A: Try to really understand what’s happening. It might be a manager to manager thing. It could be a regional thing. Find out whether it’s voluntary, involuntary, regrettable. Break down the problem and see if there are hot spots that you can attack.
Get ahead of it and really over-hire a leader in your HR team early. That’s important. Get a strategic HR person, not somebody who’s just a great recruiter. At a growth stage company, you tend to want to hire a great recruiter because your burning need is more people. And sometimes you overlook the broader definition of an HR leader, which is someone who deals with operations, benefits and culture. You want a real thought leader on how to scale globally.
We went through a handful of HR people that were good, some that weren’t. The job of HR is 50 percent comprised of everything from compensation to benefits to employee relations. The other 50% is running the company. You are as important as the CFO, the CMO. You are making strategic decisions. I don’t think a lot of early-stage executives, at least first-time executives, understand the 50/50 bucket.
I think some of the best HR people are not HR people by trade. They are really good business people who care about people who should get pulled into that role. You have to say, ‘Hey, this role is strategic, and you’re going to run the business alongside our CFO.’ But some classically trained HR people, they came up through recruiting or compensation and benefits. I think you have to think outside the box and go to other executives who want to build a business and who really care about people.