HR for Start-ups: What you Need to Know


Written by: Leah Maurer 

As the cannabis market expands and more companies begin to emerge in the industry, start-ups and entrepreneurs are faced with many difficult decisions when it comes to operating a cannabis business. One area that new businesses should make sure to keep under wraps and organized is Human Resources, or the department of a business or organization that deals with the hiring, administration, and training of personnel. 

Maren Hansen works with Pasha Brands Ltd., a company that produces and distributes licensed cannabis and cannabis related products. One of Maren’s passions is helping startups, and Pasha works with prohibition era companies to get licensed and participate in new industry. She has helped countless companies throughout her career, particularly in the area of setting up their Human Resources (HR) management. Unfortunately, HR is an area that many companies let go to the wayside until it is too late and causes them internal or even legal issues. 

Maren said, “HR typically gets put on the back burner for most companies at the early stages. There is a misconception that a company needs to be a certain size to bring in someone from HR or implement HR programs. The right HR professional when utilized is going to be a strategic partner working along with the business to forecast, plan and help build a solid foundation for culture, compliance and all things talent. Investing in HR early can have a huge return on investment with the efficiencies and cost savings many HR programs bring.” 

For example the cost of relying on external recruitment agencies for the majority of hiring can quickly add-up. She explained that for start-ups and small business this is typical because it's an easy solution to the hiring process which is essential but can be very time consuming. Although there can always be a place for external agencies, bringing in-house an HR professional can significantly reduce this cost and ensure all resources are being maximized internally and externally. The right HR professional is going to be able to come in, identify the top priorities from org structure, recruitment, systems, policy, on-boarding, off-boarding to everything in-between and help formulate a plan of action to tackle them. For all these reasons and more HR should definitely be considered as one of your top key hires. 

Maren also mentioned that hiring employees is costly; recruiters are great but really it’s better to have an HR person or service (she recommends both Humi and Rise People). She also recommends having a professional or service that is familiar with your company so that if you have a high turnover they are able to help mitigate the costliness. Maren said, “You will save yourself that cost in just a few hires as opposed to a recruiter. They need to know your company culture and can help with better quality hires in the long run.”