Here’s a sample process for the HR function of your business

In the last article, I talked about the need for and benefit of creating a high-level process for each of the core functions of your business. Here is an example of what a high-level process might look like for the HR function of your business. Feel free to adapt and modify it for your needs.

You will see that it provides guidance on all the key steps involved in carrying out the HR function of a business, but that it is high-level enough so that it is less than three pages and allows for those carrying out the HR function in your business to not feel overly constrained in their roles. Your people need the room and flexibility to exercise their judgment within the context of the overall process. 

Your Business – HR Function – The Process

  1. Planning
    • At the beginning of each quarter, identify hiring needs for next 6 months
    • Review and update employee manual and all HR processes annually
  2. Recruiting
    • Prepare job description, salary range, job ad, and application deadline
    • Share job ad with employees and remind them of referral bonus
    • Post job ad
      • Website
      • Social media
      • Linked In
      • Indeed
      • Job boards at local universities
    • Clarify who has final authority to make hiring decision
    • Consider recruitment agency for higher level roles
  3. Hiring
    • Selection committee to review applications within 5 days of application deadline
    • Select 6-8 applicants for first interview via Zoom (use interview guide)
    • Invite 2-4 applicants for in-person interview (use interview guide)
      • Notify non-successful Zoom applicants at this point
    • Select applicant and negotiate offer, subject to reference checks
      • Focus on “right person, right seat”
    • Check references
    • Confirm hire
    • Upon acceptance, notify other applicants of decision
    • Notify staff of new hire
    • Appoint guide and mentor for onboarding process
    • Prepare workstation, IT, passwords, etc.
  4. Onboarding (see checklist)
    • First day – guide to co-ordinate:
      • Office tour, introductions
      • Settle in to work station
      • Company history discussion with owner or manager
      • Meeting with HR to review employee manual, confidentiality obligations, benefits plan enrolments, set up on payroll
      • Take out to lunch
      • IT and software training
    • First week – mentor to provide/co-ordinate required training for position
  5. Managing performance
    • Mentor works with employee to create quarterly performance goals and ongoing training needs
    • Mentor checks in with employee monthly on status of performance goals and training needs, revise if necessary
    • Mentor brings performance issues to attention of manager (see issue resolution tree)
    • Plan for issue resolution created and added to personnel file
      • Issue followed up and either resolved or plan adapted
      • Issue resolved or employee let go
    • Annual performance reviews in November
  6. Benefits management
    • Health plan 
      • Enroll within 3 months of hire, or get waiver
      • Co-ordinate employee contributions with payroll
      • Semi-annual review with plan provider
      • Annual review/update with employees
    • Pension plan 
      • Enroll at 1 year anniversary of hire, or get waiver
      • Co-ordinate employee contributions with payroll
      • Semi-annual review with plan provider
      • Annual review/update with employees
    • PTO
      • Manage and monitor vacation request process
      • Track other employee paid time off
  7. Communication
    • All HR related changes announced via email and put on intranet
    • For major changes, company-wide meeting called to explain and train
      • Further training set up if required
    • “Company updates” to employees 4x year
      • 2x in person – company-wide off-site gathering
      • 2x written updates
  8. Recognition
    • Managers encouraged to provide “on-the-spot” recognition 
      • Gift cards; announcement to team members
    • Promotions announced company-wide, and put on social media
    • Annual compensation adjustments/bonuses set in December (following annual reviews)
      • Bonuses paid in December
      • Comp adjustments effective Jan 1
    • Special recognition at 5-year anniversary and every 5 years thereafter
  9. Termination (see checklist)
    • Connect with legal counsel on cause vs. no cause
    • Owner/manager and HR to meet with employee to advise they are being terminated and for what reason
    • Severance letter if applicable
    • Server access removed
    • Company-owned IT collected
    • Depending on situation, employee given time to collect things or escorted from premises and things pack up and sent to them
    • Inform other employees of termination
    • Remove from payroll and benefits plans
    • Update website if applicable

That’s it! You can adapt this for your needs and also use it as a template or model for creating the processes for the other core functions of your business. 

Then you pull all of the processes for each core function together, check them for consistency and alignment with each other (and with the Purpose, Planning, and People parts of your business) and voilà!—you’ve got yourself an operating manual for your business that’s less than 30 pages, and that will provide the guidance, clarity, and consistency your business needs to carry out its mission in the most efficient manner. 

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