Startup Feature: pslove

This month, we are on the theme of Talents. Talents are lifeblood of any organisation, especially for early stage startups whereby every person is essentially a department by themselves. For some of them, they may take on multiple hats to ensure the smooth running of the startup. On this theme, we have caught up with pslove, one of our startups under the SME Talent Programme (STP), to hear their HR challenges and how the team has grown from 2 founders to a team of 14 (a mix of full time staffs and interns) since they started in mid 2014.

What is pslove about?

pslove is about Powering and Supporting women with our innovative, data-backed products and insights. We’ve identified a market gap in the female pain relief space and have since come up with our patent-pending heat therapy patches to help relieve female pains. Coupled with our period tracking app – we want to empower women with the tools and insights to better manage their health.

What drove you to start pslove?

I am a long time “sufferer” of menstrual cramps and had always been searching for a natural product that could effectively relieve pain. We saw the opportunity when we realised that the problem is way bigger than myself, that it affects a large percentage of the female population. Many of whom are looking to stay away from pain killers, but there just wasn’t a good enough alternative.

What is your vision for it and do you feel that you’ve achieved it already?

Our vision grows as we grow the company and we realised that we can be making a larger impact.

Right now, we are focused on extending the reach of our products to women all around the world so that their daily lives can be enabled and powered to their fullest potential.

What are some of your challenges in Human Resource management?

Hiring to me is more of an art than science and that makes it extremely challenging to identify a “good fit” for the company. It also took me a while to realise that there can never be a perfect fit – so learning about what matters in a hire is important and we should invest time during interviews to figure that out instead of rushing into hiring just because we needed manpower. We made that mistake (of rushing into hiring) a couple of times which resulted in a lot of time wastage and uncertainty within the team.

Another challenge is to be able to maximise talents to their fullest potential. It is difficult because everyone has different ways of learning and it is not possible to have a one-size-fits-all approach. In the process of maximising potential, it is also to have the patience and belief that the individuals have what it takes – I am still learning how to do that but I believe the fruits will be rewarding.

How did you overcome the challenge(s)?

At pslove, we believe in helping employees level up and we invest in them by purchasing e-books and Udemy courses on topics that would help them in areas that they are lacking. We also believe that failures are stepping stones to growth – so we openly embrace mistakes and failures and always communicate with the team that it is ok to make mistakes, but importantly, learn from those mistakes and reflect on what we can do to be better.

Personally, I start to pick up management books and speaking to fellow founders to discuss issues we face. I also have an informal group of friends from various backgrounds (corporate, government, startup and etc) where we get together regularly to discuss management challenges. It is interesting to learn from different organisations and perspectives!

How has the STP and HR Capability workshop helped you in easing your HR challenge(s)?

STP is great in helping us attract talent and helping us be competitive in the space. I have also gained a lot of perspective and knowledge from the HR Capability workshop, especially through the group discussion where we get to speak with fellow startups and learn from one another.

If you had one piece of advice to share with entrepreneurs on overcoming their HR challenges, what would it be?

Embrace every HR mistake as they are key to being better at it.