Small business advice: Should you ditch your human resources department?

Check out this recent article from The Washington Post on the efficiency of having a Human Resources Department:

There is a lot of talk within entrepreneurial circles about the importance of releasing a minimum viable product, raising funds, iterating, and so on. But what you hear little about — and this can be the difference between simply building a cool product and running a multimillion-dollar company — is the importance of building your team and managing the messiness of people.

The latest and greatest technology is still built, marketed and sold by people. To succeed, we have to remember a time-tested fact: The best way to manage growth is to grow with the right people. You’re not managing a small business; you’re managing an organic life form.

When you start a company, you feel like you know it better than you know yourself. That is a great advantage when no one else believes in it. But that company will evolve, and as an executive, you have to evolve with it.

In the beginning, you are managing a company (the products, the pricing, the finances, the marketing) but soon enough, you’ll be managing that company’s growth.

For me, this was a dramatic shift. Suddenly, I realized that my mission and functions evolved. As we expand, I had less responsibility but more authority. I had to ask myself: Can I live with that, especially if it wasn’t quite what I wanted?

It is a big change to step away from every minor decision and focus more on hiring the right people to make those minor decisions for you. And hiring the right people isn’t enough. In a competitive job market, you have to be able to retain them, too.

Here are a couple lessons to keep in mind as your firm undergoes that evolution.

Do away with HR and build a talent team

I once talked with a college student who was looking to get into the human resources field. She chose HR because she wanted to have an impact on her future company’s culture, but said she was nervous because no one “likes” HR.

I was taken aback, but maybe that’s naive. Everyone at our company loves our talent team, which provides our benefits, internal opportunities and employee events. But then again, if you work in a company in which people are always getting fired or reprimanded, HR may not be the most popular department.

Click here to read the full article.

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