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Start-Up 101: People Operations and HR


Building a start-up is no doubt one of the greatest business feats, riddled with challenges including hiring the best talents.

However, now that you have some of the best minds on your team – what’s next? The uncertainty surrounding these talents which you have just hired – that they might move over to a large organisation that is willing to pay them a lucrative compensation package the very next day – will certainly have crossed your mind several times.

As such, it is imperative to provide your employees with an environment that recognises their talent and nurture their skills, which is likely to guarantee that they stick around longer.

While it might be tempting to focus on other “key” business areas, such as growth, marketing or product development, these will all come to naught if your start-up does not have the right talent to support these business objectives.

Here are some strategies to set up and run a proper People Operations team within your start-up:

Implement a hiring structure

Hiring a great team starts with your hiring process. Unlike large organisations, a key factor to look out for when hiring new candidates is passion (besides experience of course). At the same time, it is imperative to implement a hiring structure. With a robust hiring structure in place, it helps to streamline your recruitment process and ensure that you get the best candidates for your start-up.

Improve candidate experience

The first impression that you make on your potential candidates is likely to determine whether they join your start-up or not. Even candidates who ultimately do not make the cut should be subjected to the same hiring experience as they will eventually go on to tell their friends or colleagues how well, or unfortunately how awful, their interview experience went.

Proper onboarding

The last that you want your new hires to feel after coming from a good hiring process experience is a poor onboarding program. While your start-up may not be as established as a large MNC, it is crucial to ensure that they are clear on their roles and impact on the start-up. At the same time, they need to be provided with the right tools and support in order to do their job well.

Happy and engaged employees

Once you are past the hiring and onboarding process, the next step is to ensure that your employees are motivated and engaged. After all, motivated and engaged employees translate to a more productive team. That includes recognising your employees for their efforts and achievements, checking in with them from time to time to ensure that they are not overworked, as well as providing them with learning and development opportunities.

Additional tools

Finally, the key to managing your people operations within your start-up is to be equipped with the right tools. This includes automating your administrative HR processes by utilising tools such as automated payroll processing and disbursement, e-leave application systems or even using software to screen and onboard your employees. These tools can help to reduce the amount of administrative HR processes and ensure internal efficiencies at the same time.

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