Human Resources Best Practices

Proven Human Resources Department Leading to Improve Efficiency

  • Best Practices (#29) / Human Resources / Recruiting & Hiring

    Best Practice (Good)
    Provide job applicants with background check requirements up front, through a survey or validation questions, to avoid failure after all interviews have been completed.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Assume job applicants are aware of background check requirements and go through the entire process. Failures at the final stage are unexpected, but occur more often than not.
    Benefits: Eliminates the cost and effort for HR and hiring managers wasted by interviewing candidates who will not be able to pass the background test.
  • Best Practices (#30) / Human Resources / Recruiting & Hiring

    Best Practice (Good)
    Create a clear and transparent line of communication between hiring managers and recruiters so that any changes to hiring plans or requirements are immediately visible. Recruiters are thus able to enact effective workload management.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Have hiring managers change the requirements for hiring without informing the recruiter.
    Benefits: Improves coordination between hiring managers and recruiters, and reduces wasted time and money related to unqualified candidates making it through the initial screening process.
  • Best Practices (#31) / Human Resources / Recruiting & Hiring

    Best Practice (Good)
    Create tailored interview guides by job band/code to standardize evaluation procedures, improve quality of interviews, address position-specific goals in interview process and reduce liability risks.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Apply highly varied methods to screen resumes. Short cuts taken or inefficient work by staff results in poor quality screening.
    Benefits: Reduces wasted effort on overly tedious screening methods and increases overall quality of job candidates by eliminating screening methods that are not thorough enough.
  • Best Practices (#32) / Human Resources / Recruiting & Hiring

    Best Practice (Good)
    Attempt to schedule interviews for the same job position within a 1-2 day window to improve comparability of candidates.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Schedule interviews based on candidate and interviewer availability.
    Benefits: With interactions and personalities fresh in their minds, interviewers can more easily compare candidates, leading to more high quality hires.
  • Best Practices (#33) / Human Resources / Training & Development

    Best Practice (Good)
    Publish annual training calendars firm-wide to reduce duplication of course development and offerings among disparate business units.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Allow each business unit to formulate its own training and development course schedule.
    Benefits: Reduces training and development expense by eliminating redundant or duplicate training sessions.
  • Best Practices (#34) / Human Resources / Training & Development

    Best Practice (Good)
    Strive to repatriate employees and offer a position that, where possible, uses skills that the expatriate gained during the overseas assignment. The employer should not guarantee the location of a position at repatriation.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Repatriate expatriated employees with no attention paid to the skills they gained while overseas. In many cases, this can lead to an under-utilization of skills.
    Benefits: Taking the skills developed by expatriate employees during their overseas assignments into account during the repatriation process ensures that the employee is placed into a role that takes advantage of their developing skill set(s).
  • Best Practices (#35) / Human Resources / Training & Development

    Best Practice (Good)
    Ensure that training includes soft skills, such as leadership skills, and that the HR Team works with the CEO to gather training requirements for managers to design training programs.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Allow HR Training and Development staff members to develop training programs and schedules with little or no input from key line of business and company managers (EVP, SVP, C-Suite).
    Benefits: Working with high-level executives to craft training programs increases the likelihood that employees will develop the skills required to move into key management roles.
  • Best Practices (#36) / Human Resources / Training & Development

    Best Practice (Good)
    Outsource technical training program development and design to take advantage of specific expertise, shorten development time and prevent the creation of internal expertise in areas of short-term interest or usefulness.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Develop the majority of training programs and materials using in-house resources. Allow internal subject matter experts (SME) to guide the training course development process.
    Benefits: Using third-party vendors to produce specialized training materials reduces training program development cycle time and frees up HR staff and internal SMEs to work on other tasks.
  • Best Practices (#37) / Human Resources / Training & Development

    Best Practice (Good)
    Coordinate any HR-related form updates across all stakeholder groups prior to release to ensure that the changes are clearly understood and to prevent the use of legacy forms.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Roll out form updates to individual business units as time allows, training key stakeholders within those business units separately.
    Benefits: Centralizing HR-related form update trainings/briefs eliminates duplicate work effort and reduces the likelihood that legacy forms will continue to be used by certain business units/departments.
  • Best Practices (#38) / Human Resources / HR Generalists

    Best Practice (Good)
    Promote specialized points of contact for specific HR-related problems or issues (compensation/benefits inquiries, sexual harassment, etc.) to enable quicker resolution.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Field employee problems/issues as they arise and direct them to the correct HR staff member(s) based on the nature of their inquiry.
    Benefits: Designating and communicating points of contact for different types of HR issues eliminates the need for 'routing' incoming inquiries and establishes a trusted internal subject matter expert for each type of issue.
  • Best Practices (#39) / Human Resources / Benefits & Compensation

    Best Practice (Good)
    Compare current benefits packages with those of competitors and peers upon benefits renewal, negotiation or contract review to determine ideal packages, and use the findings to alter benefits packages accordingly.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Allow front-line managers to negotiate salary/pay increases with staff based on their assessment of the employee's performance. No standard method for compensation and performance reviews exists.
    Benefits: Comparing compensation packages against the marketplace reduces the likelihood that valuable employees will leave for a higher paying position at a competing company, and takes some 'guess work' out of the equation.
  • Best Practices (#40) / Human Resources / Benefits & Compensation

