Frustrating HR rules demystified: Part 1
Thursday, March 01, 2018
Working in HR for so many years, I am acutely aware that my colleagues and I are not always celebrated for our contributions.
For the most part, our intentions are positive. But our goal — to protect the business from itself — often puts us in situations where we are trying to convince people to stop or change the way they are doing things. This is not always welcome.
Further, we are not always at liberty — because of confidentiality, regulations, demands by leadership or simply lack of resources — to explain why we act the way we do. To help, here are some simplified explanations of a few frustrating HR rules.
Finding the perfect hire is tough. Entire industries have grown around helping organizations of all sizes find, attract and hire employees. And the current job market is a lot more competitive than it was. As such, it is easy to understand why when a hiring manager or leader meets the ideal candidate, she wants to hire him right away.
Here are a few reasons why HR might want to slow the process down.
First, candidates are so savvy and have become good at telling those in a position to hire what they want to hear. That is why most recruiting processes have several screens. Yes, the hiring manager is the ultimate decider, but the steps before and after are in place to keep the hiring manager in check. Good HR professionals know their leaders' strengths and weaknesses.
Specifically, the hiring process is in place to protect against bad decisions as well as ensure the company is following a fair and lawful practice. It is easy to imagine a scenario where a hiring manager meets someone at a coffee shop, strikes up a conversation and wants to add them to the team.
Whether the organization must follow fair hiring practices or not, it is a good idea to put that candidate through the same process as everyone else being considered. This helps ensure fairness, shows current employees the candidate is vetted and helps HR better manage diversity or other hiring initiatives.
The negative implications of not firing fast are clear. What is often not clear are the helpful steps that make firing fast possible.
Much of the frustration around not getting a bad employee out the door is due to lack of process and paperwork. Employers in employee-friendly states know the risks of being sued for wrongful termination. And employers in every state should understand the risks of being outed for improper termination on social media or employer-ranking sites.
To make the termination process as fast and smooth as possible, it is helpful to have accurate employee files — this means performance reviews that are thoughtful, accurate and completed regularly for all members of the team. It also means active management of the issues with clear and escalating communication. For example, talking to the employee on the first offense; talking with a written follow-up on the second and getting HR involved whenever it seems it could escalate.
If those ducks are in a row, termination can be a lot quicker and easier. If not, termination becomes trickier and risks increase, which can affect productivity, morale and the work environment.
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