Need to start saving with a new ATS? Learn how to calculate the return on investment of your ATS Calculate ROI now

What HR hills would you die on?

Well, maybe not die, but put up a big battle. My big hill is dress codes: I think every business needs one. People who insist that dress codes are for stuff people and they hire people who “know how to dress” drive me nuts.

Suzanne Lucas
Suzanne Lucas

Suzanne, the Evil HR Lady, shares expertise, guidance, and insights based on 10+ years of experience in corporate human resources....

HR hills

Just spell it out. Dress codes don’t mean suits and ties. They can also mean no obscene messages on t-shirts and everyone must keep the three Bs covered. (Boobs, butts, and bellies.) 

Would I fight over this? You bet. Would I drop a client because they refused to implement a dress code. No. Would I laugh hysterically when they come to me and say, “Jane just showed up with the F word plastered across her chest. Do something.”?

Yes, yes, I would. Because I told you something like this would happen. 

I asked HR people (and others) what their HR hills were and if you’re wondering what your HR department is going to focus on this year, this list is a good place to start.

Fair pay

Executive Recruiter Kristina Angel: “I’m passionate about paying internal candidates a fair promotion based on the position they are in. I could never understand why you would limit them to a strict percentage when you would pay much more for an outside candidate to do the same role. Yes, perhaps the outside candidate offers more experience, but the internal also has an edge with their knowledge of processes, culture and have less of a learning curve in other ways.”

CEO of Wage and Hour of LA, Shannon Coleman-Cryer: “I would like to see salaries posted with job postings! I think this will allow applicants both external and internal to know WTH they will be receiving if they apply for said position. Just my two cents… You know I want to talk about exemptions but since I’ve already (kind of) mastered this task, I will leave it alone today 😉.”

Both Angel and Coleman-Cryer advocate for fair pay for employees, whether they are new external hires or internal transfers/promotions. You’ll find salary fairness will keep you out of lawsuits and increases your applicant pool. LinkedIn found that 91 percent of applicants consider the salary range when applying.

No surprises

Senior Consultant in Leadership, Adam Peterson: “No one should be surprised when they are fired. We’ve made the compliance policies clear and given warnings when they are possible.

“In my corporate days, I saw two fairly random enforcements of policies just to find a way to get rid of someone or make an example that we are serious about that procurement policy.

“Don’t short cut the dismissal process. It undermines the culture for everyone else that still works there!”

Recruiter Elliot Echlov: “There should be no surprises (other than positive ones) when conducting formal performance reviews. If you as the manager are waiting until you *have* to document a performance concern to actually do it, then you are failing to do your duty as a manager of people.”

On the surface these seem like two very different HR hills, but they really are the same one: communicate with your employees – especially negative things. Employees deserve the benefit of knowing where they stand at all times. These leaders want to make sure employees know what they’ve done wrong and how they can improve, long before you show them the door.

Showing compassion

Product Manager Kara H: “Bereavement leave should not be limited to specific employer-defined nuclear family relationships; the allowed relationships tend to disregard the myriad types of non-traditional family structures. The result is a kick while they are down to an employee who has just lost the most important person in their life and learns the bereavement policy doesn’t cover it.”

Accessibility program innovation and strategy architect Sheri Byrne-Haber: “I will die on the ‘all accommodations should be centralized’ hill. Otherwise they are determined at the whims of managers and departmental budgets which leads to inconsistencies and unfair decisions, discriminating against the people with disabilities that need them.”

While these two people are not HR employees, they’ve both selected hills that generally fall under HR policies and both focus on compassion.

Bereavement leaves are typically ridiculously short–can you really handle the paperwork for a deceased child or spouse in three days, let alone grieve – and also do not recognize that was all wish to be there with friends or distant relatives that wouldn’t be covered by policies. 

And with disability accommodation, leaving the accommodations up to individual managers is a recipe for trouble. Understanding disability law and accommodations is complex and consistency is more likely to lead to fair, compassionate, and legal outcomes.

If your HR people start focusing on these types of issues–listen, they aren’t going to back down easily and it will make your business much better.

What about you? What are your HR hills you would die on?

Frequently asked questions

Let's grow together

Explore our full platform with a 15-day free trial.
Post jobs, get candidates and onboard employees all in one place.

Start a free trial