Imagine you’re an HR professional who’s just gotten a great job.

You’re now in the top Human Resources role for a fast-growing public company whose success has been said to rival even Facebook.  Its market valuation is almost $51 billion dollars, encompassing  311 cities within 58 different countries.  The company is already prevalent in the United States, though its top performing markets are all outside America:  London, Mexico City, Paris, and Toronto.

You have joined a truly international company which needs your expertise and leadership to help the company grow and thrive.  The world is your stage.

What’s more, your new company has done some great good over its 7 year existence, including donating over $5 million dollars to support a faculty chair and three scholarships at Carnegie Mellon University.  The company had even allowed people in 7 U.S. cities to buy ‘cuddle time,’ with kittens for a small price—with all proceeds going to animal shelters.

Sounds terrific, right?

Well, welcome to Uber—and if you were Liane Hornsey, who joined  Uber in January 2017 as Chief Human Resources Officer, you didn’t know what was about to hit the fan in just a few short weeks.


Person in News – web – Susan Fowler


(Former) Uber engineer Susan Fowler posted a 3,000 word blog on February 19th, 2017 entitled, “Reflecting on one very, very strange year at Uber.”  The blog described the sexual harassment from her boss encountered by Fowler,  and the inaction of Uber’s human resources department about her complaint.  HR, according to Fowler, told her the individual could not be disciplined beyond a verbal rebuke because he was a high performing employee.

The toxic environment Fowler outlined encountering at Uber went beyond unwanted sexual advances.  She noted gender discrimination, lack of diversity, altered performance reviews, and more.  Her blog launched a scandal that would disrupt Uber to its highest levels:  ultimately co-founder and Chief Executive OfficerTravis Kalanick would be forced to resign amid continued repercussions, along with many of the company’s senior managers.


A single blog was the flash point that ignited all this change at a red-hot, top-performing, fast-growing company.  No doubt sexist, harassing and dysfunctional behaviors in the organization also encouraged others to speak out, and all the attention to Uber ultimately led to an investigation headed by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

Needless to say, having your company under scrutiny from the highest law-enforcement officer in the country for repeated violations of HR policy is never a good thing for a company.

Liane Hornsey said in an interview with USA Today about reaction to the Fowler blog:

“I’ve got to tell you, it just knocked this company sideward… People were in tears, people were deeply shocked. It was palpable and visceral.”

And for the new HR head—it meant a lot of work.

Hornsey conducted more than 200 “listening tour” sessions after the scandal to get a handle on the company’s HR nightmare:

Our employees were saying… things need to change…  As I dug into several issues in Susan’s blog, it was very clear to me that she wasn’t well-served by the HR team… What happens is in a startup that is super successful, that is absolutely the business end just growing, growing. Often the processes and the support functions get left behind.

Today, Liane Hornsey is still Chief Human Resources Officer at Uber.  But other things have changed:  Uber has a new CEO, and now offers its 12,000 global employees– 36% of whom are women access to an anonymous hotline.



There’s no doubt that a toxic work environment is an HR nightmare.  More mundane but also dangerous is controlling the large volume of different types of information—much of it highly confidential—for which HR is in charge:

  • Employee records
  • Contracts of employment
  • Payroll information
  • Training information
  • Performance Reviews
  • Records of complaints

M-Files, one of the software solution partners of 5i Solutions, Inc. conducted a survey of 100 HR decision makers, and how they cope with managing the vast amounts of data.  One problem was identified across the board:


HR can’t find the data they need

41% of HR decision makers surveyed questioned cited over 10 minutes per day searching for job-critical documents and information.  That’s a lot of wasted search time—time that could better be spent developing employees, investigating problems, and creating a positive workplace environment.

And why is there so much wasted search time?

HR departments still use paper— lots of it.

65% of those surveyed still at least partially use paper documents, paper processes, and paper storage and archival systems.

Paper = Pain for HR

Digitizing these processes means many manual activities can be automated, freeing up vast amounts of time for HR.

This alone can free up vast amounts of time for HR.


5i Solutions can bring your Human Resources department an HR-centric Document Management Solution that will give you the important data you need instantly.  Streamlined business processes; manual task automation; access to the data you need instantly, whether from email or documents and no matter where stored.

And your data will be stored with complete security–protected and safeguarded in the 5i Cloud Vault—with permission levels to ensure only those authorized to see any particular piece of data can do so.

You’ll also get security in encryption, access logs, penetration testing, key management, and more.  And best of all, 5i Solutions can build your HR- centric custom solution for you – one that works with your existing system and software– for less than you might think, with low upfront costs.

So your HR department can be free to do what you really need to do—hire, on-board, train, & develop employees.

5i Solutions.  One single, secure point of intake, access, and storage.  One singular solution.

5i Solutions, Inc.

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