13 Things That Scare Human Resources

Working in the Human Resource Department is a tough job. You are expected to be an expert on everything from employee relations to workplace safety, from compensation and benefits to workplace violence prevention.

And if that’s not enough, you have to do it all while keeping up with the latest trends and regulations.

In short, there are so many things that can go wrong, and so many things that you have to do right to keep your job. That’s why in this blog post I’m going to talk about 13 things that scare human resource professionals.

Whether you are an HR manager or someone aspiring to be one, this list is sure to help you get a better idea of what challenges you can face and how to overcome them.

Also, if you’re an employer looking to hire a new HR professional, this article will help you understand what your new hire will be facing when they take on this job – and what you can do to make sure they have everything they need to succeed.

Let’s dive right in.

Words That Scare Human Resources

1. Making a bad hire

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One of the scariest things for many HR specialists is a decision they make far too often: hiring.

In fact, hiring a candidate is one of the riskiest things you can do as a manager because once you’ve made an offer, it’s difficult to reverse that decision.`

The thing is that it’s easy to get caught up in hiring someone because they’re perfect on paper – they have the experience, skills, and personality traits you want. But what happens when it turns out their personality doesn’t fit in with your company culture?

Or worse, what happens when you hire them and then realize they are just not good at their job?

Whether it’s due to your own biases or to pressure from managers who want you to make a hire quickly, many HR professionals will overlook red flags that would disqualify a potential employee in any other industry.

For example, you could settle for developers with no coding experience instead of taking a risk on someone who doesn’t have their exact skill set. Or you could choose someone who seems like they will be easier to manage over someone who might be more competent.

The problem is that the cost of a bad hire is staggering. And it’s not just about the money.

It’s also about the stress and frustration of having to deal with someone who isn’t working out, which takes away from your ability to focus on doing your job well.

Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all method for choosing the right person for any given job, but you should always make sure you screen your candidates carefully.

Remember that interviewing is more than just asking questions about their background. It’s about assessing if they have the skills and personality traits that will allow them to succeed in your organization.

2. Failing to identify and address employee issues

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Another thing that scares HR professionals is failing to identify and address employee issues.

Why? Because it can be detrimental to their company.

These issues could range from a conflict in the workplace that affects productivity to a lack of employee motivation or engagement that could lead to increased turnover or even decreased quality of product.

For example, if an employee isn’t being treated fairly in terms of hours and pay, they may become disgruntled. This will obviously affect their performance in the workplace and can also cause problems if they are having an issue with another employee.

That’s why if you are a human resources manager, you need to address all of these things – not just because it is the right thing to do, but because when these issues are left unattended, they can become public and result in serious problems.

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Some potential consequences for failing to address a problem before it becomes public include:

  • Loss of business credibility – If your customers can’t trust that you are taking action to prevent harassment and discrimination within your company, they might decide not to work with you.
  • Loss of productivity – If employees feel that their complaints aren’t being taken seriously and addressed appropriately by HR, they might stop bringing them up.

This can lead to serious problems that worsen over time before management even realizes there’s something wrong.

  • Loss of key talent – When talented employees feel ignored or mistreated by HR, they can lose their passion for their work and, ultimately, leave the company.

To avoid this, it is critical to establish a system where employees feel comfortable coming to their managers with their problems.

You have to make sure that they know that you are there for them and that you are willing to listen. One of the best ways to do this is by communicating with them on a regular basis, whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly.

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3. Working with difficult people

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In any organization, there are going to be difficult people that make your life harder than it has to be.

You might encounter employees who are consistently late to work, are not doing their job well, and generally perform at a sub-par level. Or you may have to handle employees who are extremely emotional and get into heated arguments with other employees.

You can even have employees who talk badly about the company and spread rumors.

Handling these individuals can be scary and overwhelming if you are not prepared for them. But here’s the thing: as an HR professional, you need to find ways to make it work.

Here are some tips to deal with this situation:

  • Decide whether this is indeed a case of a difficult employee or if the behavior is due to some other reason such as miscommunication, lack of training, or even a personal problem they may have.
  • Keep it professional. Remember to keep your emotions in check and don’t let your personal opinion about the person affect your work.
  • Give feedback early and often. The sooner you can address a problem and manage it, the less likely it will become worse or more of an issue for other people in the workplace.

