HR Management in Startups

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HR Management in Startups

--By Krishna Bahadur Singh

It’s a bitter reality in Nepal- most startups and small business owners will say HR isn’t a must-have. Sales, employees, a phone, an owner with drive and determination, a brand name, funding, customers- they will say these are the must-haves. I wouldn’t disagree, these are must-haves. However, I think HR should be a part of this list and here’s why.

Having a dedicated HR department will do wonders for getting your startup off the ground. HR is important for any company, particularly those in the crucial developmental stages. Why is it so essential? Here are just a few reasons why a startup business needs HR: 

HR Supports Your Company Brand 
It is imperative that you establish a supportive network of individuals who you trust. To add value to your company, an HR professional will need to understand the ins and outs of you and your company. One of their purposes is to support the attainment of your overall strategic business plan and objectives through human resources strategy. 

An HR department can help you to create and maintain a cohesive work environment from day one. They will ensure your employees embrace your company’s philosophy, strategy, and purpose and that anyone hired will be a good fit. This can only be done in-house and is incredibly difficult to achieve through outsourcing. 

Entice Great Talent with a Dedicated HR Department  
With such a high turnover rate, you would think finding great employees would be a breeze. Yet, when you have only a handful of spots to fill, you need to be sure you are selecting the right person for each job. Every person on your team will play a key role in getting your business off the ground. They all contribute to its growth and development and in the end its success. 

To ensure this, you need a team member who can focus on recruiting the perfect individual for each position when or before the need arises. This task is made all the more challenging when the company is a startup. Not only do you have to find the right people, you have to inspire them to commit to a company that is not yet established and secure, so startup businesses must think about this aspect of Human Resources for long-term sustainability. 

Better Retention 
As your company grows, employees need to be kept happy, engaged, and productive. You want to keep good people around you. This will reduce recruitment and training time and cost. 

During periods of growth, inevitable challenges and conflicts will arise. An HR specialist should be trained to identify, resolve, and restore matters concerning employee relations. During the entire process, HR should be aware of the factors that contribute to employee engagement and satisfaction. The earlier the issues are identified and remedied, the better. 

In the increasingly volatile Nepali job market, everyone is looking for experienced, productive and efficient human capital and to retain the best human capital. HR also actively works to improve the quality of work life by creating and implementing programmes and policies to benefit the employee such as incentives, raises, promotions, and vacation time. HR can help to sustain and improve your company. 

Legal Compliance as Priority 
However, in Nepal all the legal compliances are not being complied with. Right from the start you will need to be aware of the laws in place that will affect your business and employees in the days ahead. As your company grows, the more complex the laws and requirements will be. Your company needs to be sure legal matters are smoothly and quickly taken care of or prevented all together. HR specialists are required to be up to speed on all employee laws, rules, and regulations. One of their most important functions is ensuring that the company and all of its employees are compliant with these rules.

HR Helps to Keep Alive Your Business Goal 
Strategic Human Resources Management (SHRM) involves melding strategic planning with human resources planning. Through this process human resources planning and activities are integrated into the organisation's strategic plan so that human resources management is clearly linked and aligned with the achievement of the organisation's goals. For startup businesses it is imperative to adopt a human resources department to attain long-term and short-term goals. 

HR Can Help Sustain and Improve Your Company 
One of the jobs of HR is to create structure with standard operating procedures. Even with a small team, an organisation goes a long way. Additionally, the more your company expands, the more you will need to cede control. Your business and employees must be able to function properly and proficiently without you. In order for this to happen, it is necessary for guidelines and structures to be in place. So to facilitate this, startup businesses require a human resources expert. 

Suggestions for Startups 
If you’re starting up a company, you’ve probably started to think about the question of human resources. And, if you haven’t, you should. What kind of HR processes do you need to have in place? What kind of legal documents? Recruiting strategies? Policies? There’s a lot to consider. 

My HR recommendation for startup companies is simple: I believe in the “don’t be an ass” approach to HR. Obviously this golden rule is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but it’s also undeniably true. If you treat your employees fairly and with respect, you will stay out of a lot of trouble. 

But HR is not just about putting in place and enforcing the rules and regulations that keep you out of trouble. It’s much more than that. HR, done well, plays an important role in your overall business strategy, helping to attract, recruit, and hold on to the talent you need to create a thriving culture and successful business. 

So beyond the golden rule of not being an ass, there are a few other things to bear in mind as you build your HR infrastructure. 

Employee Documents – Make sure you run through all of your important employee documents with your HR-professional. There are many such documents, but the most important ones include: 

Offer letter 
Confidentiality agreement 
Employee handbook 

We should also consider creating some simple policies and procedures to establish your HR structure. For example, what is your leave policy? Do you offer any formal training? It’s important to think through these policies and procedures and to put them into writing from the outset.

The writer is a Human Resources Manager at Reliance Trade International  Pvt Ltd.

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