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Human Resources



Talent Acquisition Refined
Interview Highlights

In the fast-paced world of business, growth is often the ultimate goal. But with rapid expansion comes a myriad of challenges, particularly in managing and nurturing a growing workforce while maintaining organizational culture and efficiency.

Today, we embark on an exploration of insights offered by Q Hamirani, who currently serves as the Chief People and Communications Officer at Paper, following a tenure at Airbnb.


Meet Q Hamirani: A Journey from Airbnb to Paper

Q Hamirani, currently serving as the Chief People and Communications Officer at Paper, brings a wealth of experience from his time at Airbnb.

At Paper, a prominent education technology company, Hamirani's role spans across various aspects of HR, internal and external communications, and public relations.

Reflecting on his time at Airbnb, where he held pivotal roles including Global Head of People Operations, Hamirani shares insights into the challenges and strategies employed during periods of intense growth and transformation.


Hypergrowth at Airbnb: Challenges and Strategies

During Hamirani's tenure at Airbnb, the company experienced exponential growth, nearly tripling its workforce within 11 months. This rapid expansion posed significant challenges, particularly in maintaining operational rigor and consistency within the People Ops function. With a small team initially, Hamirani led efforts to establish operational frameworks and streamline processes to support the growing organization.


The Impact of COVID-19 and IPO Readiness

The COVID-19 pandemic brought unforeseen challenges, leading to a significant downturn in travel and Airbnb's business.

Despite facing a 25% reduction in workforce, the company swiftly pivoted and successfully went public within months.

Hamirani's leadership was instrumental in orchestrating these transitions, emphasizing the importance of adaptability and resilience in the face of adversity.


Recruitment and Onboarding Strategies

Amid hypergrowth, maintaining alignment with core values and culture becomes paramount.

Hamirani highlights the implementation of rigorous recruitment processes, including core value interviews, to ensure cultural fit among new hires.

Additionally, investing in high-touch onboarding experiences, both virtually and in-person, played a crucial role in integrating new employees seamlessly into the organization.


Metrics for Managing Growth

Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics is essential for managing growth effectively. Hamirani emphasizes the importance of error rates in the recruitment process, service delivery metrics, and self-service adoption rates. By leveraging data insights, organizations can identify areas for improvement and optimize processes to support scalability.


Developing First-Time Managers

As organizations expand, nurturing first-time managers becomes imperative for sustained success. Hamirani stresses the significance of providing learning programs and ongoing support for new managers, coupled with leading by example from senior leadership.

By empowering managers with the necessary skills and resources, organizations can foster a culture of effective leadership and collaboration.


Final Words of Wisdom

Reflecting on his experiences, Hamirani offers invaluable advice for leaders and organizations embarking on a journey of hypergrowth. He underscores the importance of aligning business objectives with employee needs and maintaining authenticity in leadership. Embracing change, even in the face of resistance, is key to driving organizational transformation and achieving long-term success.



The stories of Airbnb and Paper serve as a testament to the power of innovation, resilience, and strategic leadership in navigating hypergrowth. By learning from the experiences and insights shared by leaders like Q Hamirani, organizations can chart a course toward sustainable growth, ensuring success in an ever-evolving business landscape.

Official Transcript

Some of the greatest challenges organizations face are during periods of explosive growth. Scaling a company at breakneck speed is a formidable task. And businesses experiencing rapid expansion often grapple with a critical conundrum, how to swiftly onboard a substantial workforce without compromising their unique culture and operational efficiency.

In some cases, this entails hiring 1000s of new employees within a single year. There's additional pressure when anticipating IPO readiness within a tight timeframe, an extra layer of complexity to the equation. Today we explore these challenges in depth and uncover the innovative strategies and operational excellence frameworks employed by paper, a remote online tutoring solution for students and San Francisco based giant Airbnb when they successfully navigated this turbulent terrain, as the IPO in 2020. 

Q Welcome to the show. We're excited to have you here.

Q Hamirani: Thanks for having me.

Q, to provide our listeners with some context, could you share your role and challenges you're faced with at Airbnb during the period of rapid growth and the role that you're in today?

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