Does a Startup need an HR person? When the question was asked in 2012, the answer was “capital” NO, you don’t need an HR person. Reason being that the Startups at the time were figuring out how to ride this wave, so it’s unsurprising that the first and most popular answer provided was this.
What is Startups? Startup is one of the four stages of a lifecycle of an entrepreneurial venture. It includes: Startup; Growth; Maturity, and Exit. Of course, most ventures do not make it through all the stages – the estimated failure rate of new businesses in their first year is more than one-fifth, with two-thirds going out of business within six years. However, each of these four stages raises key questions for entrepreneur.
According to Wikipedia, a startup company (startup or start-up) is an entrepreneurial venture typically describing newly emerged, fast-growing business. Definition of the startup usually refers to a company, a partnership or an organization designed to rapidly develop scalable business model. Often, startup companies deploy advanced technologies, such as Internet, communication, robotics, etc. These companies are generally involved in the design and implementation of the innovative processes of the development, validation and research for target markets. The term became internationally widespread during the dot-com bubble when a great number of dot-com companies were founded.
Paul Graham says that “A startup is a company designed to grow fast. Being newly founded does not in itself make a company a startup. Nor is it necessary for a startup to work on technology, or take venture funding, or have some sort of “exit”. The only essential thing is growth. Everything else we associate with startups follows from growth.” Graham added that an entrepreneur starting a startup is committing to solve a harder type of problem than ordinary businesses do. “You’re committing to search for one of the rare ideas that generates rapid growth.”
Back to the subject on this post: Does a Startup needs an HR person?
Cale Guthire Weissman in his article titled: The Future of HR and Why Startups Shouldn’t Reject It. He asked a crucial question; What is the purpose of HR? This also leads to the question; What exactly is the function of HR?
According Human Resources Kits for Dummies by Max Messmer, Human resources management is the decisions, activities, and processes designed to support the needs and work performance of employees. The most common areas falling under HR management include
✓ Staffing: Strategically determining, recruiting, and hiring the human resources you need for your business
✓ Basic workplace policies: Orienting your staff on policies and procedures, such as general company compliance guidelines, schedules, safety, and security
✓ Compensation and benefits: Establishing legally compliant, effective — and attractive — wages and perks
✓ Retention: Continually assessing the quality of your workplace and HR programs to encourage people to stay with your organization ✓ Training and developing employees: Ensuring that your staff grows in knowledge and experience, and that their skill sets support the goals of the business, to help your organization expand and continue to meet the changing needs of customers
✓ Regulatory issues: Complying with the ever-increasing number of federal, state, and local regulations.
After they reach a certain size, most employers find it more efficient to create an HR department — even if it consists of only one person. Because of the increasing complexity of HR issues, larger organizations have boosted the size of their departments and typically employ specialists in areas such as benefits administration, compensation, recruiting, and training. But smaller firms that don’t have the resources for such specialization must ensure that the people who handle their HR functions are solid generalists — that is, they possess skills in several areas of HR rather than in one particular specialty. If your organization is on the smaller side and you want to meet the needs of your employees today, you’ll need to know a lot about a lot of things — and the more you know, the better.
The human resources function in general has undergone enormous changes in the past 20 years. HR is a much more collaborative discipline, meaning that, instead of setting and enforcing policies in a vacuum, HR practitioners and line managers work cooperatively to set basic guidelines and carry out programs.
To be Continue…
Akeem Gbadamosi, M.Sc Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management