HR for Fast Growing Fintechs: Investing in a People Strategy for Success
The rise of the FinTech sector in Scotland continues at an impressive rate despite the challenges of this year, with a number of innovative new start-ups contributing to this exciting growth.
Setting up any new business is challenging but especially so in technology where getting access to and retaining the best talent is crucial to success. HR strategies and framework must address this reality in order to build a strong team and culture for sustained growth and competitive advantage. Setting up the company’s values and mission early on lays the foundations for a strong and successful workplace culture – ultimately the driving force of HR.
Supporting Scottish FinTech
As HR specialists with a niche focus in the technology sector, we have supported Scottish Fintech Exizent since early 2020.
An innovative, Glasgow-based technology firm, Exizent have a strong purpose - to improve the bereavement experience for everyone involved.
The Founders had launched the company, both having previous experience of building successful businesses. They had plans to scale rapidly and knew the value of early investment in strong HR practice. Having secured funding to support their ambitious growth plans, they needed to build a strong team and culture and implement HR framework and infrastructure.
Establishing HR & people strategy
Having engaged us to support their growth journey, we conducted a full review of Exizent’s existing HR setup and processes, held scoping 1:1’s with the Founders and conducted a needs analysis, planning and prioritisation session aligned to their business and growth plans. This allowed us to gain a real understanding of the company’s ambitions, culture, people plans and future HR support needs.
We then identified the key short and medium term strategic and operational HR requirements which would enable the business to achieve its aims linked to rapid expansions and rollout, as well as being able to support the company values and culture.
Key requirements included contracts and documentation, onboarding processes, compliance, a HR management system, an employee handbook and the ongoing development of strong organisational culture.
The outcome was a tailored and prioritised HR plan with indicative timeline to support the business to scale rapidly over a 24-month period.
Our approach was designed to provide an effective and fit for purpose HR strategy, putting in place solid foundations to allow Exizent to grow and scale sustainably from a people management perspective.
A regular ‘bank’ of HR support time was agreed, allowing Exizent a full hands-on HR service and access to expert HR support when needed to help them develop, implement and maintain their people strategy. This would also ensure that ongoing guidance and manager support was available to their team from a very early stage in their organisational development.
Exizent now have in place robust, fit for purpose, effective and compliant HR and people management systems and documentation, optimising their organisational effectiveness by aligning strategy, people, resources and processes. Team development sessions led by Purpose HR support effective business relationships, collaborative working practices across the organisation, and a strong and positive culture.
Exizent continues to grow rapidly, confident in the knowledge that they have a trusted and flexible HR partner embedded in their business.
"We engaged Purpose HR for their recognised expertise with growing technology-led businesses. They are a trusted extension of our management team and we value their depth of knowledge and professionalism. Purpose HR are very well aligned with our business, share our values and are a great cultural fit. Their flexible support is responsive, cost-effective and saves us valuable time. I would highly recommend Purpose HR for their cutting-edge, hands-on and people-centric approach - perfect for scaling businesses."
Aleks Tomczyk, Founder & COO
The importance of investing in HR
It can be easy to overlook HR in a startup business and it is an area of expertise which many technical startups lack.Many entrepreneurs get their businesses off to a flying start, charging forward at speed, but struggle with people management further down the line. As a business grows, leaders often find there just isn’t time to deal with day-to-day people management and recruitment, and the focus on people can easily get lost. This is a costly mistake and can affect employee engagement, culture and long-term success.
Investing early in strong HR practice at the beginning, as Exizent have done, is critical for sustained growth. For startups, outsourcing this to a HR partner who understands the market, the company’s values, culture and strategic aims, and who adds value to the business is an investment in the future success of the organisation.
Lisa Thomson is the Managing Director of Purpose HR and is experienced in establishing HR functions and people management and development frameworks within growing businesses and is a trusted advisor at board level.
Purpose HR are a trusted HR partner to some of the most exciting, investor backed, high growth businesses in the Technology, Engineering and Life Science sectors in Scotland and offer hands-on flexible support to enable scale and growth through attraction, retention and development of key talent.
If you’d like to find out more about cost-effective and tailored HR support for fast growing, technology-led startups and scaleups, contact Lisa Thomson at firstname.lastname@example.org