The start-up life is all about keeping your investors happy.
You have to show that there’s a genuine need for your product or service; there’s experienced management on board to guide your team; and that you can manage your finances.
To cut down on costs, wearing multiple hats is an industry standard. So are the huge workloads, scaling quickly, and bouncing between priorities.
After all, every dollar counts!
While passion is necessary to survive in the startup industry, it can lead to overlooking the building blocks of any great company – culture, values, goals and structure.
So, in an industry where the focus falls on keeping the investors happy and costs low, what’s keeping your staff happy and engaged?
A Human Resources team is generally seen as an “extra” in the tech start-up world.
According to the Australian Start-Up Salary Guide, tech startups hire 50 per cent fewer HR people than companies of the same size in other industries.
The thought of paying a salary for what many perceive as a non-essential role may leave you hiding your cheque book. But, the report shows that close to 40 per cent of companies fail and are 40 per cent less likely to go public without an HR department.
It also suggests that there’s a correlation between the number of HR professionals and the level of capital revenue raised.
But how can an HR professional accomplish this?
Here are 5 ways an HR team can revolutionize your tech start-up.
1. Who are you hiring?
It’s no secret that specialist talent is hard to come by – especially if you’re on a budget.
At first, there’s a very good possibility that you previously knew every person on your team before bringing him or her on board.
But, as your tech startup grows and cash flow from investors increases, so does your need for specialists (and the opportunity for opportunists to sneak through the cracks).
So, instead of adding another hat to the stack that you’re already wearing, bring in someone who specialises in internal hiring.
Not only does an HR team eliminate the time it takes for you to sift through CVs and interviews, but they also can help onboard and train your new hire.
Plus, they can also dedicate time to further screen candidates with background and credential checks, which minimises your tech start-ups risk of hiring a fraud.
2. Company Culture
Startups are known for their culture. In fact, ‘startup culture’ is something tech professionals are now actively seeking out!
But when your focus is a tunnel vision of everything you need to develop for your product or service, finding investors, and setting up a business strategy, it’s easy to lose track of your biggest selling point to future hires – your company culture.
Company culture is one of the biggest motivators for teams when times get tough. And having an HR team in place can ensure that this key building block doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.
3. They know how to sell your company
Fast hiring can feel chaotic. It’s a reality you’ll face when your tech startup is scaling quickly.
If done poorly, it can also mean the demise of your business.
Just as you know your business, an HR professional knows what candidates and staff are looking for. They are also dedicated to making it happen.
HR professionals know how to best sell your company to specialists who may be hesitant to come on board.
As many startups can’t keep up with competitive salaries, an HR professional can help set-up and maintain long-term benefits, keep on top of hiring packages and create package structures.
HR professionals also act as an outlet for staff to vent about issues that are stressing them out and can relay constructive criticism to management. This ensures that employees feel as though their company hears them and is setting them up for success, not failure.
4. They know the market
Currently, Australia doesn’t have the local specialist talent required for your start-up to succeed. Experienced professionals in key roles, such as Data Scientists, Product Managers, UX Designers, and Business Development Managers, are hard to come by.
This means that your startup may need to look internationally to fill these roles.
HR Professionals often have connections globally and can help narrow down your search with people they trust. They also have experience with the visa system, which makes bringing new team members over possible.
5. They know the universities
Although Australia is currently behind on tech specialists, the next generation is the way forward.
HR professionals can bridge that gap between universities and your startup to ensure your business has an influx of interns and recent graduates.
This could also mean your start-up can partner with universities to create mentorship programs for those hard-to-fill roles.
For example, the Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University in Toronto is a world-leading accelerator for tech startups in Canada. It offers space for tech startups to scale their business while working with university staff and students to help build their team in a four-month program.
Since its inception in 2010, over 371 startups have worked with the DMZ. These startups have raised over $540M in funding and have created over 3,521 jobs.
By working directly with the university, it will put a recognised name behind your business and gives you the opportunity to work with future employees with the latest skillset, which will put your startup at a competitive advantage.
Do we have you convinced?
Be sure to download our 24 Step Checklist To Hiring Your Next Superstar to make sure you’ve got all your bases covered when looking to hire an HR professional for your startup.
Not ready to invest in HR quite yet? You can outsource some of your HR & recruitment to Sirius People until you're ready. Contact our Startup Specialist, Angie Cave, to learn more about how she can help facilitate your recruitment and HR processes.