HR Advisory

We bring innovative, unique cultures to life.

We bring innovative and unique cultures to life.

Our executive HR leaders serve as the part-time internal talent experts to many early-stage tech and biotech companies. What do our clients have in common? They all see talent as the key differentiator and driver of their success.

Strategic initiatives

Taking a strategic approach, we tackle initiatives one at a time designing approaches that align with the culture and values of the organization.

Process creation

We build light processes as they are needed, minimizing the “ask”  of employees and ensuring that time spent by employees on talent initiatives is value-added.

Leveraging the right time

We use leadership time carefully, primarily leveraging leaders to make key decisions and to gather appropriate context, input, and guidance.

Why HR Advisory Support?

Talent is one of your biggest costs.

With decades of experience helping many early-stage companies build strong talent foundations, we come up to speed quickly and provide immediate leverage.

We have a keen sense of the priorities and sequence of initiatives, but we always incorporate the leaders’ views and your culture into our action plans, process designs, and recomendations. The work we often do early in an engagement includes: 

  • Executive team effectiveness
  • Leveling
  • Hiring strategy and sequencing (note: we do not run recruiting processes)
  • Performance management
  • Compensation benchmarking and alignment
  • Advising and coaching

Plug and Play for Immediate Impact

We can move quickly to gather context, assess trends, and have impact. And while we can build content and strategies from scratch over many months, we also have codified approaches that can quickly be configured to meet your specific needs and be implemented much more quickly. Our strategy content includes:

  • Performance management
  • Compensation
  • Leveling
  • Mentoring
  • Goal-setting
  • Onboarding
Plug and Play for Strategy Content for Immediate Impact

Expertise in Technical Environments

Our HR consultants have worked with dozens of early-stage tech and biotech companies and with thousands of engineers and scientists. We understand their strengths and challenges. We’ve perfected an approach to coaching and advising that builds trust, unlocks potential, and enables candor.

At every level in the org

Just like a full-time head of HR, our consultants work closely with executive teams to set strategy and determine priorities. We leverage leaders as business partners and employees are empowered to listen, provide support, and answer questions.

Results and impact
  • Better communication between employees and leaders
  • Someone with their finger on the pulse of the culture
  • Increased engagement
  • Greater transparency about expectations and performance
  • Lower attrition
  • Increased team effectiveness
  • Better hiring decisions/ higher hit rates on culture fit
  • More efficient processes/ less organizational time spent on low value HR activities
  • Connections to trusted vendors and software solutions
  • Risk mitigation and compliance with labor law
  • Immediate support for leaders managing employee relations matters
  • A trusted third party to support, counsel, and coach employees

Don’t take our word for it

  • Success Story

    HR Advisory Client
    HR Advisory Client

    Context

    An 11-person R&D company in Cambridge had just gone through a major restructuring that included a layoff of 60% of the workforce. They were managing cash carefully as they aimed to turn the company's performance around. The new CEO, appointed just before the restructuring, announced that talent would be the differentiator if they were to succeed.
    Learn More

    Context

    An 11-person R&D company in Cambridge had just gone through a major restructuring that included a layoff of 60% of the workforce. They were managing cash carefully as they aimed to turn the company's performance around. The new CEO, appointed just before the restructuring, announced that talent would be the differentiator if they were to succeed. A board member recommended that HAVEN partner with the CEO to bring his vision to life.

    Haven Approach

    HAVEN focused on implementing key strategies that fit the culture and drove performance without distracting the team from the scientific progress required to maintain their funding. HAVEN tackled key initiatives such as:
    • designing and embedding goal-setting and key results into the annual planning process,
    • designing a light performance management process, and
    • advising managers on delivering candid and timely feedback to employees.
    The results were significant. The executives and scientists achieved unprecedented results in the lab. They acquired another company and raised an additional $80M. At 90 employees, the organization has just hired its first HR leader and will continue to engage HAVEN with key coaching engagements and manager development programs.
    HR Advisory Client
  • Success Story

    HR Advisory Client
    HR Advisory Client

    Context

    A Biotech company with 50M in funding had grown to 40 people without an HR leader in place. They had recently lost four key employees, and they were starting to see signs that engagement was low across the company.
    Learn More

    Context

    A Biotech company with 50M in funding had grown to 40 people without an HR leader in place. They had recently lost four key employees, and they were starting to see signs that engagement was low across the company.

    Haven Approach

    An HR leader from HAVEN was hired to spend one day per week getting a handle on the dynamics and advising them on the most critical people issues. HAVEN's leader met with key leaders 1:1 and conducted a series of focus groups to hear from employees. This research led to a recommendation for the leaders to focus on three critical vulnerabilities:
    • providing context and managing expectations during periods of change,
    • comprehensive onboarding and relationship-building opportunities for new employees, and
    • equipping and empowering more junior managers to own and lead their teams.
    The engagement was measured in 6-month intervals and improved steadily over the next 18 months. The organization grew in a healthier way and reached 60 employees before hiring a VP of Human Resources. HAVEN's consultant still meets regularly with the CEO and serves as a strategic resource to the new HR leader.
    HR Advisory Client

FAQs

Choosing an executive coach is a big decision. Some say qualifications matter most; others say chemistry is most important. At HAVEN, we think both are necessary. That’s why all our coaches have formal coach training and business experience and represent a versatile set of coaching styles. Yet, there’s one more consideration essential to making this investment worth it.

It depends. Coaching is expensive and only worth it for some. Complete this scorecard to help you decide. [Trevor: Answer code yes/no/not sure]

  • Does the recipient want coaching?
  • Does the recipient need to develop to achieve his/her/their goals?
  • Is the recipient capable of change?
  • Can the recipient make the time to invest in coaching?
  • Would the organization be receptive/supportive?
  • Is coaching a last-ditch effort to “save” recipient from termination? [reverse coded where yes calculation would go into no score]
  • Does the organization have the budget for coaching?
  • Have (or will) internal supports been provided like feedback and mentoring?

[If 70% or more are yes]: Great, it sounds like coaching may well be a smart investment in this time. If you want to discuss further and/or get to know our coaches, complete this quick form and we will get in touch.

[If 70% or more of answers are no]: From our experience, it doesn’t sound like coaching is the right intervention in this instance. We’d hate for you to invest finite resources on something with such a questionable return but if you think there is a case for coaching, reach out to us to talk.

[If no clear winner or most answers are unsure]: From our experience, positive answers to these questions are proportional to the success of the partnership. As such, we’d encourage you to uncover these answers before you determine if coaching is the right step at this time.

Bring your innovative and unique culture

to life