Facebook has come a long way since Mark Zuckerberg launched the social media behemoth in his Harvard bedroom 12 years ago. Regularly voted one of the best companies in the world to work for, Facebook has a reputation for boundless creativity and impressive employee perks, including free gourmet food, four months’ paid leave for new parents and even a friendly ‘artist in residence’, who I bumped into on my visit to its offices.
So what’s it like to be a people leader at a company where creativity trumps organisation, your CEO is a millennial and you have a culture of ‘no rules, only values’?
“It can feel messy and chaotic if you’re used to hierarchies and having to work your way up. That simply isn’t how it’s done at Facebook,” admitted head of HR international Fiona Mullan, when I chatted to her at their London offices. “We really encourage people who join to think about the impact they can have at work and how best to go about doing that. It’s about the outcomes of the work, not just the effort,” she says.
Mullan joined Facebook in 2014 having previously spent nine years at Microsoft. Attracted by Facebook’s position as a social media platform having a revolutionary effect on communication, she believes the tech giant’s disruptiveness places it in a unique position to appeal to people in the new world of work.
“Moving from a huge organisation going through lots of change to a very young, more disruptive business gave me some interesting opportunities as an HR practitioner to think differently about employee engagement and the world of work. I certainly haven’t been disappointed,” she smiles.