Every HR team faces problems both in the running of their department and in the consistent enforcement of policies across the company in general. Here are the top five issues that we have identified facing HR teams in the UK.
Many people think that the main task of Human Resources is to source and employ new talent. However, the truth is that most HR activities revolve around retaining existing talent.
Employees are the lifeblood of every company, providing the skills and experience required to keep productivity levels up. Your business will also have invested significant time and money into ensuring maximum productivity wherever possible. And the key HR responsibility is to protect this valuable asset.
Employee retention is a fine balancing act between company culture, remuneration and incentives. The HR department needs to provide each employee with the right combination of all three to satisfy the employee without compromising company interests in the process.
Whether to complement the existing workforce or to replace staff lost through natural attrition, the second major challenge facing the Human Resources’ department is recruitment of talent. Finding staff with the correct blend of skills, personality and motivation is difficult, even when the pool of available candidates is relatively large.
Whether recruitment is handled solely by the internal HR department, or with the assistance of a third party recruitment agency, it is essential that the process is managed centrally and effectively. Where there are dozens of applications, the details of each will need to be recorded for review and comparison.
An HR software platform allows for storage of applications, CVs and contact details for easy analysis and comparison. Depending on company data retention policies, applications can be stored for months or years in anticipation of new roles becoming available in that period.
As an added benefit, having the details of a selection of suitable candidates available for easy consideration cuts future recruitment costs and shortens the time taken to plug a skills gap. Speeding the recruitment process in this way prevents drops in productivity and morale.
3. Training and Compliance
Training is an essential aspect of employee development, both for their own education but also to ensure you continue to get the best from your workforce. Certain roles demand official training and certification, such as CORGI registration for gas installers, many of which also have a lifespan for renewal.
Although the employee bears some responsibility for keeping a track of their own professional registrations, if your business relies on their certified skills, it makes sense to track this information for your own records. If your business has agreed to pay for exams or registration fees, you can keep track of when these payments are due. You can also alert the employee involved, and schedule cover for absence during exams.
Even where training takes place in-house, recording course attendance in a central HR system allows for at-a-glance assessment of workforce skills and regulatory compliance. Has every member of staff received their full induction training? Has anyone missed the annual fire alarm training and needs a refresher? Have internal promotion candidates completed all the relevant courses for the new role? Keeping details of training can help answer all these questions and more.
4. Discrimination and Diversity
If your business has any involvement with public sectors, or has a company policy regarding diversity, you will need to be able to demonstrate your commitments with hard facts from time to time. Where a company advertises commitments to diversity and a desire to reduce discrimination, they will be required to demonstrate their progress towards these goals.
To avoid these requests turning into a rushed census of the workforce, it makes sense to record demographics data when a new recruit is hired. As part of the employment contract, a simple set of tick-boxes can be added to record demographic and diversity data, which should be stored with employee records in the HR system.
It is also important to record any workplace incidents that appear to involve any form of discrimination. Your business can then carry out disciplinary actions based on company policies and further demonstrate a commitment to these core principles. Your HR software should also help quickly verify whether any staff suspected of participating in discriminatory activities have agreed to act in accordance with company policies as part of their employment contracts.
Discipline is always one of the least popular issues to tackle in the workplace, and also the point at which the HR department can help resolve incidents satisfactorily for employer and employees. The disciplinary process requires plenty of evidence, and the HR department will often need to obtain statements, records and other supporting data to resolve issues legally and ethically, all of which is time consuming.
It is therefore important to keep accurate records of any disciplinary issue, to ensure that the issue is dealt with properly. This includes minutes of meetings, letters between employer, employee and trade union representatives, and any follow-up activities that need to be undertaken. These records also provide a point of reference to ensure that all parties are meeting their agreed obligations in the event of further disputes.
Contact H2R Selection to see how we can help you and your business with any HR issue. We look forward to hearing from you.