Solving the human resource puzzle

Solving the human resource puzzle

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This is a guest post from uptreeHR
(Member since 2017)


Joey Fitzpatrick

The new reality of staffing businesses and organizations

Attracting and retaining top employees has always been an essential element of business success. That task is made even more varied and complex with the arrival of millennials in the workforce. This generation, born roughly between 1983 and 2000, comes to the workplace with its own set of expectations and values. Rather than stability and a long-term job, millennials tend to value flexibility, meaningful work and upward mobility. They are not content to work 10 years at a menial job before getting the chance for advancement.

Helping companies adapt to this new reality is part of the job for Sarah Mullins, owner and founder of uptreeHR, a company she launched two years ago to assist clients in every area of human resources.

“I love working with companies that have flexible workplaces and progressive practices and helping them get there,” Mullins says. “The workplace is evolving and the successful companies will be the ones who can evolve with it.”

While providing meaningful work and competitive wages, employers must also adhere to provincial labour standards and human rights legislation. Employers need to be aware of prohibited grounds of discrimination, such as gender identity and sexual orientation. They also need to understand an employer’s duty to accommodate employees with special needs. Termination is an especially delicate area, which if not handled properly can leave an employer exposed to litigation.

With two decades experience in HR, Mullins can help clients put in place the necessary structure and procedures and raise red flags when she sees potential problems on the horizon.

“You may have a very happy and productive workforce, but if your standard practices are in violation of the law, you could find yourself in big trouble,” she points out. “I can help employers identify those issues and figure out ways to mitigate them.” uptreeHR also provides hiring support services, helping companies through the job posting and interview processes. This area can also be a minefield if an employer has not kept pace with evolving human rights law. For example, it is illegal to base a hiring decision on whether an applicant has children or is married.

One of her areas of expertise is with immigrant entrepreneurs. While these new Canadians may have sharp business acumen and ambition, they are often unfamiliar with Nova Scotia’s labour laws in areas such as minimum wage and maternity leave.

uptreeHR works with clients of all sizes and in a wide range of business sectors, including retail, manufacturing, technology and agriculture. Clients on monthly retainers receive support for their entire HR function, including everything from policy and performance management to employee relations and payroll.

“For those clients I would typically become a senior advisor on the management team and attend their operations meetings.”

Professional development plays an ever-increasing role in maximizing employee potential and performance. At the same time, technology has freed the HR function from much of the paper pushing, allowing it to play a much more strategic role within an organization. By taking a long term view, uptreeHR helps clients understand the impact that HR has on a company’s bottom line.

“It’s a mistake to see HR as just a cost-centre,” Mullins says. “With the right expertise, it can be incredibly strategic and significantly impact the performance of a business.”

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