Here’s Proof Your Startup Needs HR

The founder of Thinx has lost control of the period-underwear company largely because of one serious blind spot: human resources.

As the startup expanded and pulled in tens of millions in revenue, then-Chief Executive Officer Miki Agrawal never developed HR policies or hired an HR manager.

Agrawal is out as CEO as of earlier this month, soon before Racked published a story in which current and former Thinx employees complained of low pay, sparse benefits, and erratic behavior by management. Suddenly a company that had touted itself as a champion of feminism stood accused of mistreating its largely female workforce.

In a personal essay she posted Friday on Medium, Agrawal called HR a “problem area” that she “didn’t take time to think through” and cited the lack of an HR apparatus to explain the absence of competitive benefits and pay. She didn’t address employees’ complaints to Racked about her management.


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The head of HR at a top Wall Street bank explains what she looks for in new hires

Before joining RBC Capital Markets in October 2016, Lieberman was the Global Head of HR at the Royal Bank of Scotland. She also held top HR roles at Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, and Deutsche Bank, according to her LinkedIn page.

RBC Capital Markets finished 2016 ranked 10 for investment banking fees in the US, according to Dealogic, increasing its market share. According to data firm Coalition, the firm ranked ninth for total investment banking revenues, including banking and sales and trading, in the Americas in the first half of 2016.

In an interview with Business Insider Lieberman shared some advice she received when she first started her career that informs her hiring decisions today.

” When I was starting my career, my boss told me: “Whenever someone asks you your opinion, you give it,” Lieberman said.

Lieberman said she is drawn to people who aren’t afraid to challenge others and speak their mind. And those are the qualities she looks for in new hires.


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Photography Studio Owner Transforms Business With Powerful Human Resources Element

Jenny Taylor Boudoir Photography is based in Chicago and is a globally-ranked boudoir photography company that works with clients all over the country. Jenny Taylor, the owner and founder of the company, has always had a passion for learning, and is constantly looking for opportunities that would allow herself to grow and improve as a photographer and a businesswoman. Taylor is the photographer and oversees every aspect of the company. She shares how the human resources element is a large component of her job.


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How a Stronger HR Function Could Have Helped Uber Avoid the Sexual Harassment Scandal

The last few weeks have been rough for Uber. In a blog post that went viral, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler told of being sexually harassed by a manager, disrespected by HR and ultimately blocked from transferring to a different team and advancing in her career at the company. In subsequent reporting, many have pointed a finger at CEO Travis Kalanick’s alleged view of the function of human resources solely as recruiting and hiring, while little attention was paid to employee development, career coaching or manager training.

We on the outside may never know the “real” story, but this should be a cautionary tale for companies with similar attitudes toward HR. Uber wouldn’t be the first aggressive startup to put revenue growth and recruiting above all else, including employee experience and company culture. According to Recode, Uber didn’t even hire a head of HR until it had already hit 500 employees.


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Best HR practice in North East SMEs to be recognised at CIPD Awards

Awards that recognise the best of the North East’s HR and development professionals will show that best practice is not confined to large companies with an prize for SMEs.

The 2017’s CIPD North East of England HR&D Awards are being delivered in association with The Journal and associate sponsors Nigel Wright Recruitment, and allow companies to share best practice and inspire future practitioners and businesses.

The awards are open to all types of organisations, regardless of size or sector, and the winners will be announced on June 22 at an awards dinner at the Newcastle Marriott Hotel at Gosforth Park.

Last year’s dinner attracted nearly 400 guests, with winners including Hitachi Rail, Sage UK and Muckle LLP.

There will be seven categories at this year’s awards, with the HR&D Excellence in SMEs recognising how HR&D practice has delivered business results in organisations with less than 250 employees.

The prize, which is sponsored by Cintra HR & Payroll Services, was last year won by Newcastle’s Connect Health.



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