ValentineHR FAQs: Here are some of the questions people ask us the most and some of the answers we commonly give. Please don’t take this as professional advice; your situation may require a deeper look.
1. How do I hire my first employee?
When you hire your first employee, start by identifying exactly what you want this person to do to help you reach your business goals. Then write a job description that spells that out. Figure out how much you intend to provide for the person in terms of salary and benefits and what the going rates are. Also, make sure you know any federal, state, or local laws that apply to this hire—like insurance rules or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rules. Once you have that in place, you’re ready to start looking for candidates.
2. Are policies and procedures required in every organization?
Most people see employee handbooks as boring obstacles in the path of making wonderful business things happen. Like a prenup. And they’d just as soon skip it. But you must be able to prove to any interested local, state or federal authority that you informed your candidates and employees of their workplace rights. That means being able to show a document the employee signed. That’s one of the many reasons for policies and procedures. Some states publish policies, procedures and employment laws online, but not all. In Texas, check out the Texas Workforce Commission.
3. How do I respond to an unemployment claim?
Rule number one, RESPOND! Don’t put it under a stack of papers or into a file cabinet. What happens with an unemployment claim is based on how you dealt with that employee during his or her termination. Did you let the employee know what the problem was and give him a chance to respond? Did you document it? Just don’t hope it will disappear.
4. Can I fire an employee just because I don’t like him?
Here’s a scary one. He does his job, but during every free moment he quotes Will Ferrell. Or she complains about every minor inconvenience and all your customers. Can you fire them? Yes. So long as you’re not firing them because they’re a member of a protected class. Just make sure you give the person a chance to address that distracting or annoying behavior she’s bringing into the workplace before letting her go.
5. An employee mentions he is uncomfortable with another employee’s behavior–Do I have to intervene?
Why wouldn’t you want to intervene? You need your employees to be productive and focused on work. If they’re focused on conflict, that’s costing you money. What’s really important is to intervene with the goal of getting the focus back on work. So don’t let any drama accelerate; use your words.
6. How do I respond to an OSHA complaint?
Again, don’t hide from it. Generally you must respond within five days and OSHA will explain what you have to do to fix the problem. You need to be able to show how you’ve documented safety and training in your organization. And if the complaint came from an employee, the worst thing you can do is be angry or vindictive. This might be a good time to get outside help. Try to stay objective and realize this is a learning opportunity. On the other hand, you may as well know the HR adage “The first agency that shows up at the door, won’t be the last agency.” They seem to work together. So be prepared for that, too.
7. Is there software that will manage my hiring process and employee information?
Yes, it’s called HRIS or Human Resource Information System and Applicant Tracking System ATS. You need to make sure you’re buying the right one for your kind of company. More importantly, you must have a process for using it, or it’s just slurping up memory on your computer. We can help with both.
8. I have employees in multiple states. What do I need for compliance?
You need to know your employer responsibilities in each state, and they can vary considerably. For example, some states require you pay an employee his final check within hours after being fired in certain circumstances. Others let you wait until the next pay period comes around. This might be a circumstance where you’d want to call in an HR professional.
9. How can I help my first- time manager do a great job?
For some reason, though we expect plumbers to go to plumbing school and IT experts to have tech degrees, we assume that people who know how to do their job also know how to manage others doing their job. It doesn’t work that way. Managing people is not intuitive, it’s a skill. So if you want a great manager, invest in training and development in seminars and classes or bring someone to your workplace. Your results will be a happier, more productive team, lower turnover, higher safety, and better profits.
10. ADA, ADAA, USERRA, FMLA, COBRA, HIPPA, GINA, OSHA oh my…
It’s confusing. HR people have their own language. That’s why speaking human is so important. Contact ValentineHR today for an audit of your Human Resources and a plan to get it all squared away!