4. Facing wrongful termination lawsuits

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Another thing that scares human resource professionals is wrongful termination lawsuits. These are cases where an employee believes they have been unfairly fired and decides to take legal action against the company.

This can be a very serious matter, because they are expensive and time-consuming, especially for small companies that don’t have the resources to fight them.

So, as an HR professional, how do you protect your company from that?

Well, the best way is to make sure to have a solid review process in place before you fire anyone.

It has to be more than just a few meetings or conversations. It has to include evidence of concrete things about an employee’s performance or conduct that led to the decision to terminate their employment with your company.

That way, any lawsuit stemming from wrongful termination will likely be thrown out by a judge before even reaching trial because you will be able to prove there was ample cause given prior to firing the employee.

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5. Handling sexual harassment claims

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Sexual harassment claims can be a challenging thing for human resources professionals. They must act as a mediator between the victim and the alleged perpetrator, which is certainly difficult in such a delicate situation.

HR needs to consider these allegations carefully and understand that they can cause irreparable damage to both an employee’s life and an organization’s reputation if not handled properly.

Since sexual harassment claims can be made by a wide range of employees and involve a variety of circumstances, the truth is there is no simple way to prevent them.

Your best bet is to make sure your company has an established policy against sexual harassment and that you are providing your employees with opportunities to voice their concerns about any inappropriate behavior they may encounter on the job.

If people are aware of the rules and repercussions – and also know where to get help if they feel they are being harassed – it should be much easier for them to speak up when they have reason to believe they (or any co-worker) are being targeted by someone.

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6. Failing to complete Form I-9

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An I-9 form is the document that HR uses to verify that a person is eligible to work in the United States.

If you fail to complete this form correctly, your company could be subject to fines and penalties, which could be devastating for its bottom line. Or worse, it could be completely shut down by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your organization has a solid solution in place for handling these documents.

This could be as simple as scanning and storing the forms on a secure cloud server or going for a sophisticated document management system designed specifically for Form I-9 compliance.

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7. Shrinking benefits budget

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It’s a common complaint among HR professionals: As more companies slash their benefits packages and make other cost-cutting moves to stay afloat in a down economy, HR departments are left with fewer resources to provide the sort of benefits that are attractive to top talent.

Long gone are the days when an employer could offer a generous pension plan and expect employees to stick around long enough to enjoy it. These days, companies are looking for ways to save money while still offering competitive benefits packages.

And while some companies have been able to find savings in areas like outsourcing and travel policy changes, many employers have reduced their benefits budgets, which has made it more difficult for HR to keep up with rising healthcare costs and other benefit expenses.

This can be really scary for managers because they know that when a company’s employees feel their benefits aren’t up to snuff, they’ll start looking elsewhere.

The solution? Try these tactics:

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  • Start with a baseline survey of what employees want from their benefits packages. This will help you get a good idea of where employees are coming from, and it will help you understand the needs of each group and department within your organization.
  • Look for cost-effective ways to give employees what they want by partnering with other departments or outsourcing some services.
  • Talk with your employees and see if they have any ideas they’d like to share with you. They may be able to suggest ways to cut costs in a way that won’t impact their quality of life.
  • Look at what benefits the company is currently offering, and see if any of those are redundant or unnecessary. If so, consider cutting them out of the budget – but make sure this is something you do with your supervisors’ approval before making any changes!

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8. Lacking proper training resources and development programs

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Human resources managers are constantly dealing with new employees, and as a result, they need to be able to train them quickly and effectively. So when there’s not enough time or money to invest in proper training resources, it can be really frustrating.

They have to make do with less-than-ideal substitutes: photocopied manuals, cumbersome video-on-demand systems, and websites that are too difficult to navigate. Not only is this approach an inconvenience for the employees, but it can also reflect poorly on the HR department as a whole.

To avoid this, you can find cheap and easy ways to provide your new hires with the tools they need to be successful at their jobs. These can be webinars, online tutorials, custom video training sessions, or in-house mentorships.

It’s also worth telling your superiors about the importance of investing in training for their employees because this can save money on recruitment costs and increase employee retention rates. It also makes for a more profitable business that has happy customers and well-trained workers.

