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10 tips on creating HR processes and policies for startups


You're a go-getter. You've spent months, if not years, getting your startup off the ground.

If you're like most entrepreneurs, you've done most of it on your own.

But, regular tasks like recruitment, hiring, payroll, benefits plans and employee care are slipping away from you, and there's that nagging voice in your head that's telling you that you need some help.

Yet, you don't think your startup is quite big enough for an HR (human resources) department. So, what do you do?

In this article, we're going to give you 10 tips on creating HR processes and policies for startups.

#1: Define job roles

The first thing you want to do is create a job description for each role in your startup.

This is vital to your hiring success.

You can include things like a brief job description, daily tasks, expected outcomes, and how they'll work, where and for whom.

The more specific you are the better able you'll be to fill the position with the most qualified candidate.

#2: Create processes and policies

This is integral to the operation of your business.

You want to set forth the policies that govern your company. These are the principles or rules everyone must follow. Your processes tell your employees how they are to carry out or implement a policy.

Bottom line – the policy is the what, and the procedure is the how to.

You'll need to know these before you can create your handbook.

#3: Create an employee handbook

This "book" is the centerpiece of your human resources.

It tells your employees how they can expect to be treated and how you expect them to behave.

It should include all processes and policies for hiring, firing, exit, payroll, benefits, company expectations and more.

#4: Set up human resource management system

This is a helpful piece to your HR.

A Human Resource Management System (HRIS) is software that combines your systems and processes to ensure you can easily manage your human resources, business processes and data. 

#5: Decide how you'll handle payroll

This bit of your human resources procedures is of utmost importance to your staff.

Make a plan and be sure to stick with it. 

#6: Organize benefits administration

Another vital piece for your employees is their benefits including any insurance, stock options, vacation time, and sick leave.

This should be consistent throughout your company, so everyone knows what to expect. 

#7: Make a plan for new hire on-boarding

Once you've hired your new team, it's time to on-board them.

You should create a plan for this, so each new hire's on-boarding experience is the same and consistent. 

#8: Define exit and termination strategies

Your human resources plan can help shape the process, guide the conversation and minimize potential damage to either your company, your employee or both when it comes to employees leaving or being fired from your startup.

Your policies and processes regarding this should be well explained in your employee handbook. 

#9: Take care of statutory compliance

This means taking care of and being knowledgeable about the legal framework you must abide by with respect to how you treat your employees.

It includes things like state and federal labor laws, the Fair Labor Standards Act, employee handbooks, safety, compliance posters, and more. 

#10: Create performance management plan

Finally, you want to decide on your performance management. This is how you'll evaluate your employees, set goals and even plan for ongoing training.

You'll also decide how you are going to measure performance. You might begin with an initial meeting to discuss your employee's goals and yours. You'll want to determine how your employee measures success and how you measure it.

Then, you'll have a starting place for discussion.

It's always better to create a performance evaluation that works to help and encourage employees and provide them with the best tools to do their job while also making sure they're meeting your joint goals. 

Final thoughts

One of the best pieces of advice we can provide is to plan and begin human resources before you need it.

You want to be thinking about your company culture and structure from the very beginning.

While it isn't always practical to handle human resources on your own either due to a lack of time or manpower, you can outsource your human resources to experts.

HR is a role that really lends itself to outside help while taking a burden off your shoulders. 

Are you a new startup ready to succeed? Are you looking to get your new business off the ground and watch it rise to success? We are here for you. We can help answer your questions and guide you through the process. Outsource your HR duties, finances, payroll and more to us. Contact Escalon today to get started.

Image: Shamim Nakhaei on Unsplash 

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