Delivering HR for a hyper-growth company

Anne Allen, UK HR Manager, XeroIt’s been a couple of months since my last HR blog post – and that’s mainly because I’ve been so busy finding new Xeros to join our ever-expanding team. We’ve been incredibly active on the recruitment front this year, with over 50 new people joining Xero UK so far in 2014! As you can imagine, I’ve had my hands full writing job specs, dealing with recruitment and interviews and generally making sure we’ve got the right people in the team to move us forward.

So, I’m extremely glad (not to say ecstatic) to announce the arrival of our new full-time Xero Recruitment Consultant, Liz Crump.

Liz joined us on the 16th June and is already making a big difference in reducing the amount of my week that’s spent on recruitment. So, welcome to the HR team, Liz!

Focusing on people management

Switching my focus away from pure recruitment means I can extend my role and really focus on people management activities. But in a fast-moving business like Xero, what are the important parts of the HR spectrum that I should be focusing on? To cut to the chase, what’s the purpose of HR for an organisation at Xero UK’s stage of growth?

There are at least two dimensions going on in terms of scale; global and local. When your global HQ is based on the other side of the world, there are some very specific challenges that come up around growing local teams, expanding communications between territories and creating a common culture and company philosophy – not to mention how you plan meeting times for multiple timezones, and make sure everyone is taking their turn to do late-night Google Hangouts etc. And, from a local perspective, there are specific regional focuses that I need to think about around supporting the UK strategy, pushing our people management plans forward and making sure everyone’s happy as they move along their Xero journey.

The challenges of a fast-growing business

Hyper growth is a third dimension which brings its own challenges – how do you support people management in a company which has been rated #1 by Forbes magazine in their World’s Most Innovative Growth Companies category? By its very nature, hyper growth is based on constant change, innovation and flexible strategic thinking – and that means that HR needs to be equally quick, agile and innovative. It’s certainly going to keep the HR team on their toes.

Defining your purpose

As part of our ongoing people development, we’ve been trying to define our own individual and team purposes in Xero. And, as I’m sure you can imagine, trying to adequately define and nail down your purpose in a pithy one-liner is a challenge – try it, it’s harder than you might think.

My one-liner has landed as this: “My purpose is to ensure our people processes are beautiful so that each and every Xero can contribute and realise his or her full personal and professional potential”

We’ll see how well I do in this aspiration as Liz takes on recruitment and I focus my attention on attracting, retaining, developing and engaging the talented Xeros we have working with us already. Looking after our people is always going to be my #1 consideration!

If you’d like to join the Xero team and realise your full personal and professional potential, you can drop us an email at careers@xero.com

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