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Facebook’s Game-changing HR Practices

December 22, 2019

No rules, no boundaries, only transparency. This is essentially the motto that the “social media behemoth,” Facebook, has been living by since it’s creation in 2004. It’s been voted one of the best companies to work in the world and there’s a reason why. Fiona Mullan, head of HR EMEA, expressed that Facebook has one of the most unique ways of working that can be seen in a corporation of its size these days. The company believes it was originally created to accomplish a social mission to open up the world and make it more connected before it ever become a company. It’s had a revolutionary effect on communication not only externally but internally.

Mullan mentions that from an HR standpoint, the company may seem “messy” compared to a larger organization. Typically employees are placed in a hierarchy but in Facebook the boundaries are broken down between managers and junior employees. It can seem shocking to any outsider, however, Mullan mentions that “bringing your whole self to work is good for you.” Furthermore, the business shares information by using Facebook groups rather than briefings with employees. The sharing of real-time information can seem messy but Mullan says that it gives employees the chance to catch up in their own time, collaborate easier, and work at speed without forgetting the goal of the project.

Facebook’s goal of transparency can be seen all the way from projects to HR standpoints where there is a very open culture. The HR department at Facebook does not interfere with employee relations and problems but they rather enable them. “Facebookers” as the employees are called, are allowed to use meeting rooms and treat them as their homes but are expected to clean up after themselves. However, if someone notices the meeting room was left a mess, instead of running to lodge a complaint with HR, the Facebooker can post a picture of the organization’s group with a comment and allow others to reply with funny and sarcastic comments. This is the behavior of millenials and Facebook understands this and allows their own employees to act as free as they’d like. Furthermore, recruiters of Facebook do not even have an employee profile, they’re simply meant to find the right people who have an impact on the work they produce. “It’s about the outcomes of the work, not just the effort,” Mullan says.

Fiona Mullan expresses that she’s been in HR for many years but has learn more in her two years at Facebook than she could have ever imagine. She believes that with this kind of an organization’s mentality, the HR guidebook should be thrown out the window and look at employee relationships and behavior as transparent and creative to be able to help Facebook grow. In a place with no boundaries, everyone is trusted and given the opportunity to have open conversations and then from this, the people will do the right things.


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