There are three key changes to the organizational structure as a business grows:
Evolutionary changes within core functions in the company org chart. An organization can be parsed into 3 “meta-functions”-- MAKERS: those who make the product (manufacturing, operations, software development, engineering, services delivery, etc.); SELLERS: those who sell it; and “MEASURERS: those who set and measure progress and organizational health (e.g. finance, human resources, COO, President, CEO)
The human resources function in growth organizations is one of the more radically changing functions. Because of this, it is also one of the functions that has the greatest variation in titles. Human resources titles range from HR Manager on the junior end, to Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) on the most senior. Other titles that are often used include Chief People Officer, Head of Talent, VP People, Head of Talent & Culture, and more.
Early in a company’s lifecycle, HR is often a support function, responsible for the more legal and compliance-oriented tasks required for a company to tend to its employees. These tasks are usually focused on payroll, benefits enrollment, and employee onboarding & departures. However, once an organization gets to 50 employees or greater, not only do legal & compliance requirements increase in complexity, but many other talent-related priorities catapult this function from a supporting cast role, to a leading one. Some companies know they’re going to grow fast, so “start with the end in mind,” recruiting a talent leader from the beginning, while others start with HR being a shared function housed within another role like the CFO, or office manager who covers these responsibilities in addition to their primary role.
Whether a growth-oriented company hires a more junior HR resource in a support role at the beginning and either grows their capabilities as the organization grows, or hires above a more senior HR leader, ultimately, a company runs on people. And therefore, the HR talent function will inevitably increase with complexity and importance. Accordingly, there are many HR functional models that specify anywhere between 6 and 11 or more sub-categories that make up the human resources responsibility. For our purposes in growth-oriented businesses, we’ve identified 7 key HR sub-specialties