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Best HR Strategies for Startups


One of the most common reasons why startups fail is not being able to put together the right team. Thus, having the right HR strategy is extremely important. The point of human resource management is to maximize employee performance, based on the goals and values set by the company. Your HR team is a kind of a link between management and employees, and its job is to make sure you hire the right people, evaluate their performance, take care of their professional development and keep them satisfied.

Sometimes, in young startup companies, this job is done by one person. You might even have to take care of all the aforementioned issues personally, at least at the beginning. Here are a few pieces of advice on how to handle all these tasks properly.

Looking for the right skills

The most important aspect of forming a good team is, naturally, having the right hiring strategy from the very start. Keep in mind that as much as 46 percent of new hires tend to fail in less than 18 months. Therefore, you have to be absolutely sure that the skills and characters of the people you recruit are aligned with your company aims, values and the overall mission. You need to know exactly what you’re looking for in candidates.

Searching for versatile and flexible people who can multitask is also a reasonable idea, especially if your budget is tight. Also, sometimes, it’s advisable to choose talent over experience, and not just because it’s a generally less expensive option. A young and gifted employee who is ready to learn can be shaped and stimulated to develop in a specific direction to fit your company needs. Of course, there will be some positions in your startup that demand experience and for those positions, you’ll have to look for someone who’s already knowledgeable and proficient.

Matching the characters

Always remember that building a team is not only about recruiting people who have the right skills – their state of mind is equally important. Members of your team need to be well-matched character-wise. This doesn’t mean they all have to be the same, but that their personalities need to be compatible and able to grow together through healthy differences and conflicts.

The importance of training

One of the most important personality traits you need to search for in new employees is their willingness to learn. Organizing occasional training sessions will benefit both your company and your workers. It will make their job easier and provide them with another valuable reference for their CV, and on the other hand it will make your business more efficient. Your HR team will have to evaluate your employees’ competence and suggest areas in which there’s most room for improvement. Finally, it’s very useful to have a few experienced people among your personnel that could mentor the less experienced ones. This is a good way to not only teach the rookies some new skills, but also create bonds between your employees.

Leverage technology

The technological development over the past few decades, and especially the development of online platforms of all kinds, has made handling human resources a lot simpler. You can easily find the right candidates for your job in any part of the world, especially if your company offers the option of telecommuting. The ability to interview the candidates online is also a big time-saver. Furthermore, there are websites and platforms that can provide you with templates of virtually any important paperwork related to human resource management. Whether you need a template for an employment contract, a consultancy agreement, itemized pay slip or an employment letter template, they can all be found, arranged and stored online.   

Provide the right compensation and benefits

Maximizing your workers’ performance means that you have to keep them happy. Low morale always means lack of commitment and productivity. This requires more than just offering them good salaries – you’ll also have to think of innovative, non-financial ways to keep their spirits up. Offering them the option of telecommuting or flexible work hours are just some of the ideas you could employ. Never underestimate the importance of having a satisfied and highly-motivated workforce.

For a successful business, it’s vital that you’re happy with your employees, as well as that they’re happy with you and with each other. A startup is a breathing, growing and dynamic entity, not a group of robots who relentlessly do their jobs without caring about anything or anyone else. You should view your employees as human beings first, and then formulate and implement your HR strategies according to that perception.


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Lauren Wiseman
Lauren Wiseman is marketing specialist, business writer and entrepreneur, currently based in Melbourne. She helps clients grow their personal and professional brands in fast-changing and demanding market environment. Covering finance and investment topics, Lauren strongly believes in holistic approach to business.
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