Online Resources with a Human Touch

In today’s world, most companies have a department to handle personnel issues within the business. Referred to as Human Resources or, in its infancy, the personnel department, HR has evolved from an informal paper pushing function of the organization to a more formalized and informational tool/resource for both employer and employees.

To be an effective HR professional in today’s market, it’s imperative to be familiar with both federal and state laws. That means having the right information at your fingertips in a matter of minutes or at times, seconds.

I thought it might be helpful to cite some of my favorite resources that have been helpful to me as an HR professional.

Employment Laws
The Department of Labor does its best in providing information to employers regarding a variety of employment laws. Covering everything from the Fair Labor Standards Act to HIPAA, the DOL website is a most resourceful tool for many human resource professionals.

HR Management
The Society for Human Resource Management is one of the world’s largest associations devoted to human resource management. With a minimal membership fee, the SHRM serves the needs of HR professionals by providing the most essential and comprehensive resources available. They offer “Live Help” online, which connects you directly to a SHRM Information Specialist for direct assistance with human resource-related questions.

Job Banks
With Michigan facing a number of job losses this year, unemployed workers can post resumes at the Michigan Talent Bank. Jobseekers can also search more than 15,000 new job openings monthly and post resumes for more than 40,000 employers to find. Employers can sign up to search more than 600,000 resumes and post job openings. Best of all, it’s free for all users.

Background Checks
For employers who want formal and accurate background checks for new recruits, there are a number of reputable companies out there. From my own experience, ChoicePoint helps HR professionals make smarter decisions in a world challenged by increased risks.

Wellness Programs
Many companies today provide an employee wellness program. At a past workplace, I invited a Weight Watchers representative in once a week to help employees build a healthy lifestyle along with lunchtime yoga sessions. Employees and employers can visit Weight Watchers for workplace wellness program ideas.

Health Plans
To continue on the healthier path, employees can find facilities and doctors participating in their health plans by visiting their providers’ websites. Knowing the type of health plan offered by your employer (PPO, HMO, etc.) makes it easier to find a wealth of information about your health, dental and vision plans.

Common health plan providers include BlueCross BlueShield, PriorityHealth, VSP, and Delta Dental.

If you are part of a company that has an HR professional either on or off site, ask about the online resources available and applicable to you. These tools allow you to gather information in a moment’s notice and make decisions that are right for you. It’s that simple.