Every business starts small.  But no matter how small or new you are in an industry, establishing a human resource division is a must. Many startups fail to comprehend and realize the significance of HR departments in growing the company. An organization’s biggest strength lies in all the talented people they employ, and keeping these people is a prerequisite to continued growth and success.

While starting from ground zero allows you to mold your business culture into the vision you have for the company, the process that you have to go through to create a human resource department can still seem pretty intimidating. Thus, listed below are the top different ways startup companies (like you!) can build an HR department from the ground up.

Purposely Shape Company Culture First

Company culture and work ethics exist, whether intentionally established or not. The company’s culture should guide the way your team thinks, feels, and acts. Most of the time, people do this unconsciously. Therefore, it is essential that you purposely shape such behaviors. This is to ensure that they fit perfectly into the big picture – your vision. More than anything, pay close attention to the founding members’ behavior, work ethics, or culture. Frequently this has a direct correlation to their personality, which also influences the company and all its employees.

Establish An HR Staffing Plan

Hiring qualified and reputable HR professionals is not an easy task, especially for a startup. Most candidates would opt for external recruiters or more established companies. However, instead of giving up, this should challenge you all the more.

How do you ensure career growth for an HR candidate despite being a startup company? Do you plan on building a one-man team or hire three or more to work hand-in-hand? These are questions you need to ask yourself before anything else. Also, when screening candidates, you should try to consider the following attributes:

  • number of years of HR experience
  • level of responsibility in (x) years of experience
  • any experience working with startup organizations or any company of the same industry or size?
  • HR-related certifications or training and seminars attended
  • knowledge in employment laws and other compliance issues
  • ability to conduct research, have access to different resources, juggle multiple accounts or projects, quickly adjust to a startup’s changing needs, and communicate directly with executives

Think you’ll have a hard time reaching out to potential candidates? You can use online job hiring websites and platforms like Job Pinoy to help you recruit great employees.

Understand The Company’s Values

Set clear expectations for your growing HR team. Understanding the company’s values can significantly help guide the expectations that you have, not only for the human resource department but your entire business as well. As previously mentioned, ask yourself whether or not you’re willing to operate a one-man HR team. If not, you can hire an HR team and have each one focus on administrative work, compliance issues, benefits, recruiting, retention, and training. Human resource covers a variety of skill sets, so you have to know which ones from the team possess a particular type of skill.

Never Stop Learning

Creating a learning culture from the very beginning opens up a multitude of benefits and opportunities for both employees and the company. Learning ignites your interest in meeting the company’s needs and strengths along the way. In the same way, you can see challenges and immediately meet them right when they come up.

Establish A Realistic Budget

Whether you like it or not, running an effective HR department, especially as a startup, costs money. That’s why it’s important to establish a realistic HR budget. You can use the following factors to create an even more solid budget allocation:

  • current staffing levels with anticipated new hires (for the entire year)
  • an overview of existing benefits and new ones under consideration
  • legal fees (compliance issues)
  • an average of already-incurred costs per operating year

Using this as a guide can definitely help project how much budget you will need to meet your startup’s human resource department needs. Besides that, it can also help identify which factors are considered relevant and which ones aren’t anymore. That way, you can let go of unnecessary expenses.

Create An HR Playbook

Creating a playbook helps outline your policies. Other than that, it also reminds the company to fulfill these outlines. How do you plan to deal with internal problems? Will you implement disciplinary actions? If yes, what will those be? How much time off will an employee have?

All these you have to consider, hence, establishing clear guidelines through a playbook. Some of your employees may need additional or special support as compared to the rest of them, so discuss this firmly with the team as well.

Wrapping Up

Starting an HR department from the ground up is not easy; that’s why you need a detailed guide to begin the process. Above anything, think of this as underpinning the company; hence, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Performing the steps above should help you establish a solid HR foundation, one that will grow with your business as it expands and develops in the future.


Author Bio:

Rosette Monell works as a human resource personnel in a firm in Asia. Aside from her job, she’s also a freelance writer who talks so passionately about public relations, different work ethics, and culture. On her free days, she likes to spend time alone with a good book about career building on one hand and a warm cup of tea on the other.

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