04 May in  Working with PDF, Business trends

5 Common Mistakes HR Professionals Make and How to Avoid Them


HR mistakesYour HR department is under a lot of pressure each day, so mistakes here and there are bound to happen. The problem is that HR mistakes and misunderstandings aren’t your run-of-the-mill typos. A mistake made by your human resources department can cut deep into your company’s pockets, the median court judgement costing upwards of $200,000.


With the regulations increasing in complexity and the price of non-compliance rising, you’re only a broken law away from a major fine or a misunderstood policy away from a lawsuit.


Remaining compliant and keeping things running smoothly is a constant challenge, especially since you’re already juggling so many responsibilities as it is. So, you’ve got to use all the tools at your disposal to make life easier. That’s the main reason businesses are trending toward digitizing their files and using software to modernize their HR departments.


Here are the 5 most common (and costly!) mistakes that HR professionals make, and how upgrading your business tools can help you avoid them.


HR Mistakes Aren’t Cheap

It’s no secret that the costs of settlements are beginning to soar. When you add insurance and litigation costs, the money becomes staggering.


Here’s just how much even a simple mistake can cost you:

  1. The average sexual harassment settlement costs $250,000
  2. It can cost $3,665 to recruit one employee. You’ve got to get it right the first time
  3. The average discrimination lawsuit costs $125,000
  4. The average cost per employee for productivity loss from poor communication is $26,000


If you haven’t spilt your morning coffee, then you’ve probably already realized why businesses invest in better training, monitoring, and software in an effort to minimize mistakes (and maximize profits).


With that said, here are some of those mistakes:


1) Poor Harassment and Discrimination Training

According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), there were 6,700 charges alleging sexual harassment in 2016 alone, with roughly 10% reaching a settlement.


The importance of proper training can’t be overstated. When companies invest in their employees, they are actually investing in themselves.


Great training begins right with the onboarding process and continues through an employee’s tenure with workshops, seminars, and even helpful reminders posted up around the office to let them know what is and is not acceptable professional behaviour.


Pro tip: Want to make training simple? Then use software like Soda PDF to seamlessly make presentations that will help reinforce your zero-tolerance approach to harassment.

Want to make it even easier? Then quickly make a flyer, add in your logo, and spruce it up with HD images.


2) Not Keeping a Clear Paper Trail

One of the biggest challenges in HR is dealing with the never-ending flow of paperwork, but there’s a reason why there’s so much of it, to begin with: it’s mandatory.


Organizing and maintaining a clear paper trail is necessary for protecting your company from liability. As one lawyer hilariously put it, “courts love paperwork!”. Keeping a detailed paper trail will support your side of the case in court, whether it be discrimination, harassment, or termination.


Avoid any issues by digitizing your files, archiving employee documents, and managing signatures (Soda PDF’s e-signature function works great for this).


Check out our blog post on digitizing documents here to learn how to organize paper files.


3) Hasty Hiring

It only takes one misstep to make a bad hire, and the costs of getting it wrong are steep. You already know that it can cost more than $3,600 to recruit one employee, but did you know that firing and replacing an employee can cost more than $3,000 minimum?


Investing in optimizing your hiring process from job descriptions through interviewing and onboarding can save you more than $6,000 per employee. Take the time to implement a system that will help you make the right decision.


Soda PDF for the Hiring Process:

Soda PDF brings your recruiting into the 21st Century. Maintain job descriptions with ease, organize employee data, facilitate cooperation between departments for screening, and use E-Sign for the flood of documents that need your John Hancock.


Check out our blog post on How to Facilitate Your Hiring Process with Soda PDF.


4) Not Putting Effort Into the Employee Handbook

Putting all your policies down in writing and distributing them to everyone in the organization is key to reducing violations. You not only have to write them down, but you’ve also got to keep them current, too.


Spelling out your HR policies will let employees know exactly what you expect from them and vice-versa.


Want to create HR policies that employees will actually read? Check out this blog from Soda PDF!


5) Not Keeping Employees In the Loop

What good is updating your policies if nobody knows about them?


If you want your organization to stay fluid, then it’s necessary to keep everyone in the loop. Use software to create memos and make policies user-friendly.


You can even have employees use the “Review Documents” function in Soda PDF to view the old and new policies side-by-side with the changes highlighted.



With the costs of HR mistakes resulting in fines or litigation skyrocketing, businesses are investing more in optimizing their internal processes to avoid costly errors. These 5 common HR mistakes can be easily avoided with better patience, attention to detail, organization, and communication.


Want to learn more about how Soda PDF can help save your company money and increase your productivity? Download Soda PDF today!


Like this blog? Spread the word!