Organization tips from Applover’s HR Manager

When a company slowly begins to emerge from its startup character, but still grows up, the arrangement of the work of the HR department is not so obvious. The classic division into specialists in various areas such as recruitment, EB, or Human Resource Business Partnering is not an effective solution. The number of tasks and their diversity is so large that it is difficult to separate specific areas with limited resources. There is no space yet to hire more people, but the number of tasks is not less than in larger companies. Despite the fact that we meet once a week and plan our work, during the week there are a lot of different topics and business priorities change dynamically. How to arrange the work of a team of 3 and not go crazy? 

Get to know your team

Of course, the HR team in small IT companies is tiny. This has its strengths and weaknesses. The strengths are that we are easy and quick to contact or make decisions. We can cooperate and talk with each other on an ongoing basis, communication problems are quickly solved.

The weak point is that each of us must have a lot of knowledge from a wide range of areas and it is difficult to specialize in just one, e.g. recruiting new team members. As a result, we do not have the feeling that our tasks are fully taken care of and done in accordance with the art.

So I decided to approach the division of tasks in the team from a completely different angle. Instead of focusing on areas and specializations, I focused on the strengths of each team member. For this, I used Gallup’s Talent – a test that shows our strengths and talents. The authors assume that it is not worth focusing on the development of something that we do not like to do and which is not our talent, but develop what we feel strong in.

I myself have been operating and working with talents for several years and in my case, they helped me a lot to discover my professional path. So why not use it for the whole team?

How to organize work in HR
Department at the IT company?

Each of us took a test, and then we sat down together and talked about what we are and what we do best in. It turned out that one member who has been struggling with indicators and excel does not need to do it anymore – she can focus on communication and improving the recruitment process, which will strengthen her strengths. Someone else will analyze the data because it will work better. Thanks to this, we are all satisfied with our work and our efficiency has increased. We can arrange our career paths in line with our talents.

Identify the areas that are a priority for business

The HR combines many competencies – HR Business Partnering, recruiting, internal and external EB activities, communication, employee development… When in large corporations each of these areas is equally important, and HR can take care of all issues related to employees. In small businesses, this is not necessarily possible. How to take care of all areas of Employee Experience with 3 people? 

Therefore, it is crucial to define business priorities and at what stage of growth the organization is at. Thanks to this, we know that if the company is in constant growth, and the business assumes the company’s growth, recruiting will be the most important for the Human Resources division. Or maybe the company slows down growth a bit in order to organize internal processes because it already has space, resources, and money for it. Then also HR team can arrange the most important topics to prepare for the next challenges of the company.

How to organize work in HR
Department at the IT company?

Audit the processes and conduct a satisfaction survey

At what stage are your processes at your company? Make your own internal audit, list the areas you deal with. What is not working at all and you need to take immediate steps to repair it? What needs improvement, but it’s not that urgent? What works but could be further improved? Also, talk to the employees. If you have such an opportunity, conduct a satisfaction survey to verify what employees need at the moment. Information from all other surveys, such as an exit interview, can also be helpful. Chat with employees! It is crucial that the actions you take have a real impact on the organization. It may turn out that the business at the moment focuses primarily on the growth and looking for new people. However, the current employees complain about the lack of communication, they do not know which direction the company is going. They even leave because of it! It is crucial then to show the business that even if we increase the number of employees and all capacity is focused on recruitment, it will not make any sense if people start to leave the company.

How to organize work in HR
Department at the IT company?

Put the HR blocks together

You already know what your Human Resources team can do and in which direction they want to develop. You know what business expects at this moment and what people want. Determine where are the gaps, e.g. competence or budget gaps. What needs to be done but the budget does not allow it? Maybe you need to start training people, but no one has trained employees before? Thanks to the answers to the above questions, you will be able to set priorities and goals for the near future.

Set priorities and leave room for action

Once you have priorities, you need to communicate them to your team. At Applover, the HR team meets once a quarter to create ideas and tasks that will allow us to meet our goals. There is no point in making big annual plans, as priorities can change quickly in young companies. If you feel that even a quarter is too long a period of time, it is quite possible that a month will be enough. Bear in mind that business can come from so-called “ASAP” – leave space for an additional project.


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Dear HR Manager, help yourself

You don’t have to buy large corporate systems to improve your work. I am sure that your company uses, for example, Google Products (Documents, Drive, etc.). Try to use what is already there. For example, we decided to use Trello in our daily work. Each of us has a separate board and tasks written on it. We keep ourselves informed about the progress and the flow of our work is clearly visible. Applover uses Atlassian packages so we use Jira to control onboarding.

How to organize work in HR
Department at the IT company?

You are in the IT industry, be agile

We realize that in the long run and with more than 50 people in the organization, this system will need to be modified. Due to the fact that each of us deals with different topics, we have the opportunity to check what areas we like the most. We plan to appoint leaders of minor areas in the next 6 months to share the responsibilities. When we grow more as an IT company, it will change for sure. We do not close ourselves to the fact that this system of work is forever. We are looking for our own path on HR paths to be able to specialize in one of them in the future. When the time comes for a change, we’ll be ready for it.