HR Checklists For Start-ups

HR Checklists For Start-ups

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Starting a new business is a tough job. Checklists help us get things done and reduce errors. People are so crucial to your business, using a step by step HR (Human Resource) department checklist can prevent mistakes. Daily, start-up organizations must perform multiple functions. And, in a busy schedule, sometimes start-up business organizations fail to establish appropriate HR procedures. Some small business ventures don’t understand the need for proper HR processes. This lack of understanding is the reason owners don’t create a Human Resource department in their company. Mismanaging people is a big blunder.

Outsourcing this task to an accounting firm that specializes in HR and payroll eliminates risk and liability. A business that specializes in HR understands the regulations and has software to support their activity. If you don’t build an HR department, consider outsourcing this task to professionals.

What Is the Benefit of an HR Department?

The HR department is an asset of the business which protects the legal rights of the company. It can handle the internal as well as external issues of the organization. Most start-ups have a small HR department that may only have one person on the team. It doesn’t matter whether the business has a small or large HR team. It is vital to have a software solution for tracking. HR management software can be expensive, or there are free recruiting software options to handle all different aspects of the HR process from hiring to training. K2 maintains an extensive list of HR software solutions on the Accounting Software World web site under Human Resources.

Get Your HR Policies Sorted

Before making the HR checklist, design the HR policies of the company first. That’s because setting up policies helps businesses to achieve their goals by eliminating the risk factors. The well-structured human resource policies can improve the employees’ experience and reduce the liability of the company.

To start the HR checklist, companies first need to design the HR policies related to the following things –

  • Behavior Policies – The HR policy associated with the ethnic behavior of employees is a great place to start. The company should create a list of all the unethical employees’ behavior traits. Name these traits in the policy Also identify the consequences that employees must bear if they practice unethical behavior in the workplace.
  • At-will – It is essential to add an at-will clause in the policies. These policies make clear that employee or employer can terminate the employment contract at any time. There shouldn’t be any obligation on any party’s hand if they want to end the employment agreement.
  • Change in Policy – In HR policies, clearly state that the company can make changes in terms of policies anytime with minimal notice to the employees. This flexibility will help companies in making changes in the HR policies when needed.

HR Checklist Design

HR checklists guide your business into treating people well and fairly. Education and safety are two items that all HR policies use as founding principles.

  • Create a Safe Work Environment – The critical point to establish an HR department is to make sure that the work environment is safe for employees and meet all the rules and regulations. Personnel safety is a far-reaching topic. A safe work environment includes different aspects, such as an emergency action plan, emergency exits plan, providing a first-aid kit, and other ideas to keep the workplace safe.
  • Training of Employees – For start-up organizations, training their employees, and improving their skills is a priority. The HR department should make sure that employees are getting the opportunities to grow and expand their knowledge. Managing learning plans is covered in our article “Education Improves Your Effectiveness and Training Improves Your Efficiency.” Personnel improvement can be achieved by maintaining the personal files of the employees, following a learning plan, and setting up the performance evaluation process.

What to Include

It doesn’t matter whether the company has hired experienced HR staff or new employees; a start-up organization needs to start establishing their HR department from the ground level. People responsible for HR must use guiding principles. The next important step that start-up organizations must take is to decide how many people to keep in the HR team.

For start-ups, it is all right to start their department with one experienced HR employee who can start creating HR checklist by considering these three areas –

  • Employees Benefit Schemes – HR team should work with the accounting team to understand the payroll and other extra monetary benefits given to the employees. The HR person should understand the payroll system of the company and the financial position of the company to design the employees’ benefit schemes for the employees.
  • Coordinate with Other Departments – It is a fundamental responsibility of the HR department to address the concerns and issues of the employees working in other departments. To help the other departmental employees, the HR team needs to coordinate with other departments and know what’s going on. The HR person should meet with other employees and conduct one on one sessions with them to understand their concerns and requirements. The HR person should understand employee’s viewpoints to gain the trust of the employees, which is very important to understand the internal issues of different departments.
  • Customized HR Plan – When the HR department is creating the HR policies and plans, then they should make sure the crafted plan should help companies achieve their initial goals. They should first work on the basic structure of the organization and then make an HR plan according to it.


By following this step by step HR department checklists for start-ups, a start-up business organization can quickly create an HR department from the ground up. Alternatively, you can choose to outsource your HR department to professionals. This entire task might seem daunting and time-consuming, but with a strong focus and lots of determination, you can make your business successful by building great people.