Events: EIC Community Training on HR: corporate values as a guiding principle
On 9 June 2020 the European Innovation Council hosted an EIC Community Training on HR for start-ups in the process of scaling. In this session 21 EIC-funded SMEs had to chance to learn and interact with Jose Martinez, EIC business coach specialised in leadership and HR, and EIC community member Diana Špakauskaitė, HR-manager at Ruptela.
When companies are in the process of scaling up, there are many things to be taken into account. Is my product ready for the next step? How will it affect my costs and revenues? Managing human resources, however, seems to be an aspect often overlooked. Jose Martinez, EIC business coach for this Community training, recognizes this issue and feels it all starts with the company’s mission and corporate values: "Every company, small or large, needs to have values and a vision. Once you have concluded them, you have to write down, share them and link the values and vision to your decision-making. Put them on your websites, make them public. If potential employees don’t feel comfortable with those values of visions, you avoid wasting time on interviews." Diana Spakauskaite, working in HR for over 15 years, spoke about her experiences with Ruptela and underpinned this aspect: "Culture eats strategy for breakfast, so make sure you hire and retain the right people that match your values and identity."
The glue that holds it all together
Both Diana and Jose offered some concrete actions points for the SMEs to work with. "In different stages of your company, from foundation to scaling up you need to deal with different aspects", noted Diana.
Timely decision making while scaling can be of crucial importance as Diana noticed with Ruptela: "In the beginning, you need to ensure the quality of recruitment, competitive remuneration, and legal compliance. When you grow as a company, it becomes crucial to implement other HR processes - employee onboarding, career development, leadership development, etc." Jose again underlined the importance of corporate mission and values during HR, which can be especially helpful during stressful periods: "If you are scaling up, you need a glue during the process. That process will have many stressful moments, either with customers, investors or within your team. That glue is the culture, the corporate values. If you don’t have them, if you don’t live by them, then the company will dissolve like a sugar cube."
Moving up the league
Aurelio Jimenez, co-founder of ZAPIENS, was one of the participating EIC-beneficiaries. They are currently scaling up their company and wanted to have the opportunity to structure their ideas and thoughts on HR. Aurelio compared scaling up to moving up to a top-flight division in sports: "The team members in the first league are not the going to be exactly the same as in the third league. It’s a combination of hiring new people and retaining those that are able to grow internally. That’s a tricky process and learning how to do that is a great opportunity".
Having both an experienced EIC business coach as well as an EIC community member with previous successful HR-experience was an added benefit for Aurelio: "When you want to climb the Mt. Everest you want to talk to someone that climbed it before, not someone who only read about climbing the Everest. Diana and Jose definitely belong to the first category: Jose has given us focused tips while Diana went through similar processes as we are in and explained how to succeed at this." Aurelio and ZAPIENS attended several EIC events before, both Corporate and Investor ones, but having a dedicated training on different business aspects was definitely a benefit , to be recommended to others: "This is a great value, lots of insights, lot of networking, normally with corporates or investors, today with experts. All of this, on top of our funding, very useful for a small start-up."
Are you interested in receiving tailored business trainings with experts on top of your events with corporates and investors? The Community Events and Trainings are a regular part of the European Innovation Council Business Acceleration Services. On 19 June 2020, the EIC will host another Community Training on HR due to the high demand of the first session. In addition, a Community Talk on Investors is foreseen for end of June. Keep your eyes on our EIC Community and Calendar for further details!