Knowing The Rules: HR Best Practice You Need To Know

Knowing The Rules: HR Best Practice You Need To Know

Just as bad people – practices sour employees on their employer, a great hr department can turn even the most difficult circumstance into an opportunity for a better workplace” – Workforce, 2008 Workforce 100: Ranking the World’s Top Companies for HR

You may have found yourself in an HR career without a background in HR or may just be beginning your career as an HR expert and require a quick read to help you understand the basics of HR. This article aims to highlight some of the best practices and common rules of thumb that you need to know. To determine the best HR practices Workforce conducted a survey that served to discover blind spots in HR and see what companies who had excelled in 2008 were doing right. In this study, Workforce editors worked with researchers from the Human Capital Media Research and Advisory Group, the publication’s research arm. In this study, companies are scored on seven areas: workplace culture, employee benefits, diversity and inclusion, employee development, talent management, human resources innovation, leadership development, and talent acquisition.

Companies are ranked higher if they are recognized across multiple core areas. Based on the results, the companies with the best hr departments are as below:

  1. Salesforce – performance index 9.575
  2. Delta Airlines – performance index 9.425
  3. Bain and Company – performance index 9.183
  4. Ultimate Software – performance index 9.182
  5. Facebook – performance index 9.06
  6. Accenture – performance index 9.008
  7. Deloitte – performance index 8.963
  8. Starbucks – performance index 8.936
  9. Google – performance index 8.877
  10. Adobe – performance index 8.783


The HR department is responsible for performing many key aspects of employment, from recruitment to labour law and compliance. Most HR professionals are guided by common rules-of-thumb. This refers to a series of guidelines aimed to make HR law and policy more flexible and reliable for every HR responsibility. So, instead of following the theory of HR and recruitment all the time, you can easily apply procedure and standard based on practical experience.


Rules of recruitment

  • Human resources must always present in all interviews to avoid a hassle in the future- which means no matter how busy you are, always make yourself present during the session either by call or video call. 
  • In recruitment, the first interview session only provides an outer-skin of employee’s ability.
  • Personal questions are never allowed in an interview.
  • You should never give a reference check besides dates of employment, otherwise, your company or your employees can be vulnerable to phishing attacks.
  • At first, you should hire values and attitudes – because the rest will be easy to get.
  • Acknowledge yourself that a bad reference can be as hard to find as a good employee.
  • Robert Half said, “The best person you interview is not necessarily the best person for the job.”  
  • A new hire has not been accepted until they show up to work on Day 1.

Rules of workplace culture

  • There are more than two sides to every employee harassment story, therefore, always find more facts to the report.
  • It is not an open discussion if there are no side-snacks in the conference room. That means if you want an open discussion with your employees, make the atmosphere relaxed and happy as much as possible, such as providing snacks or meals. 
  • You should take every allegation of wrongdoing seriously and investigate, otherwise, you might lose top-performer.
  • If it is important and vital to the business, it should be WRITTEN in a policy.
  • Employees’ files are very confidential and should be guarded with your life.
  • Always remember that company’s most valuable asset is its people.

Overtime Compensation

Overtime rates are determined by the National Employment Councils through a Collective Bargaining Agreement. The minimum overtime rate is 150% of the normal wage rate when workers have to work beyond normal working hours, as determined by the National Employment Councils. The standards working hours are 8.5 hours a day and 44 hours a week.

Weekend / Public Holiday Work Compensation


Workers may be required to work on weekends or public holidays. There is a premium pay for working on Public Holidays (to be determined by a decree). When a worker performs work on Public Holidays, he receives wages at a premium rate of 200% of his current remuneration for that day. There is no provision in the law of wages at a premium rate on working on weekly rest days.


Universal HR principles that provide companies with optimal business performance, regardless of which organization or industry they are applied to are known as best practices. The principle of the best fit however cannot be discounted. It’s important to align HR goals with the overall goals of your organization, so that the HR, business, and strategy departments are all on the same page.


HR practices involve the strategic operations of HR. They form the foundation and guidance for managing the company’s employees and should coordinate with the executive business plan. They include setting the mission and goals of the HR department, planning, organizing, and managing the HR department In contrast, HR activities are the daily activities to implement the strategies determined by HR practices. They allow the mission and the goals of the HR department to be carried out. HR activities may include payroll, surveys, recruitment and selection, training, and development. In the most basic terms, HR practices look at the questions of what an organization wants to do and why, and HR activities address how.  HR practices should create a natural progression to HR activities so that the activities directly correlate with practices.


The following have been identified as the top HR best practices that can give you the most out of your people resource.

Recruitment and Selection

Better Advertising for Job Openings: Many organizations are doing a poor job at advertising their open positions and attracting quality candidates. If your company wants to attract top talent and find high-performers, you should not only list what skills you want the employee to have but also give the job searcher a reason to seek out your organization over another.

