Experts encounter HR Mishaps

HR experts come in contact with all company employees on a daily basis. They also see many potential candidates during the recruiting process. One of their major responsibilities is to keep a company’s staffing in line with labor laws and other state and federal regulations. This is not an easy job. They often need to deal with HR mishaps that can cause very serious consequences for the company and their own career. In this article, we’ve listed some of the most dangerous HR mishaps that can cause headaches in the HR department and in the company’s management board.

Discrimination claims during the hiring process

Companies should avoid any type of discrimination when hiring new employees. In order to avoid harsh penalties and long lawsuits, the HR department needs to oversee the entire recruitment process. This includes posting ads to reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates. This field is very broad and blurry. Recruiters should avoid asking questions about candidates’ age, gender, marital status or disability during the job interview. Job ads shouldn’t assume candidates’ age or gender. When writing a job ad, recruiters should avoid phrases like: “seeking mature and experienced professionals” or “join a dynamic team of young and ambitious experts”. Good diversity practice can avoid HR mishaps occurring. 

Interpersonal conflicts

Conflicts are very common in a corporate environment and they can easily undermine a company’s business operation. In most cases, employees have ill feelings towards their superiors and vice versa. This can easily escalate into a conflict, which requires an intervention from the HR staff.

An HR expert should carefully listen to each party in the conflict in a calm and non-judgmental manner. These discussions should take place behind closed doors, so they don’t attract attention from other employees. After listening to the statements of conflicting sides, HR professionals should explain to them how they perceive the situation. Then offer several solutions for them to choose. During this process, it’s very important that HR professionals show compassion with both sides and act as neutral mediators.

Work-related accidents and HR mishaps

In small and medium enterprises, HR professionals often act as safety managers. They need to track the OSHA regulations and record all employee injuries. In a case of an accident, HR professionals need to conduct an internal investigation, while being in contact with the Workers’ Compensation Board and a work injury lawyer, hired by the injured employee. When it comes to work safety, prevention is always the best cure. The only way to avoid headaches is to secure the workplace and make it compliant with the OSHA rules and regulations.

Collective bargaining

Employees often decide to contact their labor union when they think their workers’ rights are violated. They often contact the union before they’ve even made a complaint to the HR department or the company’s management board. The union’s power lies in the numbers. Union organizers will often try to negotiate the deal for the whole workforce.

This is called collective bargaining. The labor union has a right to negotiate various issues, from work conditions to wages, bonuses, and vacation. HR professionals are usually present at these negotiations.  They shouldn’t have an unreasonable approach or take unilateral actions because this can be considered as an unfair labor practice.

Avoiding HR mishaps with employee training

The HR department should administrate the OSHA and other specialized training that is required for different types of industry workers. In this training, new employees learn how to protect their health and safety in the workplace. HR professionals, managers, and authorized trainers need to take these tasks very seriously because this training is often the only thing that protects employees from work-related injuries and their company from long and costly lawsuits.

Although the work in an HR department comes with an enormous set of responsibilities and it’s very far from easy or glamorous, HR professionals should know that they are the ones who make the company (or even the whole industry) roll. Luckily, in recent years HR practices have been changing for the better and in the future, employee motivation will become the prime concern of every HR department.

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Nate Vickery is a business consultant and a blogger mostly engaged in finding and implementing of the latest technology trends into SMB and startup management and marketing processes. Nate is also the editor-in-chief of a business-oriented blog-