HR: Your Start-up Checklist

June 23, 2022 | 5 Mins Caitlyn Simons

There can be a lot of appeal in working for a startup organization. There’s a lot of room for freedom of expression and applying a specialized set of skill sets in a fresh new business, uninhibited and no longer restrained from some of the red tape and rules associated with established corporate organizations.

Some HR executives, specialists and leaders have chosen to move into a startup organization for the next step in their careers, and while this is an exciting proposition, many find that the foundations and processes and procedures are simply not in place-but hey, it wouldn’t be a startup if there were!

The nature of a startup is that you look to quickly set up and establish processes on the go, moving quickly, making fast independent decisions, and getting things done, this is part of the reason that HR professionals would join a startup in the first place. But it is rarely as easy as it sounds.

In this article, we will look at an HR checklist that you might want to have in place to develop human resource management practices and processes at a startup.

Define recruitment and onboarding

This can be seen as an opportunity for many. It is a chance for dedicated HR professionals who have seen room for improvement in their previous jobs and careers, to put their learnings and aspirations into practice and really put their stamp on a recruitment and onboarding program within the new startup that they work for and shape a hiring process that is going to be successful and manageable.

This is an opportunity for them to perhaps move away from some of the standard and traditional practices that they feel are no longer relevant or capable of catching the attention of the high caliber candidates they wish to attract when making their hiring decisions. HR managers may also have some strong feelings around the onboarding process, especially now that the onboarding is likely to be digital and remote in nature due to the new ‘work from anywhere’ concept and the hybrid working culture.

Here is an opportunity to establish a HR plan that can cut through some of the red tape and establish a faster and more effective way to interview, hire and on board. Examples might be deciding how long the interview process should be, what the offer process should look like and what kind of candidate verification process you expect new hires to pass in order to qualify for employment.

Also, consider the initial onboarding process in your HR strategy, especially if it is likely to be digital and happen over video instead of a face-to-face meeting which has become increasingly common in a post covid world. First impressions are crucial, and it can be challenging to make a new employee feel welcome and part of the team if there is no office to go to on a regular basis. This is an opportunity for human resource professionals to be original and creative in their approach and to establish good employee relations as soon as possible.

Decide on your technology stack

Some HR teams are a little bit frustrated with legacy technology systems and outdated HR software programs that are in place at their organization. Depending on the budget available, when at a startup, this is an opportunity to define early doors what the technology stack should look like and where the focus should be.

It is probably inevitable in 2022 that the focus will be heavily on the digital side of things, a post covid working culture has pretty much come to define that this is the way it should be, so it makes sense.

Communication and collaboration digital tools will be foremost in the mind. Excellent connectivity and video conferencing tools will be necessary too. Simplicity will also be a factor; you will want a fully connected HCM system with bidirectional data flows connecting it to finance and payroll systems. This will make life a lot easier in terms of data, process, and overall operational efficiency.

Too many disparate software systems and disconnected dataflows usually result in an increase in manual data entry and administration work, this is a frustrating work environment that many HR leaders are keen to move away from. But by implementing more modern SaaS technology that supports automation, then mistakes being made by manual entry will no longer be an issue. Furthermore, by having this kind of technology it will be easier to maintain a secure system where sensitive data, such as employee and customer data, is stored in a cloud system with strong information protection and data security protocols in place. This can offer peace of mind to employees who now know that their personal data is being protected, and it can also help you meet. Your compliance responsibilities. As a HR professional, you will be bringing your expertise to the table, so this is an opportunity to define what the technology stack should look like for the next five to ten years within the startup.

Culture and employee experience

HR professionals, managers and leaders face many challenges today. All of these challenges are also going to exist if they move to a startup organization, they might even be more challenging due to the lack of existing process and procedures in place.

Employee experience and employee engagement will be key to positive long-term retention rates. At a startup, there is an opportunity to define and visualize what you want the company culture and employee experience to look like. This is a great opportunity to move away from dated practices that exist at established corporate enterprises and things that perhaps no longer resonate with employees, especially now that these employees are likely to be geo dispersed around the globe or tuning in via video calls or digital applications.

Connection, empathy, and wellness come into play here and this is an opportunity for human resource professionals to reflect on their years of experience and consider how they might do things differently this time around at a startup. Being able to embed a new work culture and a different type of employee experience, one that improves retention rates and engagement levels across the growing startup organization should be a significant consideration for HR teams.

Digital wellness tools should be looked at, as should the most advanced and interactive employee training programs. Digital technologies that reflect employee experience in their personal lives should also be considered, employees live in an on-demand, instant access to data culture via their phones or preferred mobile devices. This needs to be matched in the work environment as they have expectations around this, something like an employee self-service module where they could access their personal and pay related data from any device in any location around the world is something that may appeal or even be a built-in expectation.

As HR professionals at a new start-up the above factors could be valuable considerations when it comes to your goals and checklist. By taking the time to set up a good recruiting and onboarding process, along with implementing more modern cloud technology instead of having legacy systems, and establishing a supportive and attentive employee experience, then you will be preparing the foundations for a successful HR department that leads to good retention rates and strong company growth.

 

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