Cleaning Up – Your Files!

Cleaning Up – Your Files!

Last week we discussed how this start of the new year is a prime time to take a look at your processes/procedures, Employee Handbook, and Job Descriptions to ensure efficiency and compliance with regards to HR best practices.

Not only is it necessary to regularly review those items, but it is also critical to conduct annual, if not more frequent, reviews of employee personnel, confidential, medical, and other related files (e.g., I-9 and payroll). Not only do well-organized files ensure that items are quickly located, resulting in a more efficient use of time (both for HR and management), but it is vital to regularly audit your files to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations. When conducting an audit of your personnel files, ask yourself these questions to ensure that these basic guidelines are met:

  • Are files stored and maintained separately, in accordance with relevant state and federal laws? (E.g., are personnel files stored in a locked, secure location, separate from confidential and medical files?):
    • Is access to confidential and medical files limited to HR and managers with a “need to know”?
    • Are documents contained in these files stored in their proper location? (E.g., is leave paperwork stored in the medical file, and are performance and disciplinary documentation stored in the personnel file?).
  • Are I-9 forms filled out correctly and stored in a secure location, separate from all other files?
  • Does your organization have policies and procedures in place for document retention and timely destruction of expired documents?

Every organization has their own way of maintaining their employee files. Variations in processes and systems are fine, as long as compliance standards are met, any documentation containing confidential or personal identifying information (e.g., SSNs, financial data, medical information, etc.) is kept separate and secure of standard personnel data.

One of the most important things to make sure of is that whatever procedures you implement for file maintenance are consistent and maintained on a regular basis. Conduct annual, if not more frequent, audits of your employee files and make certain that all employees in charge of ongoing upkeep are aware of best practices and adhere to these policies.

Contact HRCentral today for assistance with conducting an in-depth employee file audit, or for the implementation of applicable policies and procedures to ensure your files safeguarding and organizing your employee files. are maintained in compliance with applicable law.

Tidying Up for the New Year

Tidying Up for the New Year

The start of the new year has many of us motivated to make positive changes in our lives, both on a personal and a professional level. At work, January often provides employers with a chance to take a step back and review any internal policies and processes that your organization has in place, and determine if any modifications are warranted for efficiency, compliance, and best practices. In a nutshell, reviewing and preparing for a more thorough HR audit.

Items that warrant a go-over include:

  • Employee Handbook – January is fairly standard for handbook reviews as the start of the year is typically when state and federal agencies release any updates and changes to governing law and regulations applicable to employers. Take a look at any updates that have been made in your state and at the federal level to ensure compliance with employment and labor law, and to make certain all polices are adequately updated.
  • Job Descriptions – A document that is habitually forgotten about once the initial copy is drafted and put in place, job descriptions should be reviewed regularly to make any changes needed to ensure that the essential functions accurately reflect the work actually being done. The scope of work for so many employees and positions changes.
  • Internal Processes/Systems – The culture of an organization is something that is always changing with the times. As such, it is important to take frequent looks at how you manage your employees, what processes work and what ones don’t, and how systems can be modified to encourage productivity and loyalty.

Making the time to do periodic reviews to documents, processes, and policies can save you a ton of time in the long run and can help ensure that your HR and employment-related documents are always compliant and up to date. Follow along in our next post as we discuss how to properly review those HR and employment-specific documents (including form I-9s, new hire documentation, medical paperwork, etc.), to ensure compliance with retention and destruction guidelines.

HRCentral specializes in reviewing, updating, and creating these documents. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation to see if your organization can benefit from an HR department review, refresh, or complete audit!

Posting for Success

A rapidly growing hazelnut farm in the Willamette Valley has had a pressing need for recruiting honest and dependable laborers in recent months. With peak growing season upon them, management posted for the job via a number of online and local outlets, but the quality of applicants has been subpar at best. Those applicants that did end up getting hired turned out to be unreliable, frequently calling in “sick” or not showing up at all. With attendance a top priority during the crucial summer months when it comes to production, management has reached the point of desperation for hiring employees who will stick around and provide quality work.

Hiring for any position can be a gamble. So many applicants shine during the interview process and look wonderful on paper, but after a few weeks you realize that a) the skills they sold you on are far less amazing then they divulged, b) they fail to effectively onboard and train for the position, or c) they simply aren’t a good fit for your organization. Whatever the reason, effectively advertising for a job is a crucial first step in recruiting star talent. Where do you start?

Draft Accurate Job Descriptions – Prior to posting for a job, it is vital that you have an established job description for the position. There are many components to a job description that are important, but having clearly outlined essential functions and skills/experience and education applicable to the position to communicate to applicants will ensure that you attract individuals who will be able to fulfill those needs.

Don’t Put Your Eggs in One Basket – Often we will have a great feeling about the first person who interviews for a job. While first impressions are important, it is also important to give yourself options. Narrowing your options down by not interviewing enough interested candidates can significantly limit your chances of recruiting the best individual for the job.

Post in Multiple Locations – Just as it is important to give yourself options with the number of applicants who pass the initial screening, it is important to post in a number of outlets as well. Only posting on a single website or local board may limit the caliber and type of applicant you may be attracting. The more choices you have, the more selective you can be in moving those applicants on to the next stage of the hiring process.

Knowing specifically what you want is a crucial first step in recruiting efforts, second only to knowing how to get it. By keeping your options open and posting in the most effective places for that particular job, you can afford to be picky to ensure that only the best candidates move forward for in-person interviews and assessments. HRCentral specializes in assisting employers with the recruitment and onboarding process. Contact us today to see how we can help you attract the best individuals for your organization.

Next week, we will dive into the interview process, and will discuss how to effectively interview during these initial stages to save your organization time and resources with the goal of only advancing those star candidates.

Nuts-and-Bolts: Describing the Job

Even though we know job descriptions are absolutely essential for every employer, it is one of the most commonly out of date documents in the workplace (maybe second to performance reviews).  Job descriptions should clearly identify what is expected of that position and what essential functions they should provide.  A good job description will assist employees and managers with job duties, help with identifying essential functions for ADA requirements and workers compensation situations, and even help in the recruitment for an open position.  A good job description will consist of the following elements:

  • Job title, a brief description of the position, and the position classification (e.g. FLSA status, full-time or part-time)
  • Essential functions of the position and additional responsibilities
  • Environment, material/equipment used, and physical activities required
  • Proficiencies, education, and experience required
  • Signature line for employee and manager/supervisor