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Avoidable Mistakes New Businesses Risk Making Without Dedicated HR Help

via Forbes : As a company that has just opened its doors, you are no doubt doing your best to keep costs down. One of the ways you may have managed to have a low overhead is by foregoing a dedicated HR manager. While this will certainly keep your employment costs to a minimum, you may be missing out on key responsibilities that an HR professional takes care of for a company.

Not only is human resource management a driving force in finding new employees, it is also a key motivator for your current staff. Without a dedicated HR professional on board at your business, you could lose talent and not be able to replace it in an effective way. And this is just one of the benefits your business is missing out on without an in-house HR team.

Ten members of Forbes Human Resources Council shared the mistakes that young businesses make when they don’t have dedicated HR support. Here is what they had to say:

1. Being Inconsistent

Without dedicated HR support, young businesses tend to apply company policies and procedures inconsistently. They run the risk of violating federal and state employment/labor laws when they do not apply employment, labor, compensation, performance, recruitment and selection policies uniformly among employees. They run the risk of being sued by the EEOC for discriminatory employment practices. – Ochuko Dasimaka, Career Heights Consulting, Inc.

2. Misclassifying Employees

The most costly mistake is misclassifying employees. Spend the money, take the course and complete the proper classification of employees. The second option is to take the 20-30 minutes and complete job offer letters with a scope of work. A new business cannot predict the future. If dreams turn to nightmares, your employees will have been made aware in advance. – Patricia Sharkey, Parker Palm Springs

3. Not Defining Company Culture Early On

I suspect many fast-moving entrepreneurs would rather focus on the potential customer and funding options, than defining the vision, mission, values and behaviors that will define the culture. But the measure of a ship is in its crew, not its guns. Culture matters most, and by focusing on these items early in the game, you’ll soon realize the game is easier won. – Philip Dana, Bridgepoint Education

4. Forgetting That HR Isn’t Always “Fair”

When I was in private practice, I saw plenty of EEOC charges resulting from employers without dedicated HR support believing that simply being “fair” would keep them out of trouble. First, fairness is very subjective, and second, there are a lot of employment laws, such as the ADA, that actually provide for compromises that may seem “unfair” but ultimately help remove workplace barriers. – Cristin Heyns-Bousliman, Blake’s Lotaburger, LLC

5. Creating Bad Habits

Problems can arise when decisions are made on the fly and there’s no reflection, follow-up or takeaways discussed. In a fast-paced environment, it’s easy to immediately jump to the next issue at hand if your focus is running the business. Bringing in dedicated HR support early can ensure your business is learning from mistakes, and creating guidelines to prevent them from happening again. – Courtney Mudd, Influence & Co.

6. Not Doing Their Due Diligence

Young businesses do not spend time conducting their due diligence for grievances and investigations, leaving room for liability on the employer. Without HR support, employers find themselves spending more time answering EEOC complaints and lawsuits. I recommend hiring a professional employer organization to handle your employee relations issues until you are able to hire your dedicated HR support. – Charece Newell, MSILR, sHRBP, Sunspire Health

7. Missing Out

Without dedicated HR support it’s easy to miss out on the various benefits of proactive offensive and defensive HR. Perhaps the company is marketing well to clients but missing the opportunity to market to a talent pool and build an employer brand. Perhaps required reporting is fine but preparation for future required audits is nowhere to be found. The right person in the HR seat can enhance success. – Catherine Decker, Outsell

8. Viewing HR As A Role Anyone Can Do

Viewing HR only as a tactical role that anyone can do results in businesses not gaining the true strategic value HR brings to an organization. Beyond completing administrative tasks, HR is the first representation of the brand to a future hire or referral for your company, and they help maintain organizational health through compliance risk management and advocacy of your core values and vision. – Bridgette Wilder, Media Fusion

9. Ignoring Onboarding And Offboarding Strategies

In an effort to get new hires working and exiting employees on their way as quickly as possible, opportunities are often missed to provide and gather valuable information that will 1) properly introduce new hires to the company, ultimately reducing turnover, and 2) help maintain good relations with exiting employees, leaving the door open for boomerang rehires and referrals. – John Feldmann, Insperity

10. Losing Sight Of The Future

Good HR support is able to take a step back from the daily grind and see all the moving people and pieces, where they’re headed and what needs to be built to get over any drops ahead. Without it, young businesses often get too fixated on just making the numbers and quick fixes to operational hiccups. They may not prioritize investment into the growth of the team members or sustainable operations. – Angela Nguyen, Ad Exchange Group

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