Ok, fellow HR folks, let’s be honest, most people don’t even have a clue what Human Resources professionals actually do on a daily basis. Candidates think of you as inconsiderate because you don’t return all six of their “checking in” calls every day. Employees see you as the grim reaper, lying in wait behind every corner, hoping for a minor policy infraction so you can write them up or fire them. And executives churn spreadsheet models over and over trying to determine if you actually have any ROI value at all. The truth is that you have way more things to do than you can ever complete by yourself. So, if there’s so much to do then how can you expect to get it done, not to mention stay employed? No, you do not have to be a superhero nor do you have to work yourself to death, but you do need to learn how to manage your time by utilizing good resources and connections that are readily available to you.
One of the most difficult, expensive, and time-consuming duties that
HR professionals face is keeping their companies staffed. “I need five skilled equipment operators and five general laborers to start a new project in THREE DAYS” is usually how it goes from Management to HR. Utilizing job search sites can be effective but there are costs associated with them and definitely some set-up work to accurately target the correct skills and locations of potential candidates. Once you’ve narrowed the field to the candidates that you ’re interested in is when the work really begins. Several calls and interviews will occur if done correctly, not to mention the drug tests, background checks, and orientations that also need to happen. Impossible? Not necessarily. Utilizing staffing agencies can help. In most cases, the agency will take care of all of the advertising, calling, screening, pre-employment requirements, and orientations while you can focus on other aspects of HR. It’s also a great way to “test drive” employees for a period of time. This allows you to cherry-pick the good ones and replace the less desirable employees with new candidates by one call to the agency.
How many times as an HR Professional have you had to deal with
employee issues that never should have happened? Supervisors can often be blunt and even abrasive towards workers causing headaches and lawsuits that could have otherwise been avoided. To their credit, many supervisors were promoted up through the ranks because they were great employees, but they haven’t been given the tools to be successful leaders.
Providing good leadership training from experienced professionals can help to improve employee morale, reduce employee turnover, and limit exposure to costly lawsuits.
There’s no room for error here but it happens quite often. Other things
command your attention and before you know it there’s an issue that could have possibly been avoided with periodic random drug testing. Utilize professionals to schedule and take care of this for you so you won’t forget. They’ll let you know when they’re going to be there and can take care of the random selection process as well.
Employee Assistance Programs
Some of the proverbial “fire-fighting” you deal with daily are the personal problems of employees often caused by things like drug and alcohol addiction, divorce, and financial problems. Poor attitude, absenteeism, unsafe habits, and employee turnover are often caused by these issues away from work. An effective Employee Assistance Program can often mitigate these issues by providing counseling and resources to those in need. The company looks good, you look good, it’s a win-win.
Whether it’s benefits or worker’s compensation, hiring a top-notch agent is important to you and your company’s success. A good agent can help you and your employees with things like understanding and utilizing your insurance benefits, assisting injured workers in getting the best care and returning to work as fast as possible, and negotiating the best rates and plans for your company. Make sure to do your homework though, a lazy agent can be worse than no agent at all.
Aligning yourself with top-notch professionals is a way to accomplish monumental HR success. Think of these connections as an extension of your department and a way to accomplish your goals. Good professionals don’t want your job, they just want to help you succeed at it.
Mark F. Munger, MBA, SPHR