Checklist for Setting Up a HR Department For Your Startup

Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash
3 years ago

There’s simply no denying it, you’ve got a lot on your mind, a to-do list almost a mile long, and a virtual ton of things to set up for your new startup. Whether you’ve got the next hot tech item or a new SaaS offering, you have to take care of a lot in order to launch your business correctly.

Like them or not, checklists can be useful on everything from grocery shopping, to meeting discussions, and yes, launching your startup.

First – Organizational Design

While you don’t have to have a comprehensive organization plan from the moment you layout plans for the startup, for the best structure for your operations you do need to have a basic HR department plan in place.

This will help develop the HR department from the ground up and plan for and provide guidelines for the expansion of the company as well.

Second – Recruiting and Onboarding

Next up, you have to decide how HR will make hiring decisions. This includes who the target candidates are, how to advertise the openings and/or where to post job ads, and of course, how to structure the onboarding process.

When it comes to HR for small business, it doesn’t matter if you’re hiring your startup’s first employee or the 20th, you also have to make sure you have all of the necessary paperwork ready. This includes their offer letter, I-9’s, W2’s, uniform agreements, all information for payroll, non-disclosure/non-compete or other employment agreements, any equity paperwork, any local or industry requirements, or other paperwork you’ll need to have on file for them. It also doesn’t hurt to offer promotional products as a gift such as custom coffee mugs, pens, or sweatshirts printed with your name/logo.

For onboarding, Make sure you are ready for them on their first day and use that time to establish expectations and introduce objectives. What will be the plan for training? Additionally, you should have plans in place to regularly check in with them to maintain rapport and open communication.

Third – Compliance

Your HR department is responsible for a bit more than hiring and managing the paperwork side of things. They’re generally also responsible for ensuring that the company is compliant with all OSHA (Occupational Safety Health Act) requirements. As such, you need to plan ahead and outline the policies that employees must agree and adhere to.

You’ll also need to ensure that you are compliant with equal opportunity employment statutes and have sexual harassment policies and training plans in place.

Fourth – Emergencies

You need to create an emergency action plan including identifying emergency routes and exits, procuring and stocking first aid and medical supplies, and creating documents and placards identifying each.

Fifth – Compensation & Benefits

While these two items are always at the top of your employees’ list, it has to come a bit further down for startups as the above are far more important. However, your startup does have to consider how to best compensate employees so that retention is as little of an issue as possible.

What will the pay structure be? Take the time to evaluate your market and competitors in order to determine a pay scale that is fair and competitive.

What benefits will your startup offer? Remember, some are completely voluntary on your part but then others are required by law. Do you know which is which?

When it comes to managing payroll, what software, SaaS, or system will you use? Mismanaging payroll can lead to employee dissatisfaction and can be expensive to correct. Plan from the start to handle payroll properly.

Launching a new startup is hectic and time-consuming and using checklists to help ensure you cover everything is definitely a pro-tip. Use the one above and help ensure that your HR department is as solid as it can be from the word go. 

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