6 Thoughts for Non-HR Professionals

We recently completed an HR training in Dallas, Texas, for Non-HR MBA students.  The training focused on the key areas that HR can and does impact in any organization.  Throughout the training we discussed the importance of aligning the HR department with the needs of the employees and organization; not an easy task, but necessary to move forward and progress.  I know the group of 100 MBA students have a new respect for the many hats that HR professionals continue to wear.

Below are 6 thoughts for non-HR professionals:

  1. Organizational Impact: HR can and does have an impact on the direction and strategy of the organization.  The HR function is as important as any other function within the organization.  Know the impact HR can have on the organizations mission, vision, culture, goals and objectives.
  2. Legal Arena: Labor and employment laws evolve and they change rapidly.  Interpreting and implementing legal change, continues to grow in complexity.  Federal, state and local laws can have an impact on the organization.  Ask questions and never assume you have the answer, legislation is one piece.  Remember the case law and amendments.
  3. Onboarding: Onboarding begins when an applicant applies for a job.  This process is critical to recruit and retain top talent.  Managers, coworkers and direct reports have ownership in ensuring the onboarding processes are organized and aligned with the organizations mission, vision and values.  If you were a new hire, what would you expect from recruiting to hire?  Put yourself in their shoes and reverse engineer a great experience.
  4. Training and Development: Training and development are extremely important pieces of the employment experiences.  Have we asked what training is important to the organization?  To the employee?  What can we afford?  Is there grant money available?  What about leadership development training?  Look for local and national opportunities for industry and profession specific training and development.
  5. Performance Feedback: Yes, employees want feedback!  In fact, continuous coaching and feedback, more than once per year will probably be an effective model.  Goals should be aligned with organizations goals and department goals.  These goals should also include training and development opportunities; degree, certification, leadership development, computer system training, financial, stretch assignments, etc.
  6. Conflict Resolution and Communication: The final thought can be the most difficult.  Resolving conflict and ensuring effective communication.  Never easy, but necessary.  As leader’s we will be in situations that require us to have that “difficult” conversation.  Practicing these conversations is never enjoyable, at times necessary to ensure we are prepared.  Communication is essential.  Know your organization and which communication tools are effective for your workforce.

 

6ThoughtsforNonHrProfessionals

These six thoughts are just a few of the important pieces of HR that do and will impact your organization.  As leader’s we need to recognize how these pieces effect our mission, vision, values, culture and employees.  Turnover is costly.  Recruiting is costly.  Training and retraining is costly.  Understanding these six areas’ will take work, but being an effective leader takes work.  Ask for help if you need it, people spend their careers specializing in each of the six areas.  Strategic HR can shape the mission statement, vision, culture, employee engagement and values of any of our organizations.

– Matthew Burr, HR Consultant

13 Common Job Application Mistakes Made by Employers

The Society of Human Resources Management recently published an article, “Top 10 Mistakes Employers Make in Job Applications.”  I decided to add three more to the list, based on my experience.  Most employers nationwide, are still using a job application, handwritten or during the online application process.  As leaders, we need to be aware of the potential issues of not updating employment applications or using a generic employment application.  As laws continue to evolve, so too should our employment application processes.       

Below are the 13 common job application mistakes:

  1. “Including any disability-related or medical questions
  2. Not including an at-will disclaimer
  3. Not including a nondiscrimination statement
  4. Requesting graduation dates in the education section
  5. Asking about arrests and convictions, without appropriate disclaimers
  6. Putting a background check acknowledgement on the employment application (I see this too often)
  7. Not including language telling applicants how to request a reasonable accommodation
  8. Asking for a photograph
  9. Asking about marital or familial status
  10. Asking about citizenship”[i]
  11. Not including a signature section to verify that the applicant is acknowledging the information is true and accurate. Remember a resume or CV is not the same thing as an employment application.
  12. Including a section for a social security number, on either the paper application or by not allowing a person to continue through the applicant tracking system. Do we really need a social security number?  “An employment application should request only information directly related to an applicant’s ability to perform a specific job… general practice, employers should request SSN information only when absolutely necessary.”[ii]  If you do not need it, don’t ask for it.
  13. Using generic employment applications. “Well I found this on the internet, it should be okay.” Ensure that someone reviews the application or helps you develop a new one prior to using it during the hiring process.  Just because it is found on the internet does not make it legal and valid.

Employment applications are an important piece to the recruitment and retention process for all organizations.  Asking irrelevant questions on the application can be a potential liability.  As the laws continue to evolve, we need to ensure our employment application, both paper and electronic are legally compliant and efficient for job applicants.  If you have questions about your application, ask for assistance.  Do not assume that the first Google search will provide a legal job application.  Remember laws vary; federally, state-wide and city specific.  These laws will impact what can and cannot be asked on the employment application.

 

– Matthew Burr, HR Consultant

“Short Name, Proven Results”

 

[i] https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/top-10-mistakes-employers-make-job-applications.aspx

 

[ii] https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/hr-qa/pages/socialsecuritynumber.aspx