Office Hours: I am the founder of Employee of Choice, a social benefit startup committed to using technology in advocating for the world's citizens in the workplace.Featured

Hi everyone! I am Tameika Scott, founder of Employee of Choice, a social benefit startup committed to using technology in advocating for the world's citizens in the workplace. I am also the founder of TN2 Consulting, a human oriented HR consulting firm. Previously, I was an HR District Manager at Rite Aid, Regional HR Manager at Macy’s, and HR Manager at Staples. Ask me anything about culture, HR, team building, organizational structure, startups, consulting, and more!
Thanks so much for joining us @MemeScott!Elphas – please ask @MemeScott your questions before Friday, October 9th. @MemeScott may not have time to answer every questions, so emoji upvote your favorites 🔥👍🏾➕
Whats your company website?
Hi! The website to my company is www.employeeofchoice.orgYou may also find out more about my mobile app at you!
Hi Tameika, thanks for doing this! If I understand correctly, your customers are the employees of companies, explicitely not the companies themselvers. I am working on software with that is aimed at helping companies be more sustainable and we are looking for companies that would do a pilot project with us. How would you go about this or would you say this has to driven by the employees too?
Hi Anna! Thank you for your question. Yes, I explicitly focus on the employees of organizations. What an awesome project! I am intrigued. I am a firm believer in employee driven initiatives as it generally leads to a higher level of engagement and a sense of ownership. I would love to learn more about the software you are working on!Tameika
We are currently evaluating several different approaches. Our vision is to provide software that can help make companies more sustainable, both in human rights as well as in climate related topics. Our ideas include software to help companies to create Human Rights Policies, software to communicate with workers along the supply chain that enables them to formally complain about human rights or environmental issues and an app that enabled end customers to learn more about sustainability certifications that can later be used to tell companies which certifications are values most among buyers. We are just getting started coding and want to focus on one of these ideas. Which one do you think is most interesting? Ideally we want to do a pilot together with an interested company, do you have any advice on how to best get there?
Hi Tameika, thanks for taking questions! I’m an Experience Designer and I feel the need to address the correlation between employee well-being and company engagement. I also believe the services companies offer (or fail to offer) are a reflection of their employee’s work environment (particularly values and culture). Therefore, I’m looking to flip the script from UX to designing better employee experiences, and I’m wondering if you can offer any guidance for this pivot. So far, I’ve searched for Service and Org Design agencies but haven’t found many;Management consulting firms don’t seem to be the route I want to take; I’d love to be in-house but I’m at a loss for what titles to look for in companies;I’ve applied for People Ops and Culture roles but since I don’t have any formal HR experience, it’s been a hard sell;And not to mention I’m coming out of a two-year sabbatical, which gives recruiters pause (maybe this is my biggest issue....). Though I already have years of work experience, would you suggest restarting at entry-level roles in the HR space such as Talent Development or Generalist roles?Have you hired any designers (UX/UR/Service Design/Design Strategists) or know of anyone else in this space who has? Any insights you can offer are much appreciated! Thank you so much!
Hi Erika!This sounds like a very exciting journey you are embarking on! Depending on the company, roles that focus on employee experience will often be housed in the Employee Relations, Talent Managment, or Talent Development areas. In smaller organizations, we are more likely to see this responsibility in the hands of the sole HR practitioner, which does not necessarily give the role it's just due. I would recommend looking at organizations that are proven to be forward-thinking in the areas of Employee Experience, Organizational Development, and Employee Engagement. In some cases, you may even find organizations with employee experience roles within the Benefits/Wellness department or Employee Communications. Of course there are the tech giants who have these types of roles such as LinkedIn and Google. However, I would also consider companies like The Home Depot who have invested heavily in the employee experience. Stepping into their headquarters is like stepping into an apartment building to live and having access to groceries, clothing, coffee, and even oil changes while you are there!I have seen clients hire designers into HRIS and Employee Communication roles, however, they typically had some level of HR generalist or employee relations experience. While seeking an entry-level generalist or other HR role is certainly a way to get your foot in the door, I believe you could successfully sell yourself as a great candidate with all of the experience you already have. I would suggest working with a Career Coach to best position yourself for these opportunities as well as a look at some of the more futurist organizations that are open to nontraditional entry into the world of "HR" via areas such as HR Tech and People Analytics.Tameika
Thank you so much for your suggestions and encouragement!
At what stage should a startup seek outside HR assistance? The company I work for is going from 6-16 pretty fast and it feels like a good time for onboarding and supporting those people but also not a good time to give someone a task of finding/managing HR or paying for another expense. When is the right time?
Hi Amanda!I think that once you are approaching 20-30 employees, it is time to at least consider an on-demand HR service such as Bambee or to assist with policy development and HR compliance. Prior to that, having clear policies, a reliable and effective recruitment and on-boarding process, and leadership with a pulse on HR & Employment law should be sufficient. 50 employees is usually the point where I recommend a dedicated HR professional on staff or at least a dedicated HR Consultant who is both tactical and strategic.Tameika
@MemeScott, thanks for your input in this response too. I needed this as I will be launching with fewer than 10.What advise do you have for HR services launching with independent contractors instead until the business is viable to provide benefits?
It’s not a bad idea at all, but you must be careful not to treat them as employees. Otherwise, the IRS can give steep penalties.
Hi Tameika! Thanks for being here - what are the most common HR mistakes that organizations make?
Hi Jessica!It is a pleasure to be here. The most common HR mistakes organizations make are usually related to not having clear policies and practices in place to ensure accountability across the organization. This can be applied to virtually every stage of the employee life cycle including attracting, recruiting, on-boarding, development, retention, and the exit or separation stage. When there is not a clear pathway for addressing issues that may occur during the various stages or even when wins are not celebrated, the cycle can breakdown and result in employee relations issues and even legal issues in some cases. HR Compliance should be a top priority in every stage, as should a clear, but flexible process for managing and addressing performance across the organization.Tameika
Thank you so much!
Hi, and thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.How would you advise a self-funded startup to get HR services upon launching.Thanks
Hi! As a self-funded startup myself, I would say the best way to position yourself initially is via one of the HR tech offerings that have emerged recently such as Jumpstart:HR or Bambee. Services such as these provide you with HR support as needed or they can tailor a package for your specific organization. It is also a good idea to join an organization like the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) as they have lots of toolkits and guides that can be helpful in setting up HR processes. Also, check out for a similar service that gives you access to expert HR support at an affordable rate. Feel free to reach out if you need additional guidance.Tameika
@MemeScott, you are very resourceful. What do you think about HR services offered by Gusto? Not got anyone yet.
I have personally used the platform for my consulting firm without issue, but not the concierge HR service. It’s certainly worth trying! Let me know what you decide 😊.
@MemeScott, thanks as always for your valuable input. I am looking into all your suggestions to know what best fits my startup.Do you have any HR recommendations for a startup beginning with independent contractors with plans of converting to employees once the business can handle the requirements of having them as employees and not independent contractors?What about HR advice if launching with 10 or fewer independent contractors?Thank you
The most important thing is to ensure you are not treating like employees. Using a platform like Gusto or similar is a good way to manage the administrative portion as it allows you to track hours, pay the contractors, maintain online files, and issue 1099s per IRS guidelines. Once you are ready to hire them as employees, you could use the same system and consult with Gusto’s HR concierge service to make sure all of the appropriate paperwork and notices are completed.
Thanks so much. Now got this sorted. Counting down to launching