Thu, Jul 7, 2022

The Challenge

Human resources (HR) professionals have a real and ongoing responsibility to the employees of the companies they serve. To the utmost extent possible, they’re expected to facilitate employment security, assure reasonable, performance-reinforcing compensation, protect people’s rights and promote fairness throughout the organization. These are, of course, among a hundred other duties they’re asked to perform.

From the company’s point of view, HR audit professionals and risk management personnel are tasked with identifying and mitigating the significant risks that employees represent to the companies that hire and pay them.     

All this information leads to the conclusion that human resources best practices are a very tall order. The reality is that the evolving nature of the workplace and changing expectations of the workforce make HR best practices an ideal for which to strive rather than a destination at which to arrive.

Thankfully, for the overburdened HR pro, help is available. Productive solutions to the most pressing human resources problems, including audit and risk, are out there and are readily available to those who know where to find them.

KnowledgeLeader provides human resources risk and audit specialists with the HR checklists, HR tools, HR audit programs, HR templates and training they need to be more productive and do a challenging job more effectively. 

The Right Tools for the Job

From personnel onboarding through periodic performance reviews, all the way to exit interviews at retirement, the human resources department is involved at every step in the employee lifecycle. And all the while, HR procedures and policies need to be audited (in HR and every other department) to ensure full compliance with current laws and ethical business practices. Every aspect of the job presents its special challenges and requires a unique set of tools.

In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at a few key functions of a human resources department and demonstrate how well-designed, specialized tools can help reduce effort, save time, and cut down on unnecessary stress.

Human Resources Are a Risk Asset

Like it or not, every recruit represents a risk and the company has the potential to damage its brand and hurt its bottom line. And, not hiring enough of the right people is as dangerous as hiring too many of the wrong people. Such are the realities of human resources risk.  

Failures in recruitment and hiring will show up in company performance and public perception. Too few employees or workers unsuited to the job at hand can result in:

  • Unhappy, underserved clients
  • Substandard or slow production
  • Stagnating product development
  • Inability to pursue new customers or business opportunities
  • Brand (goodwill) erosion

All of these regrettable outcomes (and the inevitable decrease in stock price that would accompany them) can, however, be avoided by developing and executing a sound human resources risk plan and implementing key performance indicators.  

Helping human resources officers develop such a plan is the objective of one of our most powerful and popular HR Benchmarking tools: the Human Resources Risk Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Key Performance Indicators

The first thing this valuable resource (easily downloadable by KnowledgeLeader subscribers) provides is an updated working definition of human resources risk. Human resources functions are transitioning from in-person to online. Like so much of the rest of the world, HR is going digital. The change will mean new risks posed by human resources and will necessitate new, modern methods of dealing with them. Yet, despite this migration from the tangible world of offices and face-to-face meetings to the virtual world of the internet, the priorities of HR professionals remain the same:

  • Attracting high-quality candidates
  • Identifying and eliminating poor candidates early
  • Matching recruits with jobs according to capability
  • Staying on budget
  • Staying within the law and maintaining company values

The priorities of the KPIs benchmarking tool were designed to match a company’s priorities.

Law and Compliance

Operating outside federal law or out of compliance with current (constantly changing) regulations is a major HR risk. KnowledgeLeader’s KPIs tool does not neglect this consideration. The emphasis within the tool is on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 with the intent of avoiding discrimination in the following areas:

  • Hiring otherwise qualified disabled individuals
  • Promoting disabled employees
  • Making legally and ethically required accommodations for covered workers
  • Avoiding undue hardships
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which addresses discrimination based on race, religion and sex (among other important things), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which protects workers over 40


The great benefit of online recruiting and internet-based hiring practices is, of course, range. In the old days of help-wanted classified ads and word-of-mouth recruiting the search for superior employees was geographically limited. The internet, on the other hand, is international and instantaneous. Today’s problem is not the size of the candidate pool but standing out and grabbing the attention of the best prospective employees. Further, screening out weak candidates while moving first-class candidates forward has become more difficult and more important than ever.

The benchmarks outlined in KnowledgeLeader’s Human Resources Risk Key Performance Indicators tool are tailored specifically to address these emerging concerns. The tool is comprehensive. Space does not allow us to expound on all of the helpful management practices and performance measures (benchmarks) included but several highlights follow.

Consistency Across Platforms

A consistent voice and uniform branding should be painstakingly maintained across all digital platforms. Today a company might have one or more public websites, several social media accounts, a mobile platform and a blog. This is in addition to the internal communication systems they, of course, maintain. A lack of consistency will cause confusion among clients, employees and potential employees.

There's no Wrong Place to Recruit

College grads, professional recruiters and job seekers at every level of experience will invariably scrutinize a company’s website(s) and its print and digital advertising before deciding where to apply and what jobs to pursue. While it may not be necessary or advisable to make an overt recruiting pitch in every situation, it’s important to make all types of communication on all platforms “recruit friendly.” The KPIs tool reminds HR and other departments to keep potential applicants in mind.

Use Technology to Screen Applicants

Fifty years ago, it was difficult to screen 50 applicants for one open position. Today, a modern hiring manager could conceivably get 50,000 applicants for a desirable job. Modern human resources best practices must include the prudent use of electronic sorting and screening technology. The KPIs tool provides helpful prompts and suggestions to get the best results when screening and categorizing potential employees.

More Resources

The Human Resources Risk Key Performance Indicator (KPIs) tool is an excellent resource, but it’s only one resource and might not be the one you’re looking for today. Subscribers have instant access to hundreds of up-to-date, customizable reports, memos, audits, guides, tools, models, checklists and questionnaires for use by human resources staff or anyone else in business risk and internal audit.       

Users who downloaded the KPIs tool were also interested in this benchmarking HR tool below.

Human Resources Leading Practices

This interactive HR best practices tool is formatted in an easy-to-manage PowerPoint presentation that is fully adaptable to almost any business. The information in this resource is designed to make human resources functions as efficient and effective as possible and leverage the value of employees to the benefit of all.

For instance, it includes “10 Steps to Effective HR,” which outlines 10 critical but often overlooked steps all organizations should implement.