HR in hyper-growth mode at Hootsuite

The VP of talent at the Canadian-based social media management company talks revenue, recruitment and rapid expansion.

HR in hyper-growth mode at Hootsuite
In less than 10 years, Canadian-based social media management company Hootsuite has grown rapidly, boasting over 11 million users – including 744 of the Fortune 1000 companies – as well as offices globally.

Naturally, one of the most significant challenges for HR was dealing with that rapid expansion. The global VP of talent, Ambrosia Humphrey, took some time to speak to HRD on her trip to Singapore this week.

“I would say our number one challenge on the people front definitely comes from the hyper-growth that we are seeing,” Humphrey said.

“We are doubling our revenue. We are now in 12 different countries globally, so I would say our top challenges – like everyone else – involve making sure that we are scaling our people side of the business along with the revenue trajectory, and hiring top talent in all of our regions.”

Overall, the global HR profession was confronting – and coming up with unique solutions for – a number of challenges, she said.
“[These challenges] fall into a couple of categories for me. One falls into finding the competencies associated with the top talent in the technology sector. That’s what everybody is looking for.

“On the recruitment side of things, you are seeing a lot of solutions around branding; a lot of HR software is coming into play to really help people find talent.”

Another category is building the required technology infrastructure that can flex and grow with the external and internal corporate environments.

“I think one of the big challenges that people are facing comes around to the technology in the workplace, and how to adopt that and create infrastructure for that.  Things like the use of mobile devices in the workplace, and how to incorporate that into business, the use of social media and how to bring that into business. It’s drawing on those different technologies to help provide people solutions.”

The third category is “learning how to engage your workforce for retention”, Humphrey said.

“Really ensuring your people are aligned with your organisation and going to stay with it,” she added.

Fortunately, Humphrey feels the opportunities in the industry mirror the challenges.

“Being from Hootsuite, one of the main vantage points we have is really looking at how to integrate technology and social media into the organisation. We’ve worked not only as our own case study, but over 1,900 enterprise customers globally in organisations much bigger than ours about how to tackle not only challenges, in terms of putting policy in place, but also how to leverage social, and mobile, to find talent, to engage your talent, and to make their lives easier and more aligned.

“It’s a challenge and HR people are catching up to that style of working. But it’s also a huge opportunity to lead the market, and bring that into your organisation.”

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