Establishing and Computerizing HR Systems

The devil is in the details someone once said and this is certainly true with respect to designing a HR system. The HR manager may talk in broad terms about the recruiting, selection and other HR functions he or she wants to install. But, eventually, creating the HR system requires translating the HR manager’s broad preferences for a selection program that produces more qualified candidates for instance into specific expertise. How exactly will we do this policies, guidelines, tools and paperwork or computerized processes. This means actually creating the infrastructure of the HR system.

Doing so is not easy. Consider the paperwork required to breathe life into a company’s HR system. Just to start with, recruiting and hiring an employee might require a Notice of Available Position a Help wanted Advertising Listing and Employment Application, an Interviewing Checklists various verifications of education and immigration status, for instance and a Telephone Reference Checklists. You’d then need an Employment Agreement, Confidentiality and Non-compete agreements and an employer Indemnity Agreement. To process that new employee, you might need a Hiring Authorization Form, an Employee Background Verification, a New Employee checklist and various forms for withholding tax and to obtain new employee data. And to keep track of the employee once on board you’d need – just to start – an Employee Changes Form, Personnel data sheet, Daily and Weekly Time Records, an Hourly employee’s Weekly Time sheet, an Overtime Permit, an Expenses Report a Vacation Request, an Absence Request, an affirmative action summary, and an EEO Policy statement and Analysis of promotion. Then come the performance appraisal forms, a Critical incidents Report, Notice of Probation, first (or second) warning Notice form, a Disciplinary Notice, a New employee Evaluation, a Performance Evaluation, and a Letter of commendation, and (eventually) a Retirement checklist, Notice of Dismissal, Reduction in workforce Notice, employee Checkout Record, Separation Notice and Employment Reference Response.

You’ll need to run the HR system as part of your business. This has several implications. First, you obviously can’t wing it. Perhaps with just one or two employees you could keep track of everything in your head, or just head, or just write a separate memo for each HR action, and place it in a manila folder for each worker. But with more than a few employees you’ll need to create a human resources system comprised of standardized formats.

Very small forms can handle all or most of this sort of HR record keeping through manual paper and pencil forms and systems. But as the company grows, various parts of the HR system – payroll, or appraising for instance will have to be computerized if the firm is to remain competitive. After all, you probably don’t want to spend twice as much money and time on HR as do your competitors.

Basic Components of manual HR Systems:

Very small employers (say with 10 employees of less) will probably start with a manual HR system. From a practical point of view this generally means obtaining and organizing a set of standardized personnel forms covering each important aspect of the HR – recruitment, selection, training, appraisal, compensation, safety process – as well as some means for organizing all this information for each of your employees.

The number of forms you could conceivably need even for a small firm is quite large. This is illustrated by the menu of forms shown which is adapted from the Table of Contents of a compilation of HR agreements and firms. A reasonable way to obtain the basic component forms of a manual HR system is to start with a compilation of forms book like that one. Another example is James Jenks, The Hiring, Firing and everything in between) Personnel Forms Book (Ridgefield, CT: Round lake Publishing, 1996) The forms you want can then be adapted from these sources for your particular situation. Office supply stress (such as Office Depot and Office Max) also sells packages of personnel firms. For example, Office Depot sells packages of individual personnel forms as well as a Human Resource Kit containing 10 copies of each of the following; Applications, employment Interview, Reference check, employee Record, performance evaluation, Warning Notice, Exit Interview and vacation Request, plus a Lawsuit Prevention Guide. Also available and highly recommended is package of employee Record Folders. Use the folders to maintain a file on each individual employee; on the outside of the pocket is printed a form for recording information such a name, start date company benefits and so on.

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