Why Human-Powered Compliance is Risky

HR professionals today have some serious pain points. You have a cadre of responsibilities that include recruiting and hiring, along with finding ways to get your employees engaged so that they are productive for your company. Then there’s the whole challenge of retention. As unemployment is reported to be at record lows, you have to manage all these processes with an even smaller pool of candidates from which to choose.

But the real pain points that undergird every one of these processes have to do with compliance. And we know that compliance is a costly business. Let’s just consider an I-9 form. How much trouble can one little piece of paper cause? The range of fines for a first violation of I-9 non-compliance was raised in August 2016 from between $110 and $1,100, to anywhere between $216 and $2,156. And before you lose your cookies over that, realize that those fines are PER ERROR. So if you have multiple errors on 1 form, the fine can be debilitating.

As HR personnel work to build a qualified and talented staff, they must also protect the company from substantial risk. While there are numerous ways to manage your liability and risk, there is one way of dealing with compliance that presents the greatest threat, and that’s with human power.

Here’s why human-powered compliance is risky:


As simple as this sounds, I talk to HR pros, who are really good at what they do, and they share with me how they sometimes simply forget things they need to do on certain forms or in specific processes. How often does someone mention something they need as you’re walking down the hall, and you make a mental note as you go into your next meeting? Or how often do requests and needs get buried in a long email thread, and you forget?

No matter how good you are at your job, or how well you remember, it is a risky practice to place your company’s compliance requirements on the reliability of your memory.


Likely our memory wouldn’t be so challenged…if we weren’t so busy. With the long list of things mentioned above that HR folks are responsible for, there’s a myriad of other activities and responsibilities that ebb and flow on any given day, depending on the company, the job, and the individual.

According to business.com, an average of 21.8% of time during the week is spent meeting with senior staff and business partners. This represents the largest portion of the time allocated, with employee relations and engagement coming in at 15.3%, and meeting with employees at 13.6% of time allocated. These time allocations don’t include what is needed for onboarding and instruction, redundancy management, and personnel management.

There simply isn’t enough time in a day or week to leave a company’s compliance issues to human power and promise of management. And make no mistake, this isn’t about HR pros being unqualified or inept, it’s simply a numbers game, in that it’s truly risky business to expect HR to be able to manage so many diverse compliance challenges with the responsibilities they have.


It’s the government friends, so we know that everything changes, while nothing changes. And you can be sure that regulations at both the state and federal level are always being tweaked, if not overhauled completely. It takes time, resources, and awareness to keep up with all of the regulations that require compliance. Whether it’s I9 verification, PTO tracking, ACA or FMLA compliance, and much more, if you can’t keep up with the new regulations, your company can end up paying staggering fines, along with opening up your company to lawsuits!

While these reasons may be simple, they can be costly. There is a better way to handle your compliance issues through HR Tech. With the use of intelligent forms and AI automation, you can increase onboarding consistency and remove compliance risks across the board. Using human power to manage your company’s compliance is risky business. We can show you how to remove the risk…and how you can Work. Compliant.