Taking care of your people requires that you get your total people investment right. Companies that outperform understand that it’s all about their people. To attract, engage, and retain those people, they need to invest in them. In our September webinar, we heard from Sequoia HRBP’s and a panel of experts as they addressed top people-related challenges for tech startups, and what they’re doing to address and overcome these challenges. Read on for their insights and key takeaways.

Roshni Hundel, Head of People at RudderStack

Crystal Kwan, Head of Business Ops at Vendia

Reneé Fujii, Head of Talent at Vendia

Diana Carranza, HR Business Partner at Sequoia

Mark Celio, HR Business Partner at Sequoia

Top Focus Areas

Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

  • Challenges:
    • The talent landscape has become more diverse and faster-moving than ever
    • We can no longer rely on old benchmarking data to make decisions
    • Companies are being stretched to make every dollar go further, putting pressure on hiring and retention strategies
    • Difficult to know what data points to utilize
  • Key Takeaways:
    • Dynamic, real-time and industry-specific benchmarking is key
    • Dig deep and look for trends
    • Total Rewards reporting helps companies track and direct their biggest spend
    • Wellbeing benefit benchmarks help companies know where they stand on benefit offerings
    • Find a community that you can lean on 

Prioritizing Employee Wellbeing

  • Challenges:
    • Remote employees can feel lost and isolated
    • Employee burnout continues, despite generous policies by employers
    • With a geographically distributed and diverse employee base, it is hard to know what to focus on or what actually works
    • Not sure how to ensure employee engagement
  • Key Takeaways:
    • With many companies having remote employees and work, intentional conversations and touchpoints are a must
    • Unlimited PTO is not enough. Add a minimum PTO policy so employees are encouraged to take time off and move towards comprehensive time off plans
    • Use All-Hands meetings and be clear in communication, sharing up-to-date employee resources
    • Understand how your people value wellbeing benefits  

Creating Effective Policies & Staying Compliant

  • Challenges:
    • Unclear where to start with policies & benefits
    • No clear timelines for updating policies
    • How do I create people processes? Creating people processes is overwhelming, especially in a distributed environment
    • Need to find a way to align compliance with company culture 
  • Key Takeaways:
    • Assume you’ll be hiring in all 50 states
    • Policies start small and grow over time
    • Forecast hiring to ensure you prepare for key employee thresholds to be compliant
    • Consider a comprehensive “Orientation Week” to instill culture, ensure great connections, and provide training
    • Become familiar with labor laws once an employee is hired in a new state

View the full on-demand webinar to learn about insights, resources and tools to help you build your people strategy.

Mark Celio — Mark Celio is an HRBP for Sequoia One, where he enjoys helping clients solve complex issues and make strong strategies. Prior to joining Sequoia, he was an HR Manager for Target and an entrepreneur managing his own small business.