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Avoid These Top 4 HR Mistakes

Effective human resources management is an important skill needed by every business once it grows beyond the owners. And yet, many small business owners attempt to handle HR tasks on their own, despite lack of training or the time to really handle them effectively. The truth is that HR mistakes can be costly. Let’s take a look at the top 4 HR mistakes to avoid.

Avoid These Top 4 HR Mistakes


HR mistake #1: Failing to write accurate job descriptions

A business needs HR as soon as it’s ready to hire its first employee. This means that one of the very first HR tasks that a business needs to do is write job descriptions to attract the right applicants. Unfortunately, many business owners don’t take the time to write a thorough or fully accurate job description. There are many consequences for inaccurate job descriptions, including:

  • Attracting the wrong applicants

  • Confusion over the role the employee will filling

  • Lack of clarity over daily tasks

  • Lack of clear expectations and qualifications to succeed in the job

  • Inability to properly measure employee performance

  • High turnover (either from letting people go because they don’t seem to be performing up to expectations that were not made clear or from quitting because of lack of job structure).

  • Taking the time to make detailed and completely accurate job descriptions is a very important part of hiring and firing employees and should be a priority for all businesses.


HR mistake #2: Assuming that your small business is too small to need to comply with employment laws

Small businesses can get themselves into legal and financial trouble by failing to understand which employer laws apply to their business or worse, assuming that no employer laws apply to them because of their size. Businesses need someone who understands and follows changes to employer laws to make sure they are in compliance with Department of Labor, OSHA and EEOC requirements. It is also important for Hawaii business owners to understand the particular laws that will affect their employer-employee relationships.


Here are just some of the important things to know about Hawaii labor laws:

  • The classes of people protected from discrimination under Hawaii’s Employment Practices Act

  • Hawaii’s whistleblower laws

  • Are credit checks allowed when hiring new employees in Hawaii?

  • Are meal and rest breaks required by law in Hawaii?


While the Employment Law Handbook for Hawaii is a useful resource, it can be overwhelming to read through all the information to get to what you need. Having a qualified HR member on your team or through a PEO partner is the best way to ensure your business is in compliance with all labor laws.


HR mistake #3: Keeping poor employment records

There aren’t too many people who enjoy handling files but they are often a necessary evil. This is especially true when it comes to employment records. There are many important employment records to keep and file correctly but two of the most common forms that cause headaches are the I-9 form and leave of absence forms. It is absolutely important for businesses to fill out Human Resources forms correctly because even one mistake can end up in expensive fines or legal action.


Other examples of important HR forms are:

  • Employment application forms

  • Employee feedback forms

  • Vacation scheduling forms


HR mistake #4: Failing to properly deal with and document performance problems

No business owner or manager wants to have employees with performance problems but it’s part of being an employer sometimes. Sometimes employers choose to ignore the problem, hoping it will resolve on its own. Then, when the problem behavior gets worse and the owner wants to fire the employee, there is no paper trail to show that the issue was addressed with a warning or action plan. The employee may end up feeling they were let go without just cause and that could open the business up to a lawsuit.


Partnering with Makai HR


Not excited about employer laws or employment records? That’s okay; we’ve got you covered through HR outsourcing! When you partner with Makai HR you can get on with the business you are trying to grow while we take care of your employee needs from payroll to taxes, health insurance/benefits and worker’s compensation. You also gain peace of mind that you are compliant with all of Hawaii’s employer laws (if you’ve ever looked you know that the list is very long). When choosing a PEO to partner with, there are many things to consider including cost, services and technology solutions.


With the cost of doing business in Hawaii at record highs, we know how important it is to keep labor costs in line with revenue. Our plans are priced competitively and include value-added services like time-in/time-out systems. Our three tiers of PEO service plans are tailored to the size of your business and specific needs. We offer a 100% paperless solution which means that your employees can manage their needs through a computer, tablet or phone. We can truly improve your employees work benefits while freeing you up to run your business.


What are you waiting for? Companies that partner with a PEO benefit from 7-9% faster growth, 10-14% lower employee turnover; and they are 50% less likely to go out of business. Contact us today to get started!

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