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Watch the Replay: SBW2023 People Ops Track

Updated: 2 days ago

Are you currently responsible for building and managing the people ops or HR function at your startup? We’ve created some content on-demand just for you! During Startup Boston Week 2023, our People Ops Track was created for startup people ops leaders and managers.



Marrying Compliance with Startup Culture

Design your company handbook and create policies that work! This video will discuss:

  • What is the value of the Company Handbook?

  • How do you create a handbook and policies that actually add value for your EE’s?

  • Where is the line between legal and culture creation?

  • How do EE’s partner with Legal to understand that?


Becoming a Strategic People Leader at Your Startup

For growth stage startups, the People Team is essential to business success, but getting a seat at the table can be tricky! Learn about the evolution of HR into People Ops as a strategic C-Suite partner and learn:

  • What’s the historic role of HR and how has the paradigm of People Ops changed?

  • What does the future role of People Ops look like?

  • Why do people leaders struggle to be seen as strategic executives?

  • What is a strategic people leader's responsibility to the C-Suite and the company?

  • What skills does a strategic People Ops leader need?

  • What sort of influence does a tactical leader have vs a strategic leader?


Finance Fundamentals for Non-Finance Folks

Understanding the basics of financials can help HR and People Ops leaders to strengthen their position as a business partner within their respective organizations. This session will include both a presentation and an interactive workshop to hone the skills that non-finance people should know in order to strengthen their business acumen and company’s success:

  • Why does HR need to understand the business’ financials?

  • How do you become a good partner to your Finance team?

  • What financial terms and topics should HR be familiar with?

  • What financial metrics should HR understand and why?


Compensation Strategies to Consider for Your Startup

Developing a compensation philosophy for your early and growth stage company is essential. We’ll cover how to implement or pivot your comp philosophy and explore different options for structuring and communicating your organization’s value. Whether it’s your first time or you’re an old pro, keeping up with comp is always a new conversation!


In this video, you’ll learn:

  • What does having a comp philosophy entail?

  • How do you communicate that philosophy to candidates and through the employee experience in a way that demonstrates its value?

  • How do equity, leveling and promotions play into your comp philosophy?

  • What are various ways to do cost of living and merit increases and their pros and cons?

  • What is the life cycle of a comp philosophy and how do you handle any changes?


The Ins and Outs of Startup-Backed Professional Development

We are all capable of learning new skills regardless of our titled role within an organization. Whether you’re looking to rise through the ranks in your current department, considering a career pivot, or looking to retain highly valued employees and colleagues within your company, this video is for you. We’ll discuss:

  • When is retraining and reallocating your workforce necessary?

  • When does it work, and when doesn’t it?

  • How does upskilling impact both acquisition and retention of strong talent?

  • How can highly valued contributors be pivoted internally during tough economic times?

  • How is strategic workforce planning impacted by retraining and retention programs?


Leveraging your VC Partner During Growth Phases

Understanding the role of your VC’s Talent Partner (TP) will help you leverage the support you can receive in this relationship. In this video, you’ll learn about their experience working together and will dive into answering questions that shed more light on this partnership and why it works. This video will share:

  • What is the TP’s goal in supporting hiring and retention at their portfolio company?

  • What are some “ah-ha!” moments that a founder working with their TP has had? What do they wish they’d known to reach those realizations sooner?

  • How does a TP leverage their network to help their founders?

  • How do you know when your company’s needs surpass the capacity or capabilities of your TP and what does that transition look like?

  • How do you handle recommendations from a VC that you disagree with?


Utilizing Competency-Based Interviewing to Reduce Hiring Bias

It’s important that early stage and growth stage leaders understand and can confidently execute the fundamentals of competency-based interviewing to reduce bias and increase equitable hiring.


During this video, you’ll learn competency + skills-selection for a role, the importance of consistency in interview questioning, and how to ensure you’re hiring an equitable, representative talent base for your startup, including:

  • What is competency based interviewing?

  • Why is it critical to reduce bias in the interview process?

  • How can you institute competency based interviewing, while still leaving room to “hire for potential”?

  • How does competency based interviewing work together with hiring for culture-add to make a great hire?

  • Are there any drawbacks or challenges with competency based interviews?


You’ve Been Acquired, Now What?

Congrats on the acquisition! Now what? This video will address late stage companies / IPOs and the impact of M&A on organizations and the people who keep them running. You’ll learn:

  • What are the varying levels of information transparency versus uncertainty?

  • How does access to that knowledge change the experience of an acquisition?

  • What are the change management impacts of acquisition and how do you prepare your EEs and managers to go through this change?

  • What do varying types of mergers and acquisitions mean for equity/stock?

  • What are some people ops-trends that tend to occur after acquisitions?

  • Do you break it up or do you keep it by itself? What is the value you’re looking to get from this deal?


What people ops, learning and development and human resource topics do you want the Startup Boston Team to tackle next? Let us know your thoughts in this brief survey.


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