Startup HR for people-focused founders

Grow your business and your team with confidence and ease

Trusted by Startups and their ecosystem partners for over a decade, we take pride in our unique Startup HR expertise and practical approach that never fails to engage (and delight!) our driven startup clients.

Are you a funded startup leader struggling with

how to develop your company’s first HR foundation, hire a great team and grow your own HR skillset?

You care. You want to get it right.

You’re not alone! Like you, the founders we’ve supported understand that building a thriving business requires a welcoming and engaging work culture that’s fueled by a happy and efficient team.

You might be asking yourself

How do I hire, engage and grow the right team?

What HR tools does my early-stage startup need?

How do I respectfully part ways with an employee?

How do I properly onboard new employees?

What agreements do I need to have in place?

What’s the best way to share feedback?

How do I prepare for a difficult conversation?

Where do I even begin…

We get it!

When you don’t know what you don’t know, and it’s your first time building a team, it can feel complicated and confusing. It doesn’t need to be this way.

Here’s the good news:

You don’t have to figure this out alone. Since 2007, we’ve provided game-changing HR guidance to 60+ people-focused founders to address these common questions, and more. Bring your HR questions. We have the answers.

You don’t have to guess your way to success. We specialize in startup-specific HR. Our time-strapped clients rave about our practical approach to building simple and scalable HR systems that make growing a breeze!

As a founder, you have ambitious goals for your business.

You know you can’t do it alone, nor do you want to.

We can help!

Services for Founders

You’ve secured funding for your big idea. It’s go time! Your team’s about to grow. You want to proactively put the right HR systems in place to attract a happy, connected and efficient dream team that’s plugged into your vision.

Not sure where to start?

Collaborate with us and skip the guesswork!

We’ve guided dozens of founders to help create their first, simple and scalable HR foundation, with all the must-have essentials startups need.

Services for Incubators, Accelerators & VCs

Trusted for well over a decade by startup ecosystem partners, Shine HR takes great pride in the quality of the founder-focused HR expertise we deliver.

Our straightforward approach connects with busy founders and their teams who consistently praise our ability to make HR accessible, engaging and fun!

Invest in your startup leaders by giving them access to our proven early-stage HR programs. Give them the tools & skills they need to confidently grow a thriving business (and their valuation!) alongside a team they love.

“Julie is an effective listener who takes into consideration all the facts, issues and opportunities. She has a tremendous ability to ask all the right questions to determine the options available and provide you with suggestions on next steps.
Entrepreneurs know that their success relies on the strength of their people. Those who engage Shine HR will feel confident knowing that Julie will have the right organizational structure and people in roles to execute and effectively deliver on business goals. This typically involves managing change and handling conflict, which Julie handles with straight-forward, calm professional guidance.”

Jennifer Fraser
Senior Account Manager, BDC

“Julie is a level-headed, very knowledgeable HR consultant. She has such a wide range of experience with various types of businesses – she “knows what she’s talking about”. Her approach is always positive and she has a wonderful presence that creates a comfortable environment, even if you’re addressing a difficult subject. When we were reviewing our HR policies and processes, Julie’s guidance was exactly what we needed.
Some of our managers will still say, from time to time when we are thinking something over, “Maybe we should ask Julie”……..that says it all. She is easy to respect as the professional she is and as an HR Consultant.”

Anne Marie Byrne
Manager, HR & Administration, Compass Commercial Realty

“HR is a critical part of any business and as a growing start-up we were no different. Julie’s flexibility to work with us as needed helped us manage resources effectively while laying a strong cultural foundation for the members of our team. Although Julie was hired as a consultant, she made an effort to understand our company so that she was one of the team. She has been as responsive as any full time staff and addresses issues when they come up without delay. This type of engagement is rare to find.”

Julia Rivard-Dexter | OLY |
Top 50 Canadian Women in STEM CEO, Squiggle Park

“I’ve often told people that the experience I had with Julie, years ago, completely redefined what “HR” was for me. From our first conversation, to our one on ones, Julie not only helped me understand the value I brought to the team but also how I was uniquely positioned to contribute. Julie is truly a multiplier. Think of her as an incredibly talented mechanic trained to finely tune your team’s engine. You need every ounce of power you can get and she knows where to find it.
I learned that HR is an incredibly important strategic growth lever that many C-Suites either misunderstand or simply fail to recognize and leverage. I now use this appreciation to understand how the teams I’m a part of can maximize their potential.”

Matt Cooper
Chief Innovation Officer, Volta Labs

“Julie combines bold creativity with genuine caring. By focusing on people, performance and strategy, she has earned a reputation as a trusted senior professional who supports both growth and culture. Julie would be an asset to any people strategy.”

Geoff Wills
Vice-President Marketing, Nature's Way Canada

“Julie is the most compassionate and genuinely caring HR professional I have worked with. She extends herself to collaborate and find the best solution for all involved with the “individual” at heart. Julie will help set the tone for a culture rich in “humanness” which will help differentiate your business long term.”

Alexandra Orozco
Strategist | International Business Consultant | Entrepreneur Mentor

“What stands out when I think of our experience with Julie, is her commitment to see us succeed. She didn’t hurry us along. Julie never pressured us, she gave us all the tools we needed to make an informed choice. She leads with empathy, and with heart and brings a unique set of skills to the table. She takes the time to explain everything, walks the path that you’re on, and helps you to navigate the sometimes very grey areas of HR, with a solid understanding of the human condition.
Julie knows what success looks like in business, and understands that the right people and culture are no longer a “nice to have” in today’s landscape, but “necessary to have.”

Kristine Elliott-Grace
Partner + Director of Sales, Made with Local

“We learned SO much from our work with Julie/Shine HR. As the CEO of small company, I had some apprehensions about engaging in formal HR practices. But our work with Julie was fun (yes, really!), informative, and totally raised the bar of our organization and has impacted how we approach all aspects of team & culture.
Julie is an absolute dream to work with. I 100% recommend working with Shine HR to anyone who is looking to enhance their company culture and embark on a new, kinder way to approach HR in their organization.”

Sheena Russell
Founder + CEO, Made with Local

“Shine HR’s guidance and mentorship continues to be a valuable resource for our organization. Julie’s open, honest and constructive approach underpins her unique ability to quickly earn and maintain the trust of all team members. She truly cares about her clients and is highly committed to seeing them succeed; by extension, she is more of a trusted partner than a contracted consultant. I have learned a lot from Julie; continuing to learn with and from her will help us maintain a healthy and rewarding culture.”

Steve Armstrong
CEO, Genome Atlantic

“Shine HR helped us set up an HR framework and some tools when we were starting from scratch. Julie gets it – she understood our business, our culture and what we were trying to achieve.  She applies her decades of experience, and quickly forms a tailored solution for your HR needs.  She’s fantastic to work with!”

Jennifer Wagner
President, CarbonCure Technologies