HR in Startups: Role of Founders & Managers

LeaderThis column is by Paramjit Anand, Executive Director, Acreaty Management Consultant

Human Resources is one of the most vital departments of an organization, which helps in achieving both the short as well as long terms goals and objectives of a startup firm. A good team of working professionals means better chances of achieving the breakeven point within a stipulated time and low risks for businesses.

For a startup, good employees are as essential as the availability of the required funds because it is the commitment and competency level of a team that shapes the future of a young organisation, and a slight negligence can terribly affect the plans of a business. In a startup the key functions of the HR department remained almost similar to the one in an already established organisation, these are – recruitment & selection, training & development, performance appraisal, employees’ welfare and dispute resolutions, but HR in startups gives more emphasis on the optimum utilization of the available workforce in their retention for a longer period.

Recently it is often seen that in most of the cases of startup failures, the major reason was the mismanagement of the organisational resources, be it in the allocation of a task or settling a dispute between the peers. These issues can be resolved easily, if the vision of the HR personnel gets aligned with the vision of the top decision makers of an organisation, i.e., the founding members and top management. Hence, to prevent the problems before they occur, the HR department should hire only those people who understand the goals and objectives of the business or who exhibit interest to get themselves familiarised with the nature, scope and aim of the business.

Role of the Founders in Optimising the HR

Few HR strategies are needed to be taken into consideration.

A Transparent Employer

Startup founders should deliver the genuine and factual knowledge to employees about their company. The communication between founders and employees should be honest-to-goodness. Founder and employee should make a cordial bond among them. With mutual understanding and strong bond they could lead their company to eminent growth and development. Transparency is very effective for the success of Start-up organization, it propels art and culture of the company, leads to the happiness and retention of employees.

Employees need to know each and every single thing about their company only then they can bring out the prolific results. Founder should not hesitate while sharing confidential information with his employees as both of them together bring effective and efficient results to their organization.

No doubt it takes time to build trust. A founder should share the factual knowledge with his employees at a particular time. He should neither deliver confidential knowledge at the very outset nor at the end. Before sharing actual knowledge founder should judge employees work ethics and his potential of delivering work.

An efficacious founder has a proficient knowledge and thus shares right and unfeigned knowledge. When founder passes authentic knowledge with his employees then only employees can ask any queries related to the company and freely express their opinions regarding any issues.

An Inspirational Leader

Individual owners and founders are creative, inventive and innovative. They make their own fruitful decisions and bring productive results to their organization. As a founder you should maintain a healthy relationship with your employees and deliver the right information with them. Companies should make assure that their employees should make better decisions at first place and they should achieve the organisation’s vision and mission. The company should create good opportunities for employees who will further lead to organizations growth and development.

Role of Managers in Optimising the HR

Following are the suggestions that enable an HR manager to get maximum benefits from her/his team.

For the majority of the startups, its founding members have to play a vital role along with the HR manager and they must make themselves involved in all the key activities pertaining to the HR department. In this context, the formation of a strategic manpower plan should be the first and foremost priority. The major focus of the organisation should be to attain a quality workforce with multitasking skills. Competency Mapping plays a decisive role in finding the perfect match for the company. Competency Mapping saves hiring cost, training cost and manpower cost up to a significant level. After the completion of recruitment & selection process, founding members with the help of HR manager must communicate the newly joined employees about the vision and mission of the organization.

Five Success Mantras for HR Managers in startup Firms

  1. The KRA’s of the Manpower needs to be specifically defined.
  2. The majority of the HR processes needs to be automated.
  3. The HR should be high on emotional quotient so as to engage and involve the employees.
  4. Rewards and Recognitions need to be initiated by the HR to keep the employees motivated.
  5. Grievance handling should be taken care of in a matured way so as to boost the morale of the employees.


HR practices help startups in good as well as bad times. They help startups to achieve brand recognition. Therefore, in the first couple of years after establishment, founders of the organisation and the HR team should work in mutual collaboration to optimise the HR. For a start-up, employees are its greatest asset and every employer want to retain them till the organisation achieve stability stage. HR professionals help start-up organisations to achieve its targets and create a tenacious environment for sustainable growth of the organization.

Disclaimer: This is a guest column. The statements, opinions and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of iamwire and the editor(s).

Image Credit: Inc

Have ideas to share? Submit a post on iamwire

One comment

  1. 1

    HR in startups have a bigger role to play as they have to lay the foundation stone right. Their one bad hire can dent the company culture for a really long time. Not only this, scaling up the workforce as per need of a growing business is most difficult of all. Founders and Managers can help HR a lot in making successful hires.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>