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Most startups’ HR “departments” consists of one,or maybe two people as the majority of new businesses do not have any need for a dedicated HR department. However, as a business grows and takes on new staff, the startup typically finds itself overwhelmed with HR-related duties. On average, 20 employees is about the number in which startups start realizing that they do need to think about bringing an HR expert on board.

However, the earlier this is done, the better as there are so many HR-related responsibilities a growing business needs to attend to including:

• Compensation planning

• Employee Training

• Facilitating communications

• Driving Goals

• Maintaining employee relationships

• Overseeing and implementing basic policies and practices

• Putting the minimal legal employment compliance in place and

• Carrying out the practice of targeted hiring

All of these things take a lot of time and discipline, making it practical to have a dedicated HR department or at least an experienced HR specialist on board. If you ask any startup CEO to rank their greatest challenges, inevitably human resources makes the list. For a new business, a little preparation can mean the difference between creating a successful culture or becoming completely overwhelmed by “people problems” at a time when making mistakes should be avoided at all costs.

Why Bother?
If there’s one thing that can glaze over the eyes of a startup founder it’s the topic of human relations. Startups typically have relatively few employees and many of those employees are friends and family members. This makes startup founders even more reluctant to bring HR in the picture because frankly, they just see it all as a big bother and something that’s not necessary. However, it is important for startups to pay attention to HR as doing so will help keep them on the right side of the law. There are so many laws and regulations pertaining to employees that govern businesses today which most startups are totally unaware of, making the unawareness itself an HR issue right off the bat. And, because it’s much more likely for a small company to make more mistakes than a large company, most startups are completely ill-prepared for the consequences of breaking one of these laws.

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