Beautiful Messy People: Navigating People and Culture Leadership, Start-Up Scaling, and the Human Element in Tech with McKenzie Hunter

Carlee Snow

McKenzie Hunter, the former Senior Director of People and Culture at 7shifts, chats with Carlee Snow on The After (Business) School Special. The conversation covers a spectrum of topics, ranging from the strategic leadership of Human Resources and its evolving landscape to navigating the intricate processes of hiring and firing during startup scaling. McKenzie delves into the importance of living and embodying a company's mission beyond mere words on a wall, emphasizing the need for genuine commitment. The conversation also explores the ever-changing dynamics of the workplace, shedding light on the impact of remote work and the role of AI tools in shaping today’s business environment. This engaging discussion provides valuable insights into the intricacies of HR leadership and the evolving nature of work in today's tech-driven world.

McKenzie Hunter, a seasoned professional in the dynamic profession of Human Resources, has spent the last six years shaping the culture and workforce at 7shifts, a leading SaaS company based in Canada. Hailing from a farming family, McKenzie's ethos is deeply rooted in the values of honesty, hard work, and a commitment to nurturing relationships, akin to her grandfather's advice on caring for cattle.

Serving as the Senior Director of People and Culture at 7shifts, McKenzie has played a pivotal role in steering the company through its high-growth phase. Her journey within the organization began in 2017 as the People & Culture Manager, progressing to the role of Director before assuming her current leadership position in April 2021. McKenzie's tenure has been marked by a focus on strategic leadership, where she delves into the evolving landscape of Human Resources, the challenges of hiring and firing during startup scaling, and the significance of embodying a mission beyond mere words on a wall.

McKenzie sheds light on various aspects of the workplace dynamic. From the impact of remote work and AI tools on business landscapes to the crucial role of effective team-based performance reviews, she provides insights drawn from her rich experience in the Canadian tech sector.

McKenzie's passion for fostering teamwork and community building is evident. Reflecting on her departure from 7shifts after six transformative years, she expresses gratitude for the opportunity to learn from diverse and special individuals within the organization. Her farewell not only marks the end of a chapter but also an exciting new beginning, where she’ll explore fresh challenges.

McKenzie often emphasizes the importance of embracing the messy yet beautiful nature of people. Her philosophy, encapsulated in quotes like "I like to say I live in a happily great world," resonates with her commitment to creating workplaces that thrive on genuine connections, teamwork, and continuous growth. As she embarks on the next phase of her professional journey, McKenzie Hunter remains a beacon of inspiration for those navigating the ever-evolving landscape of People and Culture in the tech industry.

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