The Common HR Mistakes Companies Make and What You Can Do About Them

Woman interviewing man

Human Capital is the most valuable resource in a company. A well-managed and skilled Human Resource structure can be rewarding to the growth and development of a company. The opposite is also true.

There are some seemingly small mistakes that companies make that could have undesirable effects on the company and staff in general. These mistakes often present themselves as non-issues but once they pile up, correcting them can be a costly affair.

Here are some of the HR mistakes companies make and how you can put them in check

  1. Thinking That Some Employment Laws Don’t Apply To Your Company

Having interacted with quite a number of CEOs and company owners, there is a common assumption of the HR laws and particularly the Employment Act of 2007.

In fact, most business owners and CEOs have little understanding of what the law stipulates on matters pertaining employment or even think that some laws only apply to the large corporates.

I always advice my clients to have a clear understanding of what the Employment Act and other HR related laws state to avoid getting caught on the wrong side as this can be a costly affair.

A company should always have a capacitated HR management system. But, where there is a lack of capacity, it is always advisable to seek the services of a Certified HR Consultant to help align HR systems as per the law.

  1. Not Having Accurate Job Descriptions

In my practice, I have witnessed this as one of the most common causes of poor performance management.

Without proper JDs, employees aren’t sure of what they should be doing and what success ought to look like. This results to job outlooks not being properly managed.

It’s hard to measure somebody’s performance when his or her Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) aren’t appropriately documented. A mismatch in the employer expectations and what the employee delivers can result in a lot of conflict.

To ensure that both the employer and employee work with a common goal from the very beginning, it is always advisable to have a well-documented JD that is signed off by both parties from the very beginning.

Having Accurate JDs will help you hire, manage and fire employees better because you will have all the right documentation as a backup.

  1. Failing To Document Performance Issues

When an employee goes against stipulated HR policies, it is important to have that accurately and thoroughly documented.

Although it may seem time-consuming to jot down in a file that someone was reprimanded for repeated unpunctuality, it’s important evidence that can support a decision to terminate that individual for unsatisfactory job performance, for example.

In addition, when a company is consistent in its application of performance issues, it is better able to address potential legal issues that may arise in the future, such as a discrimination claim.

  1. Hiring Too Fast & Firing Too Slow

You have to hire a little slower in order to find the right people who fit in your organization and culture.

However because of the exhaustion that comes with interviewing so many candidates, some CEOs and company owners tend to hire the first candidate that shows stands out from the lot. This candidate may not always be the right fit for the company.

More often than not, it doesn’t work out if you don’t take your time and make sure that person is a good fit in your organization. It is also always advisable to engage the services of a recruitment firm to do the work for you.

What about firing too slow?

This is where a good performance management system comes in handy. If for some reasons you end up hiring someone who isn’t a good fit for the company, firing too slow costs the company. With the backing of good performance records, firing shouldn’t take so much time and effort.

Failing to let someone go without the appropriate documentation can have costly legal implications.

  1. Poor Keeping Of Employment Records

I know proper record keeping takes time; time that you need to expand your business and meet strategic goals.  However, it is very important to keep proper and complete employment records.

In the event that your company needs to undergo a compliance audit, it will be an easy ride with proper records keeping.

In conclusion

These top mistakes that companies make in HR can be easy to ignore because they don’t always present immediate threats to the company. However, they can have serious implications in the future. I hope that you consider my advice and align your HR systems to avoid any serious repercussions.

Perminus Wainaina is a Certified HR Consultant, Career Coach and Managing Partner of Corporate Staffing Services, a leading recruitment firm in Kenya. As a career coach, Perminus works with experienced professionals in helping them determine and achieve what they want in their career.