What are startup founders doing that really belongs in HR? - SmartBrief

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What are startup founders doing that really belongs in HR?

11 entrepreneurs share one HR function that they think fouders hold on to too long

4 min read


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Q. What one task are most founders still handling that they should pass on to a dedicated HR person or team?

1. Paperwork

As visionary, salesperson, and CEO, it’s hard to transition from building your vision out of nothing to crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s. Paperwork is something that can be outsourced easily, affordably, and successfully early on. Getting rid of the busywork frees the leader to lead. — Brennan White, Cortex

2. Project management

As a founder, you want to remove yourself as the project manager in the product development effort. While difficult in the beginning, challenge yourself to hire a PM and let go of your need to control everything. Set up accountability measures and a clear objective, then step aside to focus on making deals, hiring a team and executing your vision. — Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Doorbell

3. Legal work

Is having a founder who’s really good assembling contracts and Googling compliance laws going to make a difference in your company’s success? No. Leave it to the experts. HR specialists and employment lawyers might seem expensive, but they’re well worth the amount of time and mind space you’ll free up. — Roger Lee, Captain401

4. Organizing company social events

As a founder, you want to remove yourself from the planning of company social events. As vital (and fun) as they are, they can be incredibly time-consuming to organize and often require a significant amount of effort, something many founders can’t commit to due to their jam-packed and often unpredictable schedules. — Hongwei Liu, mappedin

5. Team management

HR advises managers on how to handle conflicts and how to run their departments professionally. To hear founders (who’ve hired HR teams) speak about doing this mundane task is quite disheartening. HR staff know employment laws and regulations, whereas most founders do not. Let the professionals do it, lest you make a fatal error in judgment. — Cody McLain, SupportNinja

6. Training employees

Because founders were once in charge of showing everyone how the company worked, they may feel compelled to continue the training process when they would be better served focusing on other things and letting HR handle this in a more formal and standardized way. They can put together a formal training program that the founder wasn’t able to implement on their own. — Andrew O’Connor, American Addiction Centers

7. Initial candidate screening

We use a service called HireMojo. They help us post jobs on multiple platforms and screen the applicants. We simply set up a set of questions and assign them scores. Candidates applying will have to go through the quiz, and you can choose to only view applicants exceeding certain scores. This really helped us sift through stacks of resumes quickly. — Andre Chandra, I Print N Mail

8. Everything but the final interview

As a founder, you should be focusing on the growth and strategy of your business. You shouldn’t be spending time sifting through resumes, training new hires, or fielding query emails. Send these tasks to your HR and only interview (and research; read resume, etc.) the candidates who have gotten through to the final interview. — Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

9. Talent acquisition

Hiring is something a lot of founders continue to do for a long time. I think you should be involved when hiring for key positions, but as soon as those positions are filled, you should leave the hiring entirely to HR. — Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME

10. Employee reviews

It’s hard for founders to take a step back and let HR manage employee reviews and performance evaluation. It implies losing control and trusting others to evaluate the performance of the very people they likely hired. This is a task that HR people can handle with greater organization, objectivity, and structure. Employee evaluations and disputes should be left to HR, not founders. — Marcela De Vivo, Gryffin

11. Career counseling

I think a lot of founders hold on a bit too long to being the “career counselor” for everyone, even when they have a growing headcount. As you get bigger, you’re probably no longer the best person for that job. You need to build an employee-centric function and hire someone to manage it. This will give people the career support they need, and if you invest, they will see that its important to you. — Patrick Linton, Bolton Remote