One of the most challenging and often ignored aspect of running a startup is HR. Quite a few entrepreneurs believe that in the initial years of setting up a new company, HR isn’t a priority, given the small size of the team. A common theory is “HR can come in when we grow and have a sizeable number of employees.”

The role of HR especially in startups is rapidly evolving from a mere administrative one of managing recruitment, onboarding, induction and exit to a more strategic one of attracting talent, managing the work environment, defining organizational culture and engaging and motivating the workforce.

It therefore makes immense sense for a startup to invest into HR in the early stages of the business so as to set-up a strong culture and DNA for the organization. HR professionals are experts in workforce management and add a lot of value in the long run.

Here is how a good HR can add value to your startup.
1. Allows the entrepreneur to focus on core business and operational needs.

Usually startup founders tend to don multiple hats while managing product, technology, customers, sales, meeting investors and a lot more. In a fast paced hyper competitive environment, if the startup is not agile and dynamic, chances are that it will die sooner or later.

Talent needs of a startup are much different from large organisations. A startup employee should be far more versatile and dynamic, have a high level of initiative, be willing to go the extra mile and perform multiple roles. Not all founders have the skill and expertise to build such teams. An expert HR professional helps the founder focus on the key business/operational areas while taking over the responsibility of building a team that fits into this need of the startup.

2. Helps build organizational culture.

Organisational culture is defined as the underlying values, beliefs and social behavior that contributes to a unique psychological and social environment amongst members of the organization.

While a startup founder has a vision for the business, it is also important to define the values and beliefs that the organization stands for. These values and beliefs then need to be cascaded down to the entire organization. The HR leader works on designing the framework and the programs needed to build on the culture. The HR leader constantly reviews and takes appropriate action to ensure that the unique psychological and social environment is deep rooted amongst members of the team.

3. Adopts an innovative approach to talent management.

Talent management refers to anticipation of required human capital for an organisation’s success and the planning to meet the requirement through recruitment, retention, learning & development and compensation.

Startups often find it challenging to attract top talent through conventional means. They need to adopt innovative ways to reach out to the right talent and hire them. Often startups also find it difficult to hire top talent because of high costs. Innovative initiatives like recruitment marketing, inbound recruitment, temp staffing, referral programs can be designed and executed by the HR leader to overcome these challenges.

4. Develops a framework of policies and processes at an early stage.

The Employee Handbook – A document that outlines the vision, mission and values of your startup along with a set of policies and processes that set the operating framework for your organization.

While it may be a seemingly boring document, it has a significant value attached to it from an employee perspective. Through this document the management can communicate to the team what is expected from them and also outline the policies that would govern their actions and behavior. Documenting these policies calls for expert domain knowledge and experience.

In conclusion, startup founders cannot and should not ignore investing into HR. Hire an expert HR professional and let him build your team under your guidance. You could even consider hiring a senior HR consultant who works closely with you and helps you build your dream business.

Contact us at for expert HR consulting services.

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