Laura Iñiguez, Content Manager at Hirebook
Laura is a content and social media strategist with deep experience in Employee Engagement, People Management, and Culture. She works with Hirebook to bring their innovative best practices to life through content, videos, and webinars seen by thousands around the globe.
Pub: November 6 2020
. Upd: October 22 2021
Startups have a lot of start-up challenges ahead of them, especially at the beginning having the rush to grow fast. A lot of startups do not feel the need of establishing an HR department when just starting to develop and they often leave the implementation of this department “for later”, but “later” might be too late!
When developing your startup it’s common to not realize how much of a valuable asset an HR department is from the start. Since it is the foundation of every company, this particular situation can create a lot of common startup problems, especially regarding management of your team.
Often, founders of startups start by doing everything themselves, but it’s important to know what we’re actually good at and learn to delegate certain functions to those experts. People may think HR Management can wait, but it’s actually one of the first things you should prepare and launch when building your company, since an HR department helps with creating policies and processes that will help you reduce problems in the long run and will reduce company’s liability. Also, HR will help with creating a culture and an attractive corporate image that’ll draw and retain employees, it will also establish employee training and will enrich employee experience.
We want to provide you with a little HR for Startups pointers (or a little Human Resource checklist) so you won’t experience mishaps once your company is well on its way to success:
- Establishing the HR Team
Maybe the word “team” is a long shot now, but even if you’re just starting out it is important to hire at least 1 person to lay the groundwork for a bigger team later on. This person should have the knowledge and experience to establish the basics, such as payroll, salary structure, benefits, recruiting, orientation and employee relations.
- Definition of Roles
We mentioned before that a lot of founders often find themselves doing a little bit of everything regarding every department. This may work at first but as they start growing they are going to need specific people for each specific position. From the start, there should be a definition of the positions that will eventually need to be filled, with a clear explanation of the roles and responsibilities they’ll have and where they will stand in the hierarchy of the company. If this is not defined from the start, when the time comes to find and hire people for these positions, a lot of their responsibilities will be in the air and they’ll end up doing double work because of the need of clarifying their duties and activities.
- Digital Resources
We’re well into the digital era right now and it’s important to be organized when structuring a company that plans to grow fast. Nowadays there are a lot of apps dedicated to help in different aspects of a Human Resources startup department, but sometimes we cannot handle so many apps at the same time. Using a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) that integrates these apps in just one place would be a great asset in managing effectively your employees’ payroll, benefits, talent management, human capital, etc. Hirebook’s Integrations will help you save a lot of time and stress while managing at the top of your game!
Yes, building your product and company seems to be your main focus, but without policies, your company could come down to pieces and your efforts would be in vain. We know that crafting your policies seems like a tedious and difficult task, but once you get started you’ll see it’s not as hard as you think. There are a lot of templates available online, you can even take a look at our Stellar Social Media Policies Examples: 3 Ways to Start Crafting Your Own and Prevent Online Mishaps article to get started.
Once you have your policies, make sure to communicate them to your employees. Most of the time, employees hear about the policies on their first day and that’s it. Make sure your employees know where to find such policies in case they have a question, make them accessible to everyone. Set days to remind them of such policies and practice them so they won’t forget about them, they’re created for a reason.
- Establishing Objectives
From the start you have a clear view of where you want to take your company, but you won’t get there without setting goals to build up the larger picture. Big goals are achieved by completing smaller objectives, and you’ll need a clear work strategy to tie everyone in the company to the main goal. Utilizing a system like Hirebook’s OKRs and streamlining them to your team establishing deadlines will help you achieve the success you intend to achieve. This way, you’ll be able to see how well they’re doing, if they’re behind their tasks or if they need any help.
- Engaging your Employees
Since your company is currently building up and you don’t have that many references, when you hire candidates to join your team they’ll be coming in without really knowing what to expect, they will blindly trust you and hope for the best. Don’t be surprised if one day they resign out of the blue, chances are they are actively looking for another opportunity in a company with more seniority. This is probably one of the most common startup problems.
You need to generate Employee Engagement in order to retain valuable talent and get the best out of them. An easy way to do so and to build trust among your team is simply worrying about their wellbeing. For example, when using Hirebook you could take advantage of our Check-Ins feature, set up customizable questions and frequency to ask them about how they’re feeling and if there’s something worrying them, you can even be more open and ask them if there’s something you can help them with. If your employees feel heard and that you’re genuinely interested in them, they’ll be comfortable and do their best to make you proud, they’ll stop looking for opportunities elsewhere and help your company get to a higher level.
Besides worrying about your employees’ wellbeing, you should also care about the development of their careers. According to CareerAddict, 82% of employees would quit their jobs if they felt there was no progression. Helping your employees develop new skills isn’t just beneficial for them, it is also beneficial for you. Not only does it increase motivation, but it’s extremely helpful when growing your company. Just like you started doing a little bit of everything when creating your startup, your highly developed employees will help doing the same on a broader level until hiring new talent for your now bigger teams. They’ll also help train new employees and make sure everyone understands their roles and perform them in an effective way.
Creating a company ain’t no easy task, we sincerely hope that these pointers will help you avoid the common startup problems that most startup companies face and point your company towards success.