i was The first HR leader in two successful startups. In both cases, I’ve built HR functions and teams of people from the ground up.
Doing this from scratch means you have to consider everything, from compliance to compensation. Often processes and procedures fell into place before I joined, so it was my job to assess whether they made sense.
One of the most complex and interesting issues is employee benefits. It’s a topic that often comes up at startups when looking to hire and retain talent.
However, they are also known to be out of control, and as startups tighten their budgets, I believe we will begin to see significant changes in benefits in the coming months.
Founders need to ask themselves what is important to their business and which benefits align with their cultural values.
In fact, every company has its own perspective on what should be provided to employees, so founders will inevitably struggle with the disconnect (what doesn’t). There is no “one size fits all” benefits package, and there shouldn’t be, as each company has its own goals and objectives.
Here are four aspects for founders to consider when building benefits packages:
Focus on what is most important to your people
It’s imperative that startups don’t try to match what other tech companies are offering. It’s impossible to offer every new perk you get, or to offer over-the-top packages like Google or Facebook.
For example, Netflix offers unlimited parental consent, which is incredible, but for an earlier startup, it’s harder and harder to give it.