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5 Warning Signs Your HR Practices are Outdated

5 Warning Signs Your HR Practices are Outdated

Human resources may not be your top priority, especially if you’re a small business. Yet, certain HR practices are most effective if they’re updated with modern technology, tools, and strategies.

If you can answer “yes” to any (or all) of the following questions, it’s time to revamp those practices.

1. Are You Relying on Phone Interviews as the First Step?

Before you invite a potential employee to the office for an in-person interview, a phone interview is often the first step. The problem with phone interviews is that it can be hard to gauge a candidate’s potential in a short phone call. The candidate may be nervous and have trouble answering questions. And if other people need to be involved in the interview process, it can be challenging to find time for screening that works for everyone. Not to mention intimidating for the candidates to be on a call with five people!

A better solution is the video interview. You can choose to give candidates questions to record their answers to or interview a candidate in real time. You can use the video interviewing software to find a time that works for everyone’s schedule, and then you and your decision-making team can review the video interview as many times as you need to in order to decide whether to bring the candidate into the office. And the best part: you get to see the candidate, which may help you better gauge whether they are a good fit for your company.

2. Are You Manually Managing the Hiring Process?

If you’re tracking applicants through either a stack of paper resumes on your desk or applicants’ emails in your inbox, you have the potential to miss out on really great candidates just because you’re disorganized.

And if you’re posting your jobs just on Craigslist or your website, you aren’t getting the reach you would otherwise in terms of top talent.

Today’s HR experts use applicant tracking systems. This software helps you track each candidate, follow up with those you’re interested in, and stores their details. It can also post your job description to multiple job boards, maximizing your reach. Some systems even connect the dots through the onboarding process so you don’t have to start over with the new hire’s information.

3. Is Your Onboarding Process All Paper?

Let me guess: when you hire a new employee, you hand them a paper employee document and give them stacks of papers to fill out on their first day.


Not only is this practice terrible for the environment, but it’s also unnecessary. Pretty much every component of onboarding can be done digitally, and the new hire can get started filling out forms before their first day to get the ball rolling.

Send employee benefits information and forms via email to give new hires time to review them, then collect their signature digitally. Send the employee handbook via email or create an online, interactive version to really engage them.

Taking care of the paperwork in advance (while harming nary a tree) lets new hires (and you) focus on getting to know the company, staff, and their role on their first day.

4. Do You Require All Employees to Work in the Office?

If so, you’re in a dwindling minority. Around the world, 70% of employees work remotely at least one day a week. And contrary to what you might think, it’s actually making them more productive.

Not only that: companies that support virtual employees save money. You need less office space and fewer computers if you have fewer people working in the office. Just think how much you’d save on heating and cooling… and coffee in the breakroom!

If you’re not comfortable allowing all employees work remotely, test drive it by giving them the option to work from home one day a week. Then evaluate its effectiveness before expanding the offer.

5. Are You Still Tracking Employee Vacation and Sick Days?

This may be a bit far out for you, but many companies are offering unlimited time off. No tracking accrued PTO. No required doctor’s notes for sick days. And while it might sound like a recipe for disaster, it’s actually working.

While employees are free to take as much time off as they want, they still have to get it approved. So if Bill in the IT department wants to take a month off to trek through Argentina, he’s going to have to get it cleared by his manager. If he’s got a huge project deadline looming, his manager might not approve his request, or they’ll work together to find someone else who can help with the project.

While you might fear that all your employees would take six months off a year, most won’t. Even if they have the ability to take time off, most will continue working as usual. Still, it’s a great perk to promote when trying to attract new top talent!

Updating your HR processes and practices benefits you and helps you find the best people for open positions. While some of these require an investment of money and/or time, they are well worth it if they remove some of your HR headaches.


About the Author

Christine Soeun ChoiChristine Soeun Choi is a digital marketing associate at Fit Small Business. Currently based in NYC, she has a background in business studies and math with a passion for business development. Outside of work, Christine enjoys traveling and exploring art.

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