All startups need HR. You need a person or team to administer the human resources function of the business. You need someone to take care of payroll and benefits, and help you lay the groundwork that will allow your company to grow and be successful.

However, many startups fail to realize just how important it is to get the HR function right from the start. It can be a catalyst for future success.

Why You Need HR in Place


HR is about a lot more than paperwork and proper company structure. Courtney Seiter from Buffer explains the importance of HR for startups in an article that appeared on Fast Company:

“Someone needs to build culture, set boundaries and expectations of behavior, communicate them clearly, and make sure people comply. HR should be responsible for both recruiting and retention, and reinforce the company’s commitment to D&I. It must set up fair processes for people ops and hiring, onboarding, promotions and compensation, and performance reviews. It should drive and provide operational transparency. This includes processes like building organization charts, training for both employees and managers, building the code of conduct, and determining and implementing benefits.”

You need HR in place sooner than later to:

  • Get HR right and eliminate avoidable issues
  • Build a diverse team from day one
  • Put your company in a position to succeed

When to Hire Your First HR Team Member

While there is no specific timeframe for when your startup should hire an HR professional, it’s important to get them involved as early as possible. You need someone on the team who is dedicated to help develop the company work structure, organizational culture and help you build a strong team.

Hire an Experienced HR Professional

Human Resources

Many companies hire an administrative assistant or inexperienced HR person to help with human resources tasks. This is often a mistake for startups. You need an experienced HR professional who has dealt with the issues you are facing now and will face as your company grows. You need someone to handle the tough issues and you need someone who has good judgment that is backed by experience.

An experienced professional will help you with:

  • Being committed to diversity
  • Building a strong, diverse, and inclusive team
  • Long term planning
  • Establishing HR best practices
  • Creating a thorough and effective hiring and onboarding process

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IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across the country. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Technology (IT), Accounting and Finance, Consumer Goods, eCommerce and Retail, Financial Services and Insurance, Startup, Cannabis, Big Data, B2B and Industrial, Operations and HR, Professional Services and Legal, Media, Digital and Marketing, Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences, Emerging Technology and Telecom, and  Sales. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Bruce Powell Executive Search

Bruce Powell

Bruce co-founded IQ PARTNERS in 2001 and currently operates as Managing Partner. His personal background includes hands-on management experience in sales, marketing and marketing services. He has built management teams for a wide variety of marketing, communications, media and technology companies. He has also participated in several M&A transactions for service-based companies and is frequently called upon as a resource in the planning and negotiation of such deals.

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