Human Resources (HR) & Legal
You're making your first hires or you’re growing your team. You begrudgingly shift focus from product and sales to…. HR & legal. Okay, maybe not begrudgingly because you love your team and want to make sure that your business is taking care of them. You also want to avoid the cost of noncompliance (which can be extremely painful and expensive).
HR encompasses various tasks, from recruiting, onboarding, training, and performance management, to compensation, benefits administration, and employee engagement. In smaller companies, a dedicated HR staff member may not exist. Instead, companies may rely on HR software and business leaders filling the gaps. In larger companies, the HR department may be massive and operate like the mafia - orchestrating the company's destinty from the shadows.
The legal function ensures your operations adhere to regulations, safeguards your business from potential liabilities, and creats a fair and transparent work environment. You'll also need some level of legal support for establishing contracts with customers and partners.
As a startup or small business, you can easily manage the HR and legal operations in a very lean way and without hiring full-time employees. As your company grows, it might make sense to invest more heavily in these areas, tailoring your strategy to align with your evolving business needs.
Why HR Matters
HR serves as the bridge between your company and its employees, aligning the objectives of both parties. An effective HR team helps to attract, retain and develop talent, fostering a positive work culture and boosting productivity. They manage everything from recruitment to retirement.
Legal supports and protects your business. It helps ensure that your company operates within the law, avoiding potential fines, lawsuits, and reputational damage. A robust legal framework helps protect your company's intellectual property, manage contracts, handle employment issues, and navigate regulations. In essence, your legal function acts as a shield, mitigating risk, and safeguarding your business.
HR & Legal Organization, Functions, JTBD
Talent Acquisition: This includes creating job descriptions, posting job ads, searching for candidates, screening resumes, defining the interview process, conducting interviews, and selecting the right candidates for the roles.
Onboarding: Introducing new employees to the company culture and ensuring they have what they need to be successful. Completing administrative tasks like legal forms and helping employees set up their benefits.
Training and Development: HR leads the charge in employee training and development. They ensure employees have the necessary skills to excel in their roles and contribute to the company's growth.
Compensation and Benefits Administration: Develop competitive pay structures and benefits packages, administer payrolls, and manage employee benefits.
Performance Management: Set clear performance expectations, provide regular feedback, conduct performance reviews, and establish expectations for how performance reviews tie into changes in compensation and career progression.
Employee Relations & Engagement: Foster a positive work environment, resolve employee issues, manage conflict resolution, and manage internal communications. When HR is done right, it cultivates a positive work environment. This can boost employee engagement and satisfaction, improving productivity and driving results.
Compliance with Labor Laws: Ensure all HR practices and policies are in accordance with local, state, and federal labor laws.
Cultural Stewardship: HR shapes and nurtures the company culture, ensuring it aligns with the business's mission, vision, and values. They foster a work environment that reflects and celebrates these principles.
Legal Compliance: Ensure the business is compliant with all relevant local, state, and federal laws and regulations.
Contract Management: Draft, review, and manage contracts with customers, suppliers, employees, and partners. The more you can use standard templates, the better.
Risk Management: Identify potential legal risks and develop strategies to mitigate them.
Dispute Resolution: Manage any legal disputes, whether they're with customers, suppliers, or employees, and aim for a timely and satisfactory resolution.
Intellectual Property Protection: Protect company assets such as trademarks, patents, copyrights, and trade secrets.
Corporate Governance: Ensure the business meets all statutory and fiduciary responsibilities, including maintaining corporate records and meeting filing requirements.
Employment Law: Manage all legal aspects of employment, including drafting employment contracts, dealing with employment disputes, and ensuring adherence to labor laws.
Privacy and Data Protection: Ensure compliance with privacy laws and regulations, and manage the legal aspects of data protection and cybersecurity.