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October 2018

Human Resources: 5 Things Every Startup Needs To Include

Human Resources: 5 Things Every Startup Needs To Include

Human resources is a vital component in the daily operations of most businesses, yet it is often overlooked or set on the back burner when it comes to startup companies. The general idea is that it isn't important enough to focus on immediately, especially when funds are tight. Considering the fact that HR handles tasks related to your employees, a.k.a. the foundation of your company, you need to make sure that all questions regarding hiring, payroll, benefits, grievances, and promotions are handled by qualified startup HR executives.

Until you have the right team in place, here's everything you need to include in your HR startup checklist:

  • Organizational design: This includes creating the structure of your business, establishing current and future decisions related to workforce planning, outsourcing, and succession plans. It isn't necessary in all cases (many startups let their company structure evolve organically), but it can certainly help as your company scales its operations.
  • Recruitment: You'll need to have several critical elements fully prepared when you begin bringing people on board, including an offer letter, I-9 legal employment verification, and employee data for use in payroll. There are also several legalities in place when it comes to the hiring process, so be sure to have any relevant employee agreements (such as confidentiality, non-solicitation, intellectual property, etc.) firmly in place to avoid confusion and legal disputes.
  • Benefits: Getting people behind a desk is one thing, keeping them there requires solid benefits. Preparation includes a general statement of salary, a system for managing and processing payroll, PTO and sick time, and health and retirement benefits (or at least a plan to implement them at some point).
  • Employee relations: It may not seem likely, but some day an employee might come to you with a grievance. When it does, you'll want to have a policy outlining your business' standards of conduct, a way to receive feedback or complaints, and a plan for how you'll address and resolve issues should they arise.
  • Compliance, health, and safety: The typical understanding of HR is the first one you might think to check off of your HR startup checklist. This includes the establishment of emergency protocols, exit routes, safe working environments, accessible first aid supplies, and the extremely important sexual harassment guidelines and equal employment opportunity statement.

Around 2.7 million workers voluntarily left their jobs at the end of June 2015; for a startup, that kind of mass exodus (even if one employee leaves out of ten) can cause its collapse. Completing your HR startup checklist, potentially even through the hiring of HR executive search firms who do the work for you, can create an environment that people want to remain in, and -- more importantly -- help grow.