    Best Practice (Good)
    Develop an online benefits portal, including a FAQ database with standard responses; provide plan administrators, managers and participants with access, as well as the ability to answer questions for others through the portal.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Allow employees to direct benefits-related questions to HR Benefits Administration employees and/or HR Generalists on an as-needed, ad hoc basis.
    Benefits: Providing an online benefits portal reduces the time that HR Benefits Administration and Generalist staff members devote to fielding questions from employees, while simultaneously improving internal customer service levels.
  • Best Practices (#41) / Human Resources / Benefits & Compensation

    Best Practice (Good)
    Allow employees to update non-financial information online (e.g., change of address, updating beneficiaries), ensure that the process is user-friendly and advertise this option to all employees.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Have employees go through HR Benefits staff and/or HR Generalists to perform routine, non-financial information updates.
    Benefits: Allowing employees to update non-financial information online frees up HR staff for higher-value tasks and improves the likelihood that employee information is correct and up to date.
  • Best Practices (#42) / Human Resources / Benefits & Compensation

    Best Practice (Good)
    Log and track timekeeping errors that require off-cycle payroll adjustments and use results to prevent errors and notify frequent offenders.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Correct repeatedly occuring payroll and timekeeping errors on an as-needed (ad hoc) basis without analyzing root causes or similarity of errors.
    Benefits: Error tracking reduces the rate of payroll/timekeeping errors and associated redundant effort in fixing the errors.
  • Best Practices (#43) / Human Resources / Human Capital Management

    Best Practice (Good)
    Link compensation to the company’s overall business strategy. Identify the top strategic objectives, define the necessary organizational behavior and design the compensation plan to reward and recognize those behaviors.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Design compensation packages based solely on the marketplace and allow front-line managers to negotiate pay increases with employees based on observed performance levels and tenure.
    Benefits: Linking compensation levels (and pay raises) to defined company objectives ensures that individual employees are working towards achieving the goals of the company and that they are compensated for focusing on key priorities.
  • Best Practices (#44) / Human Resources / Human Capital Management

    Best Practice (Good)
    Create a “work-to-time” activity model (capacity plan, or model) to determine the correct number of resources necessary to accomplish the required work (work volume).
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Allow front-line managers and staff to dictate the number of employees required to perform the work without employing a scientific approach to forecasting and staffing.
    Benefits: Using a "work-to-time" model to develop staffing plans ensures that areas are appropriately staffed to deal with work volumes and also highlights high/low (higher volume, lower time to complete work) performers within certain departments.
  • Best Practices (#45) / Human Resources / Human Capital Management

    Best Practice (Good)
    Use a collaborative approach between HR and the business leader/hiring manager to draft job postings and use, where possible, prior materials (job descriptions and postings) for consistency and efficiency.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Develop a repository of job descriptions and postings, and use them repeatedly without checking with business leaders/management to make sure that the posting reflects the current needs of the organization.
    Benefits: Working with business leaders and hiring managers to draft job postings increases the likelihood that candidates will meet position requirements and succeed in doing the job that they were hired to do.
  • Best Practices (#46) / Human Resources / Human Capital Management

    Best Practice (Good)
    Conduct analysis of compensation data to identify any pay discrepancies that may exist across gender, race or ethnic lines, and make appropriate adjustments to eliminate any unjustified disparities found.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Use time consuming, manual data collection and sampling to collect or track compensation information as it relates to age, gender or ethnicity.
    Benefits: Developing HR systems with this sort of analysis in mind can reduce effort required to produce these compensation reports and, consequently, may help in protecting the company against unwarranted lawsuits or defamation.
  • Best Practices (#47) / Human Resources / Employee Relations (ER)

    Best Practice (Good)
    Coordinate with recruiters and create a clear annual communication plan regarding the "do's and don'ts" of the employee screening and interviewing process.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Train recruiting staff on interview compliance and company standards when they are hired and trust them to follow those guidelines throughout their time with the company.
    Benefits: Annual communication of a list of interview "do's and don'ts" decreases the likelihood of non-compliance and ensures that all employees performing interviews are trained on proper screening procedures.
  • Best Practices (#48) / Human Resources / Employee Relations (ER)

    Best Practice (Good)
    Develop specialized training programs for front-line managers that focus on communicating the core values and goals of the company to the staff members working under them.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Look to promote employees from within to fill front-line management roles without putting them through specialized training programs after promotion.
    Benefits: Front-line managers can be instrumental in ensuring that customer-facing staff members are satisfied and "on board" with the company's culture and values. Holding specialized training sessions for these managers increases the likelihood of buy-in from the staff working under them.
  • Best Practices (#49) / Human Resources / Employee Relations (ER)

    Best Practice (Good)
    Create specialized positions that focus on positive interactions with employees and the community. These interactions can include employee recognition programs, company-sponsored events, and "skip-level" meetings.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Allow HR Generalists, recruiting employees and front-line managers to drive community relations, employee recognition programs, and other positive employee relations programs.
    Benefits: Creating a specialized position concerned with employee and community interaction can create a positive overall impact on company culture and community image, while freeing up HR Generalists and other staff members to focus on their core tasks.

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