How to stop HR compliance slowing your growth plans

HR compliance is a crucial process. But that doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating when HR responsibilities cause bottlenecks that stall growth. Especially when those delays mean you lose top tech candidates to competitors.

It might feel like HR compliance is out of your hands. Your biggest priority is getting the right people onto your team – not making sure you’ve dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s from a compliance perspective.

That’s not quite true. 

There are things you can do to make HR’s lives easier – and make sure HR compliance doesn’t slow your growth plans. 

Shift your mindset

Compliance is vital to successful recruitment. Nobody loves compliance – it’s a headache. But without a green light, nothing is possible. 

So shift your mindset. And know the consequences of getting compliance wrong. HR compliance isn’t a bureaucratic delay. It’s not something you can work around (or skirt around). 

Losing that technical hire you need might feel like the worst case. But securing that candidate without ensuring compliance can be worse. 

Either because you’ll get all the way through process and last-minute company compliance concerns will rear their head and mess things up. Or worse, because you could find yourself in legal hot water. 

Never assume

As recruiters, we’ve learned the hard way: never assume compliance is taken care of. If those assumptions are wrong, you’ve wasted significant time and effort – for nothing.

From our perspective, compliance is often a more strictly defined process in larger businesses. Which on one hand, is frustrating because it can cause hiring delays. But on the other, smaller businesses might lack a compliance process altogether – which can cause even longer delays while they sort everything out.

Especially for high-growth businesses, compliance might be an ongoing battle to get right as the business scales. That makes compliance even more important – so never assume; always ask. 

Be proactive 

This comes hand-in-hand with the first two points. There’s a fundamental shift in attitude here – HR compliance isn’t just on HR’s lap. It’s on everyone’s lap, because compliance effects everyone.

Managers can play their role by being proactive. If you wait for HR to come to you, you have no control over the process. If you approach HR upfront, you can make sure they get what they need and when, before they ask. 

For example, the visa situation in the Netherlands has changed a lot over the past few years. As more companies seek international technical talent, visas have become harder to secure from certain locations. 

Make sure you know what proof you need, and how long the process will take, so you can proactively manage the process. You’ll be red-faced and frustrated if you didn’t take into account that your new software engineer needs to wait five months for a visa when you need them on a project in two.  

Particularly in the Netherlands, many of our clients turn to international technical talent to help them grow. Relocation introduces more moving parts into the equation but we’re experts at helping clients navigate this space without disruption. 

Involve your team 

HR compliance shouldn’t be a skeleton in the cupboard. It should be something you discuss openly, to build compliance into your normal working processes. Likewise, compliance shouldn’t be a discrete, one-off thing. It’s not just a box you have to tick – it’s a process.

For example, are you managing your team in a compliant way? Do team members interact in ways that leave them vulnerable to non-compliance claims?

Compliance doesn’t just happen during recruitment and that’s the end of it, is the point. As a manager, you have to set a compliant culture from day one. 

Uncover unconscious bias  

To be compliant, your recruitment process must be fair and non-discriminatory. But unconscious bias can sneak in where you least expect it and leave you vulnerable to non-compliance claims.

You want to hire fast and this compliance stuff probably feels tedious. But take the extra time to rigorously assess all your recruitment touchpoints. 

Are your job adverts using implied gendered language, for example? Research shows language like ‘dominant’, ‘ambitious’, ‘self-confident’ and ‘achievement-driven’ are associated with the male gender stereotype. If your ads consistently use this language you might only attract men – or your interviewers might unfairly assume male candidates better fit the role. 

Or another example – are all your interviewers male? Are you – and anyone else interviewing – well-briefed on the interview questions you definitely can’t ask (even if they’re well-intentioned)? 

HR compliance is everyone’s responsibility 

HR compliance can sometimes be frustrating but it’s a crucial aspect of the technical recruitment process. Stepping up and taking responsibility helps you bring the right technical people into your team – the right way. So you don’t make costly non-compliance mistakes later.

Arrows Group help high-growth, high-tech companies hire the technical talent they need to scale. Let’s chat about Arrows becoming your strategic growth partner.