How a Seasoned HR Professional Can Help a Startup Scale Its Human Resources Function

How a Seasoned HR Professional Can Help a Startup Scale Its Human Resources Function


Starting a company can be daunting but having HR strategies in place can make it a lot easier. In this article, we understand the need for structured HR and recruiting processes and how start-ups can deliberately develop a strong HR function to show that they value employees and their business.

This article highlights the advantages of having a well-established Human Resource function (even for start-ups) led by a seasoned professional. It highlights the key challenges faced by a start-up & how can an HR add value to the same.

For a start-up, it’s good to have someone to lead the HR function who has hands-on experience within each sub-function of HR and a decent understanding of the entire Talent Management system. It is necessary to have all the key required policies drafted & put in place along with a clearly defined strategies, processes, SOPs, etc so that it helps to bring the best of people on board, enhance the experience of those onboarded employees, and finally enable everyone to work towards a common vision ahead.

One of the next main priorities remain to hire the right number of people with the right attitude so that one could ensure hassle-free functioning, positive group dynamics and outputs taking into consideration the increased expectations from everyone, be it customers or employees, especially in today’s VUCA environment.

Additional Key Challenges Ahead

1.The biggest challenge faced by start-up companies is to attract as well as retain the best talent.

2.To understand the company’s tech stack requirement remains a top priority. It’s good to have a detailed understanding of the requirements which need to be fulfilled.

3.“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” Hence, the need remains to have a sound talent acquisition strategy since it is difficult to attract bright prospects for a start-up.

4.To recruit and onboard only those people who are a combination of the right job fit and right culture fit.

5.In a start-up, employees might feel that the organisation lacks clear direction and well-defined business processes resulting in a decline in the morale of employees.

6.When employees leave for better opportunities then a start-up has to absorb the losses incurred in hiring and training their replacements.

7.Word of mouth publicity can positively or negatively affect a start-up.

8.Work towards creating a desirable ‘Organisational Culture’ which is in sync with the vision of the management.

9.Work towards creating an identity of the organisation with zero tolerance for unethical, unlawful, integrity-related issues, immoral behaviours & ensure everyone is given fair treatment.

10.To create an environment where everyone including leadership sticks to the commitments and delivers on promises not only for the customers but for internal staff as well.

11.To create a ‘Knowledge Sharing’ platform so that people are aligned with each other as well as glued to the developments taking place within each vertical.

12.To ensure decorum and code of conduct is being followed.

13.Creation of SOPs, Policies & Processes to ensure Hygiene, as well as Motivation factors, remain in place.

14.To act as a Strategic Business Partner, remain in sync with the leadership thoughts and provide valuable inputs in the formation of verticals, organisational structure, business strategies, alignment of people, cost-effective measures etc.

15.Set up a mechanism to ensure smooth employee relations & manage grievances, if any.

16.Parallelly, also to ensure that the employees remain ENGAGED and PRODUCTIVE at the same time.

17.The need of the hour demands to have someone who can act as a ‘Full Stack HR Professional’ and multitask without compromising on quality.

Creating HR strategies for startups and having them in place can make things easier but in the absence of an HR strategy, the startup is setting itself for failure in the future. Businesses fail in absence of the right people coupled with the right process mix; a solid HR solution can help fix the problem

Key Takeaways

1. Creating HR strategies for startups and having them in place can make things easier but in the absence of an HR strategy, the startup is setting itself for failure in the future.

2. A well-written working agreement, employee handbook, defined goals and values, proper on-boarding, knowledge-sharing platform and clearly communicated processes can surely help the organisations in the longer run.

3. Businesses fail in absence of the right people coupled with the right process mix; a solid HR solution can help fix the problem.

4. In today’s competitive world the need of the hour is to be able to do multitasking without compromising on output.

5. Apart from Talent Acquisition, Record Keeping, Policy Creation, Grievance Management, etc. HR also safeguards an organisation by ensuring adherence to the applicable compliances.

6. HR ensures to safeguard the interests of the company as well as provides a safe and working environment to the employees resulting in increased motivation.

7. Also, a structured compensation plan along with a defined career progression path for the employees certainly generates a positive vibe amongst them.

8. Leaders must lead the way and should not sacrifice ethics for profits.

9. An ethical workplace makes the employees feel committed and also helps to attract as well as retain the best talent in addition to reducing the cost of turnover. It certainly enhances the culture, motivation and morale of the people.

10. Happy and engaged employees are considered to be more productive than unhappy ones. Most of the time start-ups are so invested in doing their business right and focused on the output, they fail to pay attention to other aspects of their employee’s needs.

11. Everyone including leadership must ‘walk the talk’, stick to their values, commitments and work towards creating an ultimate experience, be it for internal or external resources

12. When employees don’t feel valued or recognized for their efforts, engagement level drops and they start looking for another job. An active and tenured HR professional can help overcome all these issues.

13. If an HR professional understands what matters to the employees and is continuously engaged in an exchange of feedback then surely, the experiences of the employees would remain very positive throughout.

14. Avoid homogeneity and look for diversity.

15. Not to rely solely on email for communication, as start-ups are dynamic and need faster ways to communicate. Video conference calls, Skype calls, zoom meetings, Google Hangouts, etc are the ways to have short meetings frequently.

16. As it is rightly said that ‘substandard decision-making process’ and ‘absence of right people’ alone can result in more than 50% of probabilities for failure, hence, it’s better to take time to consider the people whom you’re bringing on board and not to hurry up the recruitment process.

To conclude, HR plays an important role in the success of any start-up company. Having HR strategies in place can solve challenges by evolving and making adjustments as the company develops. So, next time if someone asks should a start-up hire an HR? The answer should be a firm yes.


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