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Human Resources Concerns for Business Owners

Employees are essential for running any business, and savvy business owners know that investing in quality employees will benefit the company many times over in the long run. This includes careful screening of applicants, periodic training, performance evaluation, promotion, and benefit packages. However, human resources management can be like walking a tightrope, especially when dealing with people from divergent cultural, religious, educational, and personal backgrounds. There is always the risk of inadvertently violating someone’s civil rights in carrying out seemingly neutral policies. Not knowing, unfortunately, is not a viable defense.

Employees should know their rights, certainly, because there are too many employers who ride roughshod over them if they think they can get away with it. Since most states adopt at-will employment, an employer can fire any employee without being required to give a reason unless it is discriminatory. The same applies in hiring, promoting, relocating, and compensating practices; business owners can have carte blanche as long as they meet minimum standards and do not favor one class of people i.e. males over another. According to the website of the John Melton Law Firm, this is to foster equal employment opportunities to everyone. Violations of these employee protections can lead to a personal injury lawsuit.

But it can be fatally easy to make a costly mistake for even the well-meaning employer, which is why some business owners prefer to shift some of the work to a business process outsourcing (BPO) company, even to those that are offshore such as a Philippines outsourcing center. That way, they avoid the difficulties of human resource management while still getting the job done well.

Of course, not all tasks can be outsourced. While outsourcing can be highly effective, there needs to be an understanding of when and when not to use it. There are core activities that can only be done in-house, so business owners need to be well-conversant with employment laws in their state as well as realistic about what kinds of tasks they can outsource with confidence.