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An HRM Toolshop Case: Building an HRM department from scratch

An HRM Toolshop Case: Building an HRM department from scratch

by Tania De Bock |

Recently a small IT company that had been growing substantially over the last few years asked for our help to set up a Human Resources Department. Until then, they had been working with HR freelancers, but now felt the need for a formal HR set-up and their own internal HR team.

Our approach:
We organized a workshop with the Management Team to determine their exact HR needs and define the company's HR Vision & Strategy. Based on the outcomes of the workshop, we set out the following HR processes:
1) Hiring & onboarding
2) Performance, Development & Reward
3) Employee Relations
4) Termination of Employment

In the meantime, we also drafted the role profiles for an HR Manager and two HR Officers and published a vacancy for the HR Manager. Throughout the whole project, all deliverables were read and approved by two members of the management team and three key business representatives, who served as a souding board.

Once the HR Manager is hired, we will support him/her with the further set-up of the HR department:

  • Finetune the HR Vision & Strategy
  • Hire & integrate two HR Officers
  • Draft the necessary HR Policies

Duration: 3 weeks
Tools: HR Organization Toolkit, Hiring & Onboarding Policies, Employee Relations Policies, Performance & Development Policies, HR Procedures Toolkit

Lessons Learned:

  1. Involve the Management Team: The MT of our small company wanted to delegate the whole HR set-up project: 'We don't know anything about HR'. It's not our cup of tea, we leave it to the specialists', etc... Although they were reluctant at first, once we convinced them that their opinion was essential, they were very keen to share their views on the future of the company. As such, they provided us with very valuable information to understand their HR needs and translate it into a relevant and tailor-made HR set-up. Thus: the sooner your management team is involved in the creation of the HR vision, strategy, department, ... the more involved and committed they will be when HR starts its activities.
  2. Go for consistency & transparency from the beginning: Many smaller companies start with rather informal HR processes and unwritten rules & guidelines, thinking that they can still formalize it 'later'. Do not postpone! While you're setting up your HR Department, use this opportunity to do a thorough job and work out the necessary HR Policies, Processes and Procedures as well. It guarantees a consistent and transparent HR approach and ensures that your internal clients, as well as all members of your HR team are aware of their roles and responsibilities!
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