Here’s another edition of “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at technology companies.
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I run operations at an early-stage startup, and I’ve been tasked with hiring and other HR responsibilities. I’m feeling out of my depth with hiring and trying to figure out visa issues for prospective hires.
Do you have any advice?
— Doubling Down in Daly City
I hear a lot from people like you who are in the same situation at early-stage startups. This came up when I chatted recently with Erin Teter and Lydia Buurma for my podcast. Teter and Buurma are experienced HR professionals who I’ve known for years. They’re currently working in HR at LINQ, an edtech company that provides cloud-based administration and finance solutions for states, districts and schools.
“HR is a full-time job,” Buurma said. “When you talk about creating company culture, setting the company’s mission and values, you want to include people in that discussion and you want to get buy-in from core employees and figure out what characteristics future employees that you want to bring in should have.”
The next best option
If your startup cannot afford to bring on a full-time HR person right now, Teter recommends that your company at least bring in an HR consultant to help evaluate your company’s situation, set up practices and assist with issues.
“Usually consultants are connected with immigration attorneys and other experts who can help you work through the process,” she said.