The last few weeks have been rough for Uber. In a blog post that went viral, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler told of being sexually harassed by a manager, disrespected by HR and ultimately blocked from transferring to a different team and advancing in her career at the company. In subsequent reporting, many have pointed a finger at CEO Travis Kalanick’s alleged view of the function of human resources solely as recruiting and hiring, while little attention was paid to employee development, career coaching or manager training.
We on the outside may never know the “real” story, but this should be a cautionary tale for companies with similar attitudes toward HR. Uber wouldn’t be the first aggressive startup to put revenue growth and recruiting above all else, including employee experience and company culture. According to Recode, Uber didn’t even hire a head of HR until it had already hit 500 employees.
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