July 29, 2021
6 min read

Warning! 6 Signs You’re in a Dead-End HR Job

Written by
Yang Josiah Chow

As you add more HR tasks to your to-do list, you can't seem to finish them on time. Check out the roadblocks that you might face in your job here!

Do you get one of those days when you have no time for yourself, or is it just an everyday thing for you?

Email notifications appear on your screen non-stop. Anxiety courses through your vein, and you probably forgot something. The management needs the employee pulse survey results from you for the next HOD meeting.

As you are looking for the survey sheets, an employee asks for her last month’s payslip from you. Then, the marketing manager chases you for updates about the new candidate.

Too many requests at the same time. How do you find the energy to carry on the work for the rest of the day?

Literally a one-man show…

Think about what you’re so busy with. Not the “business is booming, sales are skyrocketing, and the team is expanding” kind of busy. More like “I’m behind everything, juggling 20 different tasks, and weeks away from the inevitable appraisal season” kind of busy.

It is the kind of situation that no amount of caffeine can get you through this, especially when you are dealing with endless requests from everyone. However, there is no “one size fits all” solution for managing the HR workload and duties at the organisation.

1. A lot of manual work

Do you take up a large chunk of the day updating HR files, rummaging through locked-in emails and filing cabinets? Inputting information by hand, manually vetting candidates for openings, or setting up meetings with employees can be a long, strenuous process to handle.

While some may be beneficial, these requests, emails, or queries end up becoming a dreadful routine that you can never see the end of it. Simply working harder isn’t going to make you more efficient. You will end up feeling like you’re being buried alive in the paperwork.

Instead of getting trapped in this vicious cycle of endless work, consider better ways to maximise your productivity. Imagine if you have a faster, more efficient way to get rid of the manual work, will it make your life a lot easier?

2. Prone to human errors

As if the manual work isn’t stressful enough already. Nobody notices when you’re trying to do your job right. But when you make an ill-advised mistake, you are being brought to the spotlight for the wrong reasons.

Examples such as paying the wrong salary, forgetting to update the employee handbook, ignoring labour compliance, or missing documentations can become serious problems. Don’t be surprised if people start complaining about you!

It is overwhelming for a person to handle without making any mistakes, considering the amount of data handled by the HR department nowadays. You may have overlooked certain information or forgotten to enter data in the spreadsheet. Not only is there more confusion, but you might also even need to spend more time fixing it.

3. You are overworked

Have you been staying back late at the office because you have so much to do? Do you ever feel there are not enough hours in a day? You reach to the phone, check emails incessantly, and run around with your head spinning as you feel caught on a work hamster wheel.

More responsibilities fall on your shoulder when the company is expanding. You need to hire more people, onboard new joiners, and monitor employee performance. However, you won’t achieve maximum efficiency when you work with tedious HR processes especially when you have a lot on your plate.

Ironically, overworking makes you less productive. You spread yourself so thin that you can’t focus and dive deep into completing the work on time. Your teammates are exhausted, the quality of work goes down, and the mistakes go up. They begin to skip work or quit their jobs, and the workplace culture starts to fall apart. Is this really what you want?

4. Can’t find the information you need

Have you gotten into a major business crisis because you couldn’t find the file you need? Do you lose or misplace a document your manager urgently needs?

Think about all the time you take to look for the information you need. Without storing the files properly, you could be losing employee records or the latest company policies that can make or break the organisation’s operations.

It’s often a nightmare for HR to store and categorise employee records when the company has multiple offices across different locations. Imagine you have to deal with each HR rep from every branch office. Not only will you struggle to manage hundreds (or even thousands) of employees, but you will also waste a lot of time coming back and forth accessing the information you need.

5. Compliance issues

Did you know the average compliance cost for organisations across all industries worldwide is a whopping $5.47 million? For any business, no matter how much profit you make every year, non-compliance can cost you so much more harm than good.

With the rise of employment laws and regulations, companies face increasing HR complexities and the great risk of penalties for non-compliance. HR-related issues centres around employee matters such as when and how to pay overtime, statutory leaves, equal employment, or compliance training.

You wouldn’t want to risk causing any trouble to the company! So, it’s best to keep yourself updated about workplace compliance in order to avoid costly fines and reputational damage. After all, it is your responsibility as HR to ensure a safe working environment for employees.

6. Physically asking HR for help

Do you ever feel annoyed when employees won’t stop bugging you over petty matters? Simple questions such as ‘How much holiday have I taken?’ and ‘Can I have a copy of my last three payslips?’ might take you time to find out before getting back to them.

Although your role as HR should be the point of contact when dealing with queries or issues from employees, you can’t attend to each of their requests one by one because it’s so time-consuming that you won’t even have time for other work.

What if ten or fifteen employees come to you at the same time? Chances are, they will not stop bothering you until you give them what they want because this is your job. If you don’t act on it immediately, they might even complain about you to your superior.

Is there an easier way out?

No work experience is problem-free, and you need every advantage to solve them. Unless you enjoy being stuck in this stressful environment or have a lot of time in your hands, finding ways to solve your problems effectively is a good investment of your time.

Take a moment, and think about what went wrong in your work processes as an HR professional. Ask yourself a series of questions about getting the help you need, think deeply, and write down your answers.

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