While out at SXSW recently, I got the chance to catch up with ZipRecruiter. As a fast growing tech startup, building a team AND supplying their core product to small/medium businesses around the world, I thought they might have some interesting thoughts to share. Pleased to have VP HR Amy Klimek contributing – I hope you enjoy her guest post today.
HR Tips for a Fast Growing Start-up Company
Start-up companies are hard enough to manage must less getting the owner to plan for an entire human resources division. While it may seem superfluous during the very beginnings of the company itself, HR actually plays a pivotal role in keeping you free from employee-related paperwork and hiring so you can spend more time dealing with the quickly growing company you founded.
Formalize the Interview
Including specific questions to ask, criteria for the perfect candidate and a list of paperwork needed to get somebody onboard, the faster you have this process streamlined, the easier it will be for everyone as you work to increase your number of employees to a number that matches the growing needs of your brand. Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t hire on the spot. This simply means you’ll have the correct paperwork to pull from should any legal shenanigans ensue.
Make a Handbook
Though this might seem outdated, the handbook is an absolute necessity no matter if you have two employees or two hundred. It is the one location where everything is written out. Vacation days, sick days, policies and other important bits of information make up this corporate bible. Without it, employees may very well try to take advantage of the system. Having a written out book that every employee signs off on agreeing with protects both parties in the event of a dispute.
Find the Right People
Fast growth can be equally as exhilarating as it is terrifying, scaring you into hiring anyone that shows up for an interview. Do not do this to yourself. Because you don’t have a large employee pool to pick up the slack of a poor employee, making a bad choice early on can easily derail any growth you are obtaining. So long as they fit the culture, have the experience you’re looking for and are aiming to build themselves through hard work, you should have no problem integrating them into your team.
As a new company owner, you’re understandably working every hour of every day to get your fledgling brand up and running. Your employees, however, have to be cared for or else they will turn somewhere else. As soon as it becomes feasible, start providing benefits. Flex hours, paid vacation days and medical coverage are only a few answers to an otherwise extremely flexible system. It’s your company, after all. You can offer whatever benefits you want to. One of the best options is to poll your employees to find out what they would find beneficial. Providing them with what they need is great business in upping retention.
Define the Culture
Do this as soon as you have time. Your culture is what serves as the foundation of the company. Without it, you’ll flounder in identity, thwarting the fast growth you are experiencing. In regards to office culture, this means hiring on a people person ready to find the right employees, listen to their ideas and then implement those ideas within the limitations of the company. If implemented correctly, your employee base then becomes a driving force, propelling your company’s internal growth through innovative new ideas you would have never considered.
Measure the Metrics
It goes without saying that metrics make the work world go round. Without them, there is no data, and without data, there are no informed decisions. Keep in mind that fast growth requires a completely different set of metrics than a steadily rising name. Your main purpose is to track data regarding retention, hiring and development. Some of these specific numbers include turnover, voluntary turnovers, new positions available, terminations, cost of hire, tenure and promotions. Only the icing on the cake, these metrics can then be broken down even more minutely to truly capture a detailed snapshot of the growing employee pool. As you look at the data, it will help you determine any areas of improvement you will need to make to keep growing.
A fast rising company from the HR perspective needs to get all of its ducks lined up in a row when it comes to taking in the increase of employees that has to happen in order to foster the growth. Without more employees, there just aren’t enough people to maintain it, resulting in failure. Arguably, the first new hire should be an HR Director than takes on the responsibility of finding and retaining only the best talent available while still tracking the necessary data to keep the business on the up and up.
About the guest:
In her own words, Amy Klimek is: an experienced HR recruiter and VP of Human Resources for ZipRecruiter, a company that simplifies the hiring process for small to medium size businesses. Prior to that Amy has held similar roles at Rent.com, eBay and US Interactive. For Amy, corporate culture isn’t about dogs and free lunches, it’s about empowering employees and creating an enriching environment for people to excel”.