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August 2021

6 Documents You Need To Start an HR Department

Building a startup HR department takes work. This checklist of six key documents helps you lay the groundwork. 

The estimates in 2021 for people wanting to quit their jobs–in a predicted post-pandemic “great resignation”–have predicted anywhere from 26% to 40% planning to make a job move in 2021.

For younger employees, finding a job is less about simply finding that paying job, but more about finding a job that fits their values. This makes talent acquisition management services and HR services for startups more important than ever before to new businesses.

Building an HR department for your business from the ground up takes some serious work. But with a good plan and the following checklist of important documents, you can do it. While this article is far from exhaustive. these are some of the basic areas to focus on to effectively build off.

  1. Job Profiles

The first thing you need to do when you’re forming a startup HR department is to create an individual profile for each role within your business. This profile can help to set the groundwork for the type of company culture you want to build by specifically filtering for certain competencies, values, or culture fits. The profile might also include the person currently filling the role, and it may be as detailed as you like, including information about what will make an employee succeed in that role.

  1. Hierarchal Company Structure

A hierarchal structure document list in the order of each role’s importance and value to the company. This will help with tasks down the road, like succession structure, workforce planning, outsourcing, and salary grading. Hierarchal structures like this tend to be unpopular among young startups where everyone feels like an important member of a family, but as a business process for startup HR, it’s incredibly helpful in the long run. Organized structure within any company is integral for any company’s success and setting that framework early can help young companies avoid future mishaps.

  1. Staffing Plan

If you’re running a very small startup with only a few key positions, having a staffing plan for the next year may seem redundant and unnecessary. However, it’s an integral cog in the machine for a business that hopes to scale massively over time.

To form a staffing plan, you will need to speak with people in your operations, development, marketing, and sales departments. Ask about their current challenges and objectives, and their expectations for future expansion and needs. From here, you can form an accurate picture of how many people you will need to hire over the next 12 months, and for what roles. You might even calculate what each new employee will cost your business, both directly and indirectly.

  1. Salary Structure Document

When it comes to startup HR, a salary structure document may be the most overlooked piece of the puzzle. You create a salary structure document by determining the salaries for all the different roles within your business. This includes both those that are currently filled and those that you expect to be hiring for. Then, you compare these salaries to the standard or average salaries for similar roles elsewhere in your industry. You will want to revise this document every six months to make sure your salaries continue to be competitive with alternative positions out there.

  1. Compensation and Benefits Document

Though younger businesses can’t always provide the same benefits offered by an established company, that doesn’t mean you have less to offer your workers. If you’re creative about it, there are always fantastic ways to compensate your employees adequately—whether by offering flextime, work-from-home options, company-funded equipment to make their jobs easier, or even improvements to the workplace or amenities in the break room.

Important also is a document that specifies when employees get time off—what holidays are observed by your business, how vacation time is provided, and exactly how your sick policy works. Permissions, notices, and schedule changes should all play into this detailed document. As dedicated as employees may be to your business, everyone likes to know what their time off structure looks like.

  1. Termination and Resignation Procedures

There are two unfortunate eventualities all leaders will face in any company: When you must fire an employee and when an employee decides to quit. While it’s not fun to think about, it’s important that HR services for startups be prepared to handle it when it arises. You need a document describing exactly what procedures will be followed in the event you have to fire someone, or when someone resigns. You will also define what steps will be taken during the process of terminating an employee. When handled poorly, this often ultimately can determine the type of workplace culture your company has and can create a negative image for the company.

For more information regarding startup HR and services for startups, rely on the expertise of Frederickson Partners today.

Frederickson Partners, a Gallagher company is a market leader in retained executive search since 1995. As one of the top-rated HR executive search and C-suite recruiting firms, we have expertise in placing Chief People Officers, Chief Human Resources Officers, Chief Diversity Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Legal Officers and many other senior leaders. We draw on a broad network of rising and established executives and leaders, and a 28-year reputation as a talent acquisition and HR Advisory provider.

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