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If start-ups want to scale fast, reduce HR debt

Updated: Sep 1

Previously on Scaling Start-Ups...

We discovered that HR debt has the potential to slow down business growth. In this episode, we’ll explore how to reduce HR debt by investing early and flipping everything you thought you knew about HR on its head.


As your start-up gains momentum, the last thing you want is to be burdened with HR debt. HR debt is the compromise you accept for a temporary increase in velocity when building your people practices. The decrease in long-term velocity due to these compromises become bumps that slow you down in the future - this is the interest you pay on your HR debt.

Before you continue reading, it is best to say this up front: there is no solution to 'avoid' HR debt 🤯. But we can avoid accruing too much debt by being cognisant that any decisions taken are as future-proof as possible because the speed at which start-up scales leaves us no time to slow down for massive refactoring.

Start by understanding HR’s role, priorities and where the most effort is allocated

What do start-ups need from an HR function? Run, drive, grow and scale the business through the lens of people and culture.

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