Checklist for HR Department: A Step by Step Guide

A step-by-step checklist for HR department can help minimize risk for your business.

An HR Department is the foundation stone of any office and establishing one takes some work and preplanning. Most new offices make do with the boss acting as the recruiter, administrator and everything else, or they hire a man Friday who acts as the general administrator and janitor. 

Others prefer to outsource the hiring process and have an accountant do the payroll. The various department heads or managers are required to handle any other employee issues that crops up. 

But when a company hires more than 15 people then workplace compliance and regulations have to be met and a company is required to follow certain labor laws and norms. So in the long term it makes sense to have an in-house HR department, as it is more cost effective and efficient. Startups rarely have a dedicated HR staff, and often there’s one person handling all human resource affairs such as hiring, payroll, benefits and compensation, grievances, and other employee-related tasks and queries.

Checklist for new HR Department and startups

Create an HR checklist to make things as simple as possible.

If you’re in the process of setting up an HR department for your startups, it’s important to follow a checklist that notes a few essential HR tasks that can help set your business up for success. A simple HR checklist won’t just make things easier, but it will also protect your startup from liability and other issues.

Checklist for HR Department

So what all is required to start a new HR department? The following checklist for HR Department can help you grow your business, protect your business, and keep employees safe and engaged.

1. Profile list

First, it is important to make a list of all the new hires that a company needs to fill in.  Along with that fill in the job description and profile. Create a profile file for the present employees too.

2. Create a business staffing plan

Having a long term hiring plan as the business expands is a good move. Involve department heads and managers in finding out their requirements and what roles they envisage filling in the near future.

Make sure you get what they’re doing over the next 12 months to figure out their hiring

3. You need a system

Since you have a rough estimate of future hiring needs, it makes sense to budget for it. Start a network of recruitment companies and services and keep track of the various candidates that are suitable. Invest in Applicant Tracking – the biggest goal is to be able to easily and efficiently track job applicants throughout the applicant cycle, and to graduate from a paper to digital employee management system.

4. Salary structure

Generally, companies and startup HR departments tend to neglect this aspect. Having a fair idea of the salary structure within the company and a comparative document to contrast it with similar positions in the market is helpful. Revise every six months to ensure that you stay competitive.

Keep a separate chart for company benefits, stock options and similar compensation that is peculiar to your company.

5. Create a compensation and benefits document

The natural corollary to the above suggestion is to create a new document listing what the company offers as benefits and features the unique. Get department heads involved on what all benefits can be offered to the new recruits—work from home, flexible schedules, discounted equipment offers, etc.

6. Leave and office calendar

Have a full-fledged vacation policy for the office worked out. What days are officially closed and how many days employees get off needs to be clearly worked out. All of these are unique to your company, industry and occasionally location.

Sick leave policy, time off policy etc., including permissions, notices that is job specific and when it’s okay to trade schedules with another worker can also be chalked out.

Having an Employee Plan to track the full cycle of employment can be worked out in-house. When will you conduct performance reviews? Are benefits available to employees? What happens when an employee decides to leave or is fired?

Don’t forget to include some sort of recording system to help you keep track.

7. Performance measure

A performa for each department and roles within can be worked out with the department managers. Performance appraisals should be undertaken periodically. The key is constant and measurable feedback, rather than the typical year review. 

8. Employee Replacement

It is the HR’s job to be prepared for any exits and to have a system in place for managing the transition. Will your company have exit interviews? How much notice is required? Will positions be automatically filled, or will an evaluation and reshaping take place.

By having answers to these questions, one can develop clear strategies for a new hire.

9. Travel and expense policies

You need a simple and easy to use expense tracking system. Allowances need to be worked out according to the hierarchy or have a flat structure for travel. If you are using per diem, calculate it per country to ensure that you are being fair. Have a clear-cut notice on how each employee will be reimbursed.

10. Attendance

Today’s modern HR department need to be creative in clocking in and out with flexible timings and work from home. There are various time tracking applications that can be used. Along with these administrative and policy issues the human resource department is expected to look after the training and development processes and the interpersonal issues that crop up.

Conducting training sessions, holding lectures and mentoring programs comes under the purview of HR.

Industry experts can be invited to hold demonstrations and lectures. In-house mentoring programs can be introduced. Opportunities for upskilling, funding further education and training programs can be introduced. Most important is to have an in-house grievance cell made up of fair representation.

We hope this checklist for HR department helps make compliance a fundamental part of what you do. Subscribe to the leading HR Magazine to receive exclusive news and insights directly to your inbox.

Jane Harper
Writer. Human resources expert and consultant. Follow @thehrdigest on Twitter

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