Navigo Blog

5 Biggest Mistakes in HR


There are 5 commonly repeated mistakes made by HR departments on an almost daily basis. These mistakes cost businesses precious time and resources, however can be easily resolved with a review of current procedures. Better yet, solving these mistakes will free up your time so you can add value to your business, instead of making up for time lost!

Incomplete Employee Files

Get it right from the start!

HR’s role is to know, not to spend time guessing. Incomplete files often present massive inefficiencies in HR process and can render important tasks such as Org charting and Payroll useless. Furthermore, complete employee files are often required for compliance and are especially useful when work rights status questions arise.

An accurate source of truth is imperative for any changes to your organisational structure. You need accurate data to be able to see exactly where inefficiencies in your current structure exist in order to be able to fix and improve your organisation.

A complete source of truth begins with the recruitment and onboarding process. If the information is incorrect from the start, there is little chance it will ever be corrected.

To learn how to increase the efficiency of your onboarding process look here: 4 Ingredients for the Perfect Onboarding process.


Rash Hiring & Swift Promotions

Take it slow!

Too often HR are given the directive to facilitate hire or promotion without fully considering why and who. Take a step back and consider why a position is being hired for and what the perfect candidate’s attributes really are. Even a few hours spent looking into the current organisational structure can reveal holes or gaps or even surplus employees that can replace the need for a new hire.

In some cases a candidate for promotion may possess fantastic management skills, however some additional training and support can polish up a rough gem and turn them into a star employee.

Using a professional visualisation tool such as OrgPlus or Planning@Work can help you visualise changes to organisational structure such as promotion or a new employee before the contract is signed. Using visualisation tools will save you time and resources and prevent you from making a costly hiring mistake!


Overlooking Training

Try and Try again!

Taking some time to train up existing employees or new recruits is a sure-fire way to add future value to your business. Training should begin from the get-go in the onboarding process and continue right through the employee’s career.

Training is also an important way to ensure your new hires become accustomed with your company’s culture and is an important source of employer branding. Making your employees feel like they are part of a team will guarantee they work as a cohesive unit and produce the highest standards of work.

Incorporating training in your onboarding process may be as simple as distributing policies and procedure documents to new hires. Having an employer branded candidate portal or a LinkedIn network for new employees signing their contracts is a great way to make them instantly part of your team.


Deficient HR policies

Be your own toughest critic!

Setting aside some time to conduct internal HR audits is a great way to pick up on things that are missed in daily operations. An audit should also focus on ensuring HR policies and procedures are up to date and are working like a well oiled machine.

Many businesses lack a leave payout plan, a formal complaint process, a disaster recovery and workplace violence plan. And yet, employees will quit with unused leave, they will complain, and disasters will happen.

Not only will having these plans reduce costs when the worst case scenario occurs, it will reduce stress for HR who will feel assured that the worst has been accounted for.


Inefficient Offboarding Process

Leave with a Bang!

When the inevitable happens and employees leave, many HR departments are not equipped to deal with it. When offboarding is almost as common as onboarding (especially post-GFC/Resources Boom) you would imagine HR would have a quick and legally compliant process to handle it.

The biggest risk with offboarding is always ensuring that employees leave in the right way, but you’ll also need to make sure they return company assets. Frequently, exiting employees will keep company phones or laptops and your IT department doesn’t even know they’ve left and need to chase it up. Making sure a dedicated person is responsible for recovering company assets from exiting employees is integral to keeping costs down.

Companies should also ensure exiting employees have access to a certificate of service, Centerlink Separation Certificates and final pay information. To make sure you follow the right process – take a look at our Employee Offboarding Checklist.


The key to these mistakes is not to try and solve them at once. Take each problem as a different issue and look at methods of solving each one individually. With the advent of SaaS HR technology, many of these mistakes can be fixed through automated software and a quick review of antiquated inefficient processes.


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