Startups and HR – The Perfect Match

One of our HR recruiters’, Max Pheysey, discusses why startups and HR professionals can be perfect for one another. 

Startups and HR professionals – the perfect match

Team disagreement and tension is often cited as one of the most common reasons why startups fail. This is often because many startups do not have HR departments or HR Managers to resolve such issues. HR departments not only assist startups in conflict resolution but also improve hiring processes, ensure the company is abiding by employment laws, implement successful onboarding programs, create solutions that retain employees and improve overall satisfaction and morale.

Not only are HR professionals vital for startups, but they are also great businesses for HR experts to work in. They provide a wealth of opportunities, as HR specialists can make the department their own and build it from the ground up.

Levels of management are important in any organisation, but the needs and expectations of managers can largely differentiate depending on the type of organisation. A HR Manager going into a start-up has a ‘blank canvas’ to work with, implementing their own ideas and techniques.


startups and hr

Where do you start with a ‘blank canvas’?

The ‘blank canvas’ provides an opportunity for innovation and creativity, in what can be a period of trial and error until the ideal solution is achieved. For startups, it is important to recognise the true meaning of HR and what they ultimately want to achieve and receive from the HR team. Below are some key considerations for HR Managers when operating in a startup organisation:

  • Identify and champion values of the company – in order to attract candidates that relate to and hold the same values
  • Encourage, understand and motivate employees – in order to increase employee satisfaction, morale, and productivity
  • Recognise potential – play to employee’s strengths to achieve the greatest results from the vision the company has set out

Attracting, building and growing a team that can replicate the hard work of the company, and have the desire to reach optimal levels of success, will gradually assist the organisation in evolving into a successful business.

How can HR Managers add value to startups?

Having a vision and level of expectation from your employees is a necessity, but the same drive and determination that is expected needs to be reciprocated from the manager. Start-up managers should ensure to:

  • Clearly articulate the vision to all employees – in order to ensure it is embedded into the company culture
  • Hire the right people – as team conflict is one of the main reasons startups fail, having the right people working for the organisation is vital. This includes looking for candidates who can multi-task and possibly take on the responsibilities of different roles
  • Develop a positive company culture from the get-go – fostering an environment people want to work in will not only create a positive company culture but also improve employer branding
  • Recognise the need for policies as the company expands – this could include policies about social media, absenteeism, code of conduct, ethics and discrimination
  • Be inclusive and constantly involved in the process – in order to become a trusted advisor for all employees


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Are you a candidate looking for your next role? Let us help you.

Alternatively, are you an organisation with a HR or Reward vacancy? Get in touch with us today. 


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