HR Management··5 min read

Check Out Our Essential HR Checklist For Startups

HR checklist

The value of an effective HR department can't be overstated, which is why even startups need an HR checklist. This guide looks at all the essentials every startup should consider when creating a human resources department that helps the company succeed.

HR Budget and Organizational Plan

The budget for creating an HR department must be large enough to support the department's objectives while aligning with the entire organization's budget. The human resource professional will need to collect relevant data, such as the number of employees, turnover rate, and training costs.

They then perform data analysis to determine the required monetary resources. With startups, there are no previous budgeting processes to draw from, so the initial budget is created through projections and estimations. It's then tweaked and refined over time to improve accuracy.

Another item that should be on your HR checklist is the organizational plan, which will prove helpful as the company grows. To start, HR professionals have to figure out the best structure to use and then create a clearly defined structure with detailed roles, so everyone knows what's expected of them.

Workplace Compliance, Health, and Safety

Having an HR compliance checklist is crucial for startups that respect federal and local regulations. However, keep in mind that compliance requirements vary, depending on state and city, so you may need to tailor your compliance checklist based on your location.

In addition, regulations can change, so HR professionals must stay up to date to keep the company legally protected. For now, here are key things to note in your checklist.

  • Safety. The work environment must be safe for employees per federal and local regulations as well as OSHA. Typically, a safe environment must have emergency exits and first aid supplies
  • Work environment. Some laws will require you to have posters and notices for all to see in the workplace.
  • Employment. There are various employment laws that every HR professional needs to know of, including work discrimination laws, wage and hour laws, employee benefits laws, and immigration laws.
  • Employee records. The HR department must keep employee records for a specified time, depending on the type of document. Maintaining employee records also helps prevent liability issues. Generally, employee records should include personnel files, medical records, payroll records, and I-9 forms.
  • Taxes. Startups must register with the IRS for payroll tax purposes, and you'll also need an employer identification number when registering with state and local revenue agencies.

Staffing Plan and Staffing Procedures

There are many moving parts to developing a staffing plan or staffing procedures. For instance, you will need to create a new hire checklist for HR, which also ties in with the HR onboarding checklist. To begin with, depending on your organizational plan, you need to start filling roles so operations can get underway.

This involves making various hiring decisions, such as how to advertise vacant posts, how to interview candidates and onboard them. This process also generates paperwork, such as offer letters, I-9 employee verification, job descriptions, and employment contracts.

When implemented correctly, a well-crafted staffing plan and procedures will ensure a smooth onboarding process where employees hit the ground running. However, as you welcome new hires into the company, don't forget to also establish an HR termination checklist that includes procedures for paperwork, exit interviews, and distribution of the final paycheck.

Payroll System And Administration

Establishing a payroll system and administration should be somewhere at the top of your HR checklist. To stay compliant, HR professionals must again take note of federal and state wage laws, which cover minimum wage, overtime, and other employment laws.

Setting up payroll also allows companies to establish a competitive pay structure and benefits plan that helps attract and retain high-performing employees.

Besides mandatory benefits, employers can also sweeten the pot with employee assistance programs, paid holidays, and payout cards for company expenses. Last but not least, the HR department needs to conduct research to find a suitable payroll management system that helps prevent costly payroll errors.

Employee Handbook

An employee handbook is a document that contains all essential company policies. Generally, company policies should outline procedures for dealing with disciplinary issues, dismissals, workplace injuries, sexual harassment, and more. Having these policies in place from the start keeps things professional and formal by letting employees know how to behave.

An employee handbook with all the relevant policies and procedures ensures the company remains compliant. An employee handbook contains so much more that prevents complications when the company finally starts expanding. In addition, it covers policies related to dress code, communication, labor relations matters, and attendance to minimize confusion.

Training, Development, and Performance Management Plan

An effective HR checklist for startups should also include a training, development, and performance management plan for employees. Why is this important? For starters, training and development are needed to help employees make progress with their career goals.

Therefore, providing training and development opportunities is one of the best ways to keep your workforce engaged, motivated, and loyal. It also improves employee performance as employees become equipped to handle the various demands of the job.

Fortunately, employee training and development don't have to break the bank even though it offers valuable employee growth and continuous improvement for the company.

When the company is still new, performance management often gets neglected until it's too late. It's better to have a performance management method right from the start so you can conduct performance reviews effectively down the line. Doing so also helps you know which employees to reward based on their performance evaluation.

HR Technology

Integrating technology into the HR department from the get-go reduces the workload HR professionals have to deal with when creating the HR department.

Moving forward, it also makes various processes more efficient, whether the HR department needs to store employee records or communicate with employees. For instance, HR can implement a time tracking app that provides valuable information for performance evaluation or payroll purposes.

In this 21st century, technology maximizes the effectiveness of HR practices and makes it easier to collect and analyze data. As such, HR professionals should avail themselves of the best software systems while taking steps to keep their systems secure.

Create The Best HR Department for Your Startups With The Right Checklist

This comprehensive HR checklist will guide you in creating an effective HR department. You'll find that having a well-crafted HR department comes with many benefits as it helps you address many issues ranging from compliance and employee relations to employee benefits, plus more.

Since each startup is unique, you can tweak this HR checklist format to create policies, plans, and procedures that meet your company's needs. Overall, a solid HR checklist will result in an exceptional employee experience, setting your business for success.

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