand in every department and every company function and activity makes it essential to the running of the company. It’s therefore vital that HR professionals avoid making mistakes since they could have an impact across the entire company.
When hiring, there are a lot of factors that need to be considered. How a candidate performs in an interview is certainly a major component in the hiring process, but it shouldn’t be the only one. A candidate could be really good at selling themselves in an interview, but once hired could turn out to not be a good fit for the company.
For example, you can find out a lot by contacting references that you wouldn’t be able to find out in an interview. An otherwise promising candidate could be revealed as a poor fit. Additionally, you could find out that a candidate that didn’t interview quite as well as another is actually a better fit for your company.
HR has a dual function. HR professionals are supposed to represent the company’s interests, but they are also supposed to advocate for the employees that work there. Balancing between the two can sometimes feel like walking on a tightrope. Striking that right balance is important, however.
HR professionals who err too far on the side of pleasing company management may try to sweep employee complaints under the rug. However, when this happens, employees feel ignored and the bad behavior that caused the complaint can continue to occur. This can result in a hostile work environment, lower productivity, and even high turnover. It’s important to take employee complaints seriously and outline the steps that will be taken to either investigate or remedy the situation.
On the other hand, HR professionals who err too far on the side of pleasing employees end up getting too friendly with them at the expense of the company’s interests. This may result in company policies not being followed or confidential information being shared with people who shouldn’t know it. HR does need to support employees, but it’s also an important part of the job to protect the company’s interests. Befriending employees at the expense of the company is too far in the other direction.
Especially for new HR professionals, the importance of remaining compliant might be underestimated. However, failing to fully audit payroll or remain compliant with all regulations can create huge problems down the road. There are legal deadlines that can’t be missed and paperwork that has to be filled out perfectly. Human resources is a very busy department, but HR professionals can’t get so involved with other tasks that compliance is forgotten.
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