19 may 2023
Building a successful start-up requires more than just a brilliant idea. As a founder or CEO of an early-stage start-up, you may be wearing multiple hats, from product development to marketing to finance. However, we’ve recognized the crucial role that often gets overlooked is that of a People Partner. That's why we made the strategic decision to hire a People Partner in the early start-up stage, and we believe it's essential for our company's success.
A start-up faces unique challenges in attracting and retaining top talent, unlike established companies. A start-up usually doesn't have a well-known employer brand or a proven track record. To tackle those kinds of challenges, we’ve worked on creating and promoting our company's employer brand, showcasing the unique aspects of our start-up and our culture to attract the right talent. This might sound obvious, but having this mindset and creating these kinds of activities in the early stage as we are in gives us great advantage.
When candidates pass our recruitment process, we can clearly articulate our vision, mission, and values, providing a compelling reason for candidates to join our team and align with our company's purpose. We can also address candidates' concerns about the risks associated with joining a start-up by providing information on our company's financial stability, growth prospects, and long-term vision.
We also understand the importance of diverse perspectives and ideas in our team, fostering innovation and creativity. Therefore, we’ve established a hiring process that ensures diversity and inclusivity, where we can identify and attract senior and experienced talents through well spread networks, industry connections and sourcing. Thus, we are a small team in an early stage, we already utilize an HR-system, created internal policies and programs to promote inclusivity and a positive work environment.
Once we have recruited our optimal team, retaining and engaging them becomes critical for the success of our company. Ellen has played a pivotal role in creating processes and initiatives that keep our team happy, motivated, and committed to our company's vision. We have designed and implemented employee experience programs, performance review processes and career development plans that align with our culture and values. By keeping a pulse on employee engagement, we can identify and address any issues early on, helping us to retain top talent and maintain a positive work environment. Companies often invest in these engagements when it is too far gone and too late. Throughout our experiences coming from previous scale-up companies, we’ve taken the learnings on doing the right things properly from the start rather than being reactive when the dissatisfaction is already there.
Finally, in the competitive job market, candidates are increasingly looking for a compelling reason to work for a company beyond just the compensation package. Thus, we have created a well articulated "why" of our start-up - why someone would want to join us and be a part of our journey. We’ve recently hired our core team and had them all onboarded during a two month time. Since we hadn't worked together for a longer period of time, we took the opportunity to gather the team for a four day team building kick-off to really bond and get to know each other outside work. This gave us a great prerequisite to keep on building on our culture forward while working in a familiar set up.
During our kick-off, not only did we have a lot of fun (that’s one of our most important core values) but we made up different activities and workshops tied to our other values - Results Matter, Team Wins, Customer First and Curious Builders. This resulted in that the team now fully feels aligned and committed to what kind of values and behaviors we stand by at Bits and not only empty words on our walls.
With that said, in order to continue focusing on our vision and investing in our company's success and the success of our team, hiring a People Partner in the early start-up stage has proven to be the best decision for us.
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