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9. High turnover rate among employees

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Human resources specialists are often afraid of a high turnover rate among employees. This is a big deal because not only does it affect the company’s bottom line, but it also affects its own ability to retain talent and build a strong company culture.

It’s a problem that can be caused by a number of factors, including lack of job satisfaction and poor employee training.

If you find that your employee turnover rate is higher than normal, it’s important to take action immediately. Here are some things you should consider in order to fix this situation or prevent it from happening:

  • Are the employees being trained adequately? Are they receiving adequate career guidance?
  • Are you offering competitive salaries? Is there room for advancement within the company?
  • Is there something about the company culture that makes it difficult for employees to stay motivated or feel like part of a team?

10. Lacking good communication between departments

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This is a classic problem. HR is having trouble understanding the logistics of the manufacturing process, operations can’t get buy-in from marketing on their new plan to sell more products, IT doesn’t know how to get the latest sales data into a useful format for management – the list goes on and on.

This situation is particularly scary for HR managers if they have no idea what other departments are up to. How can they ensure fair treatment and compliance with relevant laws, if they don’t know what’s going on?

The solution is to create a solid system for communicating between departments so that everyone knows what’s going on at all times.

This system should include email or Slack status reports, and regular meetings with people from each department to discuss what they’re working on and how they can help each other out.

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11. Having to make a budget cut in staff

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HR managers are often faced with the unpleasant task of having to make budget cuts, and this can be a stressful enough situation on its own.

The nature of their job also means that they must take the lead in doing so, which sometimes means that they need to fire a whole department or at least suggest that layoffs be made.

That’s scary enough on its own, but when you factor in how their decisions could affect the company’s reputation and productivity for years to come, it can be terrifying.

However, there’s no way around the fact that sometimes, you need to make cuts in order to keep the business running smoothly. So, what can you do?

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The best way to approach this is by creating a plan and making sure it’s communicated well. This includes:

  • Creating a timeline for the process
  • Creating a list of criteria for who will remain employed
  • Making sure your team understands what their role is during this time of transition

Also, you have to be honest about what’s happening at work. You can’t sugarcoat things, or your employees will feel betrayed when they find out the truth.

If you’re open with them about why this budget cut is necessary and how it will affect their jobs, then they’ll feel more comfortable moving forward with it – and that’s what matters most when it comes down to making decisions like these.

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12. Having legal issues with outside vendors or contractors

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HR specialists have to keep an eye on labor laws and employment laws, but they also need to make sure that they are following any industry-specific regulations and making sure that the company’s vendors and contractors are operating in compliance with these rules as well.

But what happens when you have to deal with a contractor who is late? What if they owe you money? Or what if they don’t deliver the work they promised?

It’s scary to think about, but it happens more often than you’d expect.

In order for your company to stay in compliance with federal laws, the best thing you can do is to make sure you have a written contract with the vendor or contractor you’re working with.

This should include who is doing what and when along with a timeline for completion of the project(s), payment terms (including how much down), warranties, and expectations of both parties.

If possible, I highly recommend having your company’s legal department review the contract before signing it to make sure all bases are covered.

Also, if you’re dealing with contractors or vendors outside of your state, then check out what rules they operate under in their home state and follow those laws while they’re working with you.

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13. Making a mistake when dealing with sensitive information

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Another thing that scares human resources specialists is making mistakes when dealing with sensitive information about employees.

These can be personal information such as medical records or immigration status documents, as well as information about workplace accidents which could cause major lawsuits against employers if disclosed inappropriately by accident.

When you’re dealing with this kind of data, you need to take extra care to keep it safe and secure and make sure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

For example, implement a document management system that ensures the privacy of your employees’ personal data and prevents any unauthorized access.

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Final Words

It is clear that human resources professionals have to deal with a lot of scary things in their day-to-day jobs.

They aren’t just there to issue warnings and write up disciplinary actions. They are also there to protect employees from harassment and discrimination, guide them through the often-confusing labyrinth of employment laws, and smooth out conflicts between employees and management.

These are challenging responsibilities. However, with the right strategy and support from your supervisors and colleagues, you can overcome all of these obstacles.

About Author

Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.