In this book chapter, we highlight the HR (human resource) principles and practices used by owner-managers and HR professionals of forward-looking SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises under 250 employees). The organizations in our empirical study have recently undergone sufficiently rapid growth, measured by amount of personnel. In our empirical study, we are identifying principles of HR in these firms and investigating how these principles and practices are related to the current human resource management and human resource development theories and viewpoints used. The main HR principles that we identified were agility, openness and trust. The use of these principles in the guidance of everyday practices leads to employee-orientated leadership, which enhances continuous learning, commitment and motivation. Our study supports findings that argue that instead of adopting formal policies and practices from large organizations, SMEs would benefit from designing people management practices suitable for their own context, taking the experiences of their employees as a starting point. The role of HR professionals is changing, from that of a system guard to a supporter and enabler in the process of gaining success in growth enterprises.