Sep 13, 2021

How fast-growing companies can outsource their HR department

When it comes to building a fast-growing company, you need the right people onboard. Having the right people with the right skills and mind-set becomes crucial and at the very core of creating business growth. In this interview with Epicenter member UrbanUrban, we learn how you can work with HR in a flexible way to support your growth

UrbanUrban is an HR and recruitment partner to fast growing companies. They partner with their clients long-term and support them with HR and recruitment as they scale their businesses. They work, more or less, as an outsourced HR function where they support their clients when and where there’s a need for HR.

UrbanUrban consists of a team of Recruitment and HR Consultants, specializing in different areas, who all share a genuine passion to make people and companies grow. The company strongly believes that the foundation of a successful business is its people, so they work hard to bring you the ideal candidate. When it’s time to hire, they act as advisers and partners for recruitment, handling the operational recruitment process, from doing a needs analysis and writing a job advertisement to holding interviews and managing selections, and taking references.

How was UrbanUrban born?

After over a decade running a recruitment company, Ida Garamvölgyi founded UrbanUrban in 2017. She wanted to create a service that’s customized for fast-growing entrepreneurial companies to enable flexible and efficient partnerships when it comes to recruitment and HR. The solution was to work in partnerships long-term as we know recruitments are made more efficient and of higher quality, once you know the client in-depth; the company vision and objectives as well as the culture and team dynamic.

“We started off by offering a recruitment partnership as recruitment is usually one of the first HR functions needed when scaling, but we quickly realized there are more HR areas involved when you want to grow sustainably (and quickly!). Hence, we now offer both HR consultancy (a bit like management consultancy in HR projects) and recruitment partnerships” – Says UrbanUrban founder Ida Garamvölgyi. 

How come HR functions are among the services that growing companies are most likely to choose to subcontract?

“For several reasons, mainly because you don’t need a full-scaled HR department until you’ve grown quite a lot as a company. Secondly, as an entrepreneur, HR and recruitment isn’t usually your main expertise. Hence, you often outsource it. And that is the idea behind UrbanUrban; to fill in that gap as a flexible outsourced HR department.” says Lina Martinsson, Partner at UrbanUrban. 

As a growing company, you face different challenges and opportunities, and the need for HR and recruitment typically changes over time. You might not be in constant need of an HR department in-house but you still need HR expertise in different forms and to a certain extent.

“The employees and their well-being is central to a company’s success – you need a people development strategy, a culture implementation plan, perks, and benefits plan, leadership training. The list is long! This is where HR comes in. We can definitely see a growing understanding of why HR is important and how you as a company can utilize HR as a business partner.’’ – says Lina Martinsson.

 Do you see any specific HR challenges for scaleups and fast growing companies where the founders/owners are still highly operative?

“I’d say the repeating challenge that we face alongside our customers is the growth itself – how to grow sustainably but quickly as well as finding the right people to support that growth. If we compare scale-ups/high-growth companies with large and more established companies, there’s often a difference in the company culture, environment, pace, dynamic and probably growth targets, and so on. I’d say one of our biggest learnings and key takeaways is to adapt to that type of environment. We’ve learned how to match the right people, how to be flexible, and how to understand the needs these companies have” – says Ida Garamvölgyi

Who are you looking to connect with within the Epicenter community?

We’re currently in talks to create an offer especially for the members of Epicenter. Scale-ups are our thing and we’d love to be able to support the members in any way that brings value to their business and that facilitates their growth. Like said before, all companies are in some need of HR at some point in their journeys and we’re now working on finding an attractive offer to the members here.

You’re all more than welcome to pop over or reach out and let us know what you’re in need of to make us understand what could be a great solution! We believe that Epicenter is a great community for us to be in, to learn from, and hopefully to contribute to! Check out UrbanUrban here.

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