‘Human Resources Department of One?

‘Human Resources Department of One?
Chamber Leadership Series: Human Resources for Business Leaders

Human resource departments serve as a direct link between a company’s legal, employment, and cultural aspects. In order to obtain a high-functioning and cohesive business fostering satisfied employees and staff, the human resource department must maintain a certain level of responsibility and policy. During the Hampton Roads Chamber Human Resources for Business Leaders luncheon, in partnership with Hampton Roads Society for Human Resource Management (HRSHRM), on Thursday, June 27, topics were discussed from a knowledgeable panel of professionals who have experienced the trials and tribulations of being in the role of human resources first-hand.

The panel included Kristina Vaquera, Attorney at Jackson Lewis LLP, Mike Godwin, Managing Partner at PBA IPSUM , Gwen Gilbert, Chief Human Resources Officer at the Divaris Group, Mila Radovich, Attorney at Jackson Lewis LLP, Tom Cochran, HR Director at Both, Inc., Kelly Lane, Director Human Resources at Casey Auto Group and President of (HRSHRM). All of these individuals currently serve as board members of HR (HRSHRM) to better help the Hampton Roads community of human resource leaders.

Kristina Vaquera Attorney Jackson Lewis LLP far right touched on the legal side of human resources department responsibilities. Using an interactive poll, vaquero asked the audience questions regarding how human resource departments interview people as potential employees, specifically what questions they ask during the posting, interview and hiring process. These questions included whether or not it is legal or illegal to work in the U.S. if they are able to work overtime, and if traveling for a position is an option. The poll answers varied throughout the room and were never exactly unanimous for any question. Thought the poll, the discrepancy that can happen within HR departments were highlighted. The reason for the (HRSHRM) board and luncheons is to combat these discrepancies on a regional level through open discussions and education.

Godwin spoke on company recruitment and how it relates to human resources in organizations as well as small business owners. He noted that retention is also a major responsibility for human resources to continuously align goals and values with people to maintain a role and thrive. The important use of social media was also discussed when posting job descriptions on a digital level. Based on the poll, 40% of the attendees thought that social media is being used to post for jobs when in reality it is actually 92%. Companies have also seen an increase in overall quality by using social media regularly to advertise for positions.

Mila Radovich brought up the aspect of using social media to post jobs based on diversity and inclusiveness. Platforms like Facebook target a certain demographic so it is vital that human resource departments are mindful when creating those posts and take responsibility in being completely transparent and inclusive to advertise properly. This will make the job market and companies diverse and inclusive when the role is filled.

Kelly Lane gave copious amounts of relevant insight on how to post a job listing correctly from a legal standpoint. For example, it is important for employers to post a description of the job that is exactly what the employee will require once the role is filled.

Lane also took the time to discuss the importance of employee handbooks based on the company. These handbooks outline policy, culture, and legal expectations for employers and employees. Handbooks must be up to date and relevant at all times. The panel urged the audience to assess the accuracy and wording of their own handbooks to best reflect their company in the interest of employees and the law.

Wrapping-up and rounding-out the discussion, Gwen Gilbert spoke on the common thought of relationship building not only with employers and employees but also with other human resource departments in the Hampton Roads area.

The Hampton Roads Chamber Human Resources for Business Leaders (HRSHRM) luncheon provides a way for human resource departments in Hampton Roads to connect on various levels so that companies and businesses have similar goals for the region as a whole. The luncheon series helps the Hampton Roads Chamber work as a powerful economic partner, inspiring ignitor, impactful advocate, and regional brand collaborator for our diverse and inclusive business community.

The next installment in the four-part Hampton Roads Chamber Human Resources for Business Leaders Luncheon series will take place on September 19th and address the topic of Investigations in the Workplace.

Thank you to our Lunch Sponsor: Chief’s Choice by Kroger.

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