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When Should Start-Ups Start Considering HR

HR tends to be one of the last areas considered by start-ups in my experience, but this can be something of an oversight. Most start-ups by their very nature are founded by entrepreneurial individuals, who quite rightly may invest most of their energies in selling, meeting customer demands and cash flow.  However, start-ups reach a point where they need to “employ a stranger” for the first time, when they can no longer fill a vacancy with family, friends or ex-colleagues. It’s at this stage that start-ups need to enlist services of an HR Professional who can help them build an employer brand, develop HR policies, recruit best talent and setup a competitive compensation structure.

Employer Branding

Smaller employers, which naturally include start-ups, lose out to more established organizations on securing the best talent. Perhaps their website is not particularly professional, their Google ranking is pretty low, their address is not a fancy downtown location or simply job seekers with relevant skills/experience have never even heard of them. Effective employer branding drives a greater quantity and quality of applicants to adverts on the likes of Monster and Workopolis, and proves crucial in maximizing the likelihood of candidates showing up for interview and accepting job offers when offered.

HR Policies

Robust policies around topics such as bullying & harassment, dismissals and termination, misconduct, performance and working hours reduce the chance of costly and time-consuming tribunals.  Experienced HR Professionals, Consultants and HR Outsourcing Firms can develop all necessary policies, contracts and offer letters.  Law firms can also be used to compliment your existing HR resource ensuring all documentation and policies comply with all relevant Employment Standard Acts and legislation.

Interviewing and Recruitment

Trained interviewers tend to hire the best person and also possess the skills to sell the job and organization to interviewees who may be somewhat reluctant to join a start-up. Start-ups do not normally have the benefit of speculative approaches from applicants and have to go out and find the best, possibly using the benefit of starting a job that no-one else has previously undertaken which undoubtedly appeals to some people.

Pay and Benefits

Without the latest data on compensation trends in Ontario, start-ups can struggle to offer a competitive package, compounded by the scenario of limited benchmarking data. Entrepreneurs often believe they have their finger on the pulse of their marketplace, but these numbers change rapidly and employers with a limited track record may need to pay more to ensure high-achievers join them rather than more established organizations.

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