Google’s human resources director sees growing pains as biggest HR challenge

Google’s human resources chief has said the runaway success of the fast-growing internet company is generating its own set of people management problems.

Liane Hornsey, HR director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Google, told Personnel Today that overcoming its growing pains was the biggest challenge facing the HR function, or ‘people operations’ as it is called at the world’s leading internet search firm.

“So many companies have started off and been innovative, very creative and vibrant, but have then failed and become bureaucratic. It’s always a danger when you grow,” she said. “What I am really working at is to make sure we don’t tip that balance. For this company it is a case of carrying on what we started.”

Looking to 2008, Hornsey said that staff development would feature prominently.

“The box I would like to tick for next year is doing something really funky and different with career development, because [HR directors] are all battling with this issue,” she said.

For the full interview, see Personnel Today 27 November issue.

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