HR

Is it time to grow your HR team? Why or why not?

Nov 18, 2021
·
6
min read

Building a core HR team is pivotal to your company’s success, especially if you’re looking to grow. But if you’re not dedicated to hiring the right people for the right roles (at the right time), you’ll fall flat. 

Don’t worry though, we have some tips. Read on to learn how to get your HR department where it needs to be, right from the start.

Establish your culture early, and set the tone from the top

Founders care about their people. Especially in smaller businesses, every single hire is valuable and every skillset a person brings to the table impacts the company’s operations and success almost immediately. 

Spend time with your founders and talk about culture. How do they define it? What does their ideal company culture look like? What are their long-term goals? Take what you’ve gathered and meet with senior leadership and both new and long-term employees to nail down your vision and work to make it a reality. 

Korean Drama Smile GIF by The Swoon

Don’t just create values for the sake of it either. Make them unique to your company and ensure they are felt and understood across teams. You’ll set the tone to establish initiatives that align with leadership goals – goals that will help guide recruiting in building the perfect team. 

Scaling people or scaling processes?

Once you’ve achieved product-market fit, it’s time to determine and plan for development. One of the biggest hurdles in scaling a successful business is developing a consistent and reliable human resources process. 

While continuing to bring in new people is the motive, moving too quickly can risk employee dissatisfaction and turnover – lock in your guiding principles first. We’re talking internal and external recruiting, compensation, performance, you name it. How are you developing these areas and processes to set your people up to thrive? 




At Humi, a large part of our 2021 people operations strategy focus is on scalability and ensuring our internal processes support Humigos in their growth and development as we do it. Put your energy into your people, lay the groundwork, and get your guiding principles down pact, and you’ll be set to scale your people.

Determine your metrics 

The metrics involved in designing your people operations department are critical in modelling your success, forecasting growth, and in developing strong performance management. In other words, they provide insights so you can make better decisions. 

So, once you know what you’re scaling for, benchmark metrics and get strategizing. Some important metrics include revenue per employee, recruiting cost per hire, employee turnover, employee productivity rate, and diversity and inclusion, but ultimately, the list is dependent on your business’ goals. 

Use the right tools

Figuring out what your metrics are is step one, but actually tracking them is a whole other ball game. The process has the potential to feel overwhelming without the right tools to help support metrics and reporting.



Luckily, 4000+ Canadian companies choose us as their platform of choice for managing their people operations. Click to learn why our all-in-one software can help you stay organized and get your business to where it needs to be.

Know when to grow

For those looking to build out their HR team, the question is often how many HR employees should we hire? Our answer? Don’t stick to the status quo (...no, no, no). 

The role of HR is changing 

While the average HR-to-employee ratio tends to sit at 2.6 HR employees per 100 employees, with little investment in building scalable HR operating systems early on, your first experienced HR leader is bound to join in for a long process of rebuilding everything. 

One of the most common misconceptions about HR is that it is exclusive to hiring, firing, and paying employees. But the modern people team has and needs varied skills to improve employee engagement, manage company culture, and drive business outcomes. 

Who to hire 

The idea of investing in HR in the early days of a startup or small business may leave some founders feeling skeptical. But you can’t just invest in building a great product – you also need to build a great organization to nurture your evolving business. 

Secure your Head of People 

When you’re at the table with 5-10 people, things just work. Everyone is a witness to the decisions being made and you can get away with having an informal structure. But as things pick up speed and issues start to become noticeable, it’s time to start seeking out your Head of People. We recommend starting your search at the 25-30 headcount mark to really get a handle on things. 



Your ideal candidate is an experienced people leader who possesses high emotional intelligence and strong communication skills, has a thorough understanding of the business they’re serving, and has a bias for action. Within their first year, your people leader will be able to carve out human resource programs and initiatives and take the reins on building a great HR team. 

Be strategic

Once you have your Head of People, which positions you prioritize are dependent on your company’s priorities. For example, if you’re looking to double the size of your team, you may consider hiring a recruiter (click here to learn why you should). 

While there isn’t one right way to go about building your HR team, it’s important to remember the function each member serves, and how strategic hires can help you meet your business goals and take good care of your people. 

For more information on getting your HR team right from the start, register for our free live event on November 25th at 1 PM EDT.

Topics in this article

Get HR insights from Andrea
Subscribe to Think with Humi

Hey there 👋 my name is Andrea Bartlett.

I’m the Director of HR at Humi, and I’m obsessed with all things people and human resources. Throughout my time working in a range of industries, I’ve learned that one thing is clear: the world of work is changing and HR professionals are leading the charge. 

I believe that businesses should know their people as well as they know their product. But people are complex, and the solutions aren’t always easy. That’s how Think with Humi will help. 

Written by me, this newsletter is designed to give you insight into the relevant and raw people challenges, and give you the tools to enable you to continuously to shape the future of work. 

Written by a people leader, for people leaders.

Written by a real HR expert

Yes, Andrea is actually writing them every two months. Got questions about something in an email? No problem – reply to the email and she’ll get back to you.

Not your typical HR content

We know that HR is evolving and you don’t need to be told the same advice you've been hearing for years.

Practical resources

A list of resources that we find useful. If a template or an article has helped us, it’s probably going to help you too.

Get  HR insights from Andrea
Subscribe to Think with Humi

Continue reading

Explore Topics