Are you on top of your HR risks and mitigations?

Most businesses have some sort of risk assessment. A good business has a risk register that is regularly reviewed to make sure that risks haven’t changed, new risks are added and mitigations are still valid.

For every organisation, part of that risk register should be HR-related. The people working for your business can pose a risk to it in a number of ways, as does being unable to find suitable new staff, for example.

HR risks to consider

What constitutes a risk for HR managers in the context of the wider business? Here are some to consider:

Discrimination – this could occur at several different touchpoints within your organisation, and can result in legal or regulatory penalties. Risks including discrimination at interview, in general working practice, in promotions and development opportunities and for pay rises and benefits.

Legal workers – HR and hiring managers are obliged to check that new employees have the right to work in the UK and have the qualifications and experience they say they have. Without proper screening, organisations may fall foul of employment requirements. This means risking fines, and also incurring the costs of starting recruitment all over again.

Health and safety – in some businesses, there might be a department responsible for just occupational health and safety issues, but in smaller companies, this often falls under the HR function. So you need to be aware of the potential risks in your business operations and be able to show that you have clear and well-communicated policies. You also need to provide relevant personal safety equipment and train existing and new staff so that they are always up to date.

Data – you will be in charge of all employee data. There is a huge risk to the organisation and to individual employees if that data is compromised, lost or stolen. So you should make sure you are following the guidelines on data management, complying with relevant data legislation and have mitigation in place in case of cyberattacks or an internal leak of data.

Theft and fraud – this is a problem in many companies and poses a severe risk to the finances and to the wider reputation of the business. Having procedures in place that help to prevent theft or fraud – including multiple signatories for cheques or payment requests and working closely with the finance department to create solid policies for this area will help to reduce that risk.

This list isn’t exhaustive – there will be particular risks your business faces and, as an HR professional, you will have your own responsibilities as dictated by senior management. Now is the time to put a comprehensive risk register in place if you don’t already have one. Talk to other departments or to the person in charge of risk to make sure that your department is part of the overall risk strategy and make sure you review regularly to make sure your register is still relevant and up to date.

Contact us to find out how we can help.