Startup HR

February 23rd, 2011 by hoha Leave a reply »

As part of a recent SBIR funded project to create a search engine for entrepreneurs that can help them locate resources and information, I’ve been looking for HR advice or rules of thumb and have seen not too much.  So I’m going to spend the next few posts sharing what I’ve learned or resources I come across so there isn’t too much of a dearth of information that is hopefully somewhat useful.

So when I think of iconic HR professionals in pop culture Catbert and Toby from The Office come to mind first. Interesting role models, huh? Corporate Human Resources department can play a variety of roles in a large organization but basically boils down into Compliance, Processes, and People.  Though for startups it is mostly about People and the “have to’s” of Compliance. 

Compliance would be anything required by the government and things that are supposed to protect you in the event of a lawsuit. A lot of these things can and ideally should be outsourced, assuming you have the money so you can focus on more important things like adding value to your customers’ lives so they’ll pay you. If you don’t have the money then I’ll try to walkthrough what you need to know about hiring, firing, and paying people as well as what employment laws you might need to watch out for.

Processes in a corporation would be things that you do on a regular basis every year. As a new business you won’t have many of these, especially if you’re searching for the right business model. After you’ve figured out a way to make money in a consistent and scalable way then you’ll start to create processes that are standardized for your protection from wasted time.

People are the most important part. You’ve got to find the right people to help you, convince them to do so, and keep them interested, focused, and productive.

I’ll probably end up breaking it down further as I get into it and try to follow some sort of chronology of an employee or startup lifecycle but no promises.   Let me know if anyone has specific questions as I meander through these topics.


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