When it comes to posting the perfect job ad, you should include some information about your organization—what technology you use, what kind of products you create, your mission and vision, and more. Including this contextual information can encourage more candidates who believe in your organization’s mission to apply. The best candidates can always learn additional skills; what you want are employees who are going to be engaged from day one.

Be Selective: As an HR department, you want to hire the best people who will contribute to the value of your company and not detract from it. Hiring poor performers can affect your company, whereas hiring top performers can boost productivity by up to 400 percent, no matter your industry or job type you are looking to fill. One way to streamline your process and be selective is to utilize digital tracking. This allows you to keep track of recruitment metrics such as which hiring sources send solid candidates your way, and offer acceptance rates. Knowing which sources send you solid candidates can help you cut down on ineffective referral sources, and knowing what your acceptance rate is can help you fix inefficiencies in your hiring process or inadequacies in your compensation offers. You can also use other tools like interviews, personality assessments, or reference checks to further streamline your process or make it more selective.

Training and Development

It is an HR best practice to invest in training and development opportunities to improve your current workforce, focus on skill-specific training, and realize the value that young workers place on learning. As industries are advancing at an ever-increasing pace, you can support and encourage your employees to grow as well, keeping them more engaged in their work and your organization.

  • Invest in Training and Development: Some of the best practices for training employees might involve bringing on interns to reduce training costs before hiring them full-time. Once you’ve found your ideal employees, you’ll need to keep them at the top of their field, and as technology develops at an ever-increasing rate, the importance of training employees cannot be overlooked. If you want your pros to stay pros, you need to keep training them.
  • Focus on Skill-Specific Training: Another crucial element HR departments must implement is to focus on skill-specific forms of training. You might have a great general training program, but if you are focused on teaching skills that don’t line up with the work requirements or company objectives, you are wasting time and money.


A crucial HR practice is to always maintain transparency and be open with employees regarding the success and failures of the business. Organizations that foster an open environment of feedback and communication make employees feel trusted, respected and valued.

Some HR best practices for compensation include:

  • Combining Good Benefits with Compensation: A combination of good benefits and compensation (also known as a total rewards package) can help show employees that the company values and appreciates their contribution as workers and their well-being as people.
  • Vary Compensation Options: Upping your compensation offer doesn’t always mean adding more numbers. You could offer other types of compensation such as additional vacation days, gift cards, company discounts, stock options, or profit-sharing.
  • Compensation Transparency: A winning compensation strategy comes down to two elements: transparency and communication. A study published by PayScale found that most employees don’t know how their pay compares to the rest of the market. Of the employees who believed they were being paid below-market-rate, 77 percent were paid at market rate, while an additional 12 percent were paid above market rate. Only 11 percent of people who said that they are underpaid were paid less than the median market rate. In short, if your employees don’t understand your organization’s comp strategy, and if your leadership never communicates that strategy, then employees are much more likely to become dissatisfied on that point.

Compliance Issues

The best way to handle compliance issues is to avoid having them in the first place. That being said, it can be very difficult to juggle the complexities of compliance issues with the daily tasks of running other human resources practices in the workplace. One great way to avoid compliance errors is to use HR software to simplify your HR compliance practices. This will help you find and correct errors quickly and avoid future compliance issues


This is probably the toughest place to implement HR best practices because it will always be difficult for those involved. HR best practices include learning from employees who are terminating their employment as well as understanding which topics to be sensitive for legal reasons. Issues that may warrant termination should always be addressed before they reach a boiling point. However, when it does come to terminating an employee, you shouldn’t wait for the decision.

  • Show Empathy, but Not Sympathy
  • Stand Your Ground: Stand your ground even if the employee gets emotional or says they will do better.
  • Conduct an Effective Exit Interview: One of the best practices for HR professionals when going through the termination process (whether voluntary or involuntary) for an employee is to conduct an effective exit interview. A good exit interview can help emphasize things the organization does well and things they could improve upon. Exit interviews should be conducted face-to-face, if possible; otherwise, send a survey and try to follow up on the results in person.

As we saw above Adobe, Google, Accenture, and Salesforce were amongst the top 10 companies identified with best HR practices. This is because they invest a lot of time and resources into their hr practices. But what makes their practices so unique that they stand above all others?

Adobe places focus on their hiring processes, to hire the best talent. Onboarding procedures are inclusive of all departments and adaptable to the needs of the entire organization. Google views its hr practices as ever-adapting processes. Human resource innovation is applied to continually improve hr procedures. Workplace culture is a focal point of this evolution. Accenture looks at its talent management procedures, and how passion can be sparked within employees. To do this, Accenture adapts employee roles to meet individual strengths and interests. Finally, we looked at Salesforce. Salesforce provides flexible hr operations that are in tune with changing employee needs. They all incorporated best practices in their HR departments and you should to.

Fadzai Danha is a consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm. Phone +263 4 481946-48/481950 or email: or visit our website at


Fadzai Danha
This article was written by Fadzai a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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