Let’s face it: HR isn’t exactly a priority for most startups.
In fact, some startups may even see HR (human resources) as a function of the “corporate” world, which is usually a world that startups are trying to remove themselves from.
For this reason, startups often take a “see what happens” approach to HR, thinking that the company’s management will be able to handle it themselves.
Well, that might work—to some extent. The problem is that in these situations, HR understandably takes a backseat to the day-to-day operations of the company, and can fall by the wayside. This can lead to confusion among employees, ineffective recruiting and hiring practices, low employee morale, and a host of other problems.
That’s why we think it’s important for startups to build quality HR teams—to keep things running smoothly, to avoid legal snags, and to show employees that taking care of them is a priority to the company and the company’s leadership.
But how can a startup build a quality HR team? Here are a few ideas.
Know what you need.
What are the HR needs in your company? A typical list would include things like:
- Keeping company in line with laws and regulations
- Managing compensation and benefits
- Creating and enforcing the employee handbook
- Office safety
- Managing employee files
This is just a partial list, but it might give you an idea of what an HR professional could do for you and your company. Having your own comprehensive list could help you determine how big your HR department needs to be.
Full-time? Part-time? Contracted?
Once you know what your HR needs are, you can decide how many people it will take to do that job. Will you need someone full-time? Do you just want someone to write your handbook, inform you of the basic employment laws, and be done? Knowing the type of help you’re looking for will be vital when trying to hire HR personnel.
Use a staffing agency.
If you are going to need additional HR help, a staffing agency can be an incredible resource. These agencies can help you find HR talent that fits your needs, both from a skill standpoint, and from a cultural one. This is your best bet for finding a qualified HR professional, quickly.
Look for experience.
When you’re starting a brand new department, you’re going to want someone who knows what they’re doing. When making this important hire, place a high value on experience and industry knowledge.
Prepare the rest of your team.
If you’re creating a whole new department, you’ll need to be clear about how this department will fit into your existing structure. Employees should know what HR is there for, and when they should talk to HR, as opposed to their managers. Managers should be prepared to support the HR team however possible, and should understand that certain duties (like hiring and firing) will now fall to HR, rather than to the managers themselves.
Your new team is going to need support as they set up an HR department at your startup. They might require financial investment for the department, or they might need you to spend some extra time with them, helping them get everything organized. Remember that getting your HR systems in place will serve your company well for years to come, and be prepared to put some work in upfront to get everything running smoothly.
Building a quality HR team should be on every startup’s radar. Use these tips to help you get started, and contact EDI Staffing today for help finding your next (or first) HR employee.
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