Companies in the growth stage face an array of challenges, some of which involve staffing. These challenges range from attracting the right talent to maintaining company culture while scaling. Some companies grow so rapidly—at times even doubling total staff over the course of a year— that they are doomed to face an HR nightmare if proper strategy and procedures are not put into place. Many of these challenges and potential solutions were discussed at a “Lunch and Learn” hosted by the Endeavor Louisville office last Tuesday, October 10th.
At this “Lunch and Learn,” Martin Low, Endeavor Mentor and HR Director at Blue Apron, spoke about handling HR in high-growth environments. Low has extensive background in HR, having gained over 15 years of experience in the field before taking the HR lead at Blue Apron.
Low encouraged the group to tackle HR offensively and defensively, speaking on the importance of both strategies. “Defense” generally includes basic administration, including payroll, legal compliance, onboarding, offboarding, and so on. He stressed how all of these things must be taken care of before focusing on an offensive strategy. “Offense” involves overall organizational effectiveness, including recruiting strategies, benefit plans, and more. Low emphasized how offensive strategies add long-term strategic value to a company.
The afternoon evolved into a discussion among the entrepreneurs. They talked about the challenges they each face from an HR standpoint, bouncing ideas off one another and directing questions at Low. The entrepreneurs shared their mutual challenge of finding the right local talent for a high-growth company. Scale-up companies require first principal thinkers, or those who innovate and develop processes, rather than those who simply follow pre-existing steps. If you know of anyone looking to work in a fast paced, dynamic and growing company, please refer them to our Endeavor Entrepreneurs who are currently hiring.