How many times has your Human Resources department been understaffed?

How about when your HR department is fully staffed but there’s still not enough time to handle all the issues that come your way every day?

The non-stop issues that come across your desk often need your immediate attention.  Many of them are sensitive and confidential – matters that can’t be handed off to anyone outside of the HR department.

frustrated business person

Let’s face it, though.  Not all HR responsibilities are as critical to the welfare of your company as others.  So how should you prioritize your responsibilities so that your company is most protected from risk?

Here are the Top 3 most critical HR management functions you can’t neglect when you’re being pulled in a million directions.

1)  Shore Up Your Human Resources Compliance

The foundation of the human resource function ensures that your company complies with the federal, state, and local employment laws when hiring and managing its workforce.  It may seem seem trivial in the scheme of things, but your HR Foundation – interview procedures, offer letter template, job descriptions, employee handbook, policies, performance management documents, and termination process – will either set your company up for success or become a giant liability.

The good news is that once you’ve got a solid HR foundation built, it only needs an annual review to make sure that it continues to serve the best interests of your company.  In other words – invest the time to perfect your HR Foundation, and then cross it off your worry list.

Here’s the good news! 

Want to make sure your company’s HR Foundation is 100% in order?  HR Allies will review and identify any gaps in your compliance so that you can be sure your HR Foundation helps your company avoid expensive liability.  Just contact us for a free consultation!

2)  Triage employee complaints and investigate the risky ones.

Not every complaint of “workplace harassment” is cause for alarm.  Just because an employee labels something “harassment” doesn’t make it so.

All scary-sounding employee complaints are not made equal, and some demand more attention than others.  The employee complaints with the largest amount of risk – like allegations of discrimination, harassment, or wage & hour law violations – can cost even small companies hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawsuits if they’re ignored … even if the discrimination isn’t “egregious.”

employee making hr complaint

Addressing serious employee complaints can’t wait just because HR has no time to investigate, so you’ll need to keep your company protected from this legal and financial risk by assessing the seriousness of each allegation – then move quickly to investigate them.

Here’s the good news!

Courts have ruled that your investigation into EEO violations doesn’t have to be flawless in order to withstand legal scrutiny; it just has to be timely, objective, conducted in good faith, and remedial.  Conducting a proper investigation into serious allegations is crucial to helping to mitigate any negative impact to your business.

3)  Keep the talent pipeline filled, and keep the hiring process moving fast.

Keeping up with the speed of hiring in today’s candidate-driven job market is crucial, since your company lives or dies by the adequacy of its workforce.

A CFO.com benchmarking survey found that, on average, an employee generates a median of $322,835 in annual company revenue – more than five times their annual fully-loaded salary.  Each day that position is vacant may result in both real financial losses and intangible costs like co-worker burnout.

To compound this risk, today’s top job candidates place a high value on working for companies that make quick, sure decisions – it’s indicative of an efficient, confident company culture.  Millennials currently make up more than 35% of the American workforce – and they expect instant gratification.  Waiting to be screened by a company, or languishing in a protracted interview process, won’t cut it.  Your candidate will simply move on.

Here’s the good news! 

administrative assistantUnlike the other critical HR functions, this is one that can be delegated to someone else in the Company if you’ve got no bandwidth to keep up with it yourself.  Find someone in your organization who’s organized and friendly, and place them in charge of proactively communicating with the best candidates.  Keep the line moving, and your ability to staff with the best talent won’t miss a beat.

Ask any Human Resource professional, and they’ll tell you that there are many different parts of their job that are important to the well-being of a company and its employees.  HR professionals who are overwhelmed and pressed for time, though, know that protecting their company with these three critical functions are the things to prioritize.

About the Author: Danielle M. Verderosa

Danielle Verderosa is the Founder and President of HR Allies, a human resources consulting firm specializing in small and medium-sized businesses’ compliance with employment laws. She has 25 years of HR experience in the hospitality, senior living, and defense security industries. Most recently a Vice President of Human Resources for a 105-year old contract management services company with more than 4,000 employees, Danielle has the HR industry’s top professional credentials and has been the recipient of several national awards honoring her integrity, leadership, and business excellence. You can reach Danielle directly at Danielle@hrallies.com.

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