I still remember the day I opened my Twitter app and saw a notification. When the Head of Talent Acquisition at TripAdvisor followed me on Twitter, I paused from my vacation in Hawaii and jumped at the chance to respond. I suppose I had marketed and branded myself well enough that she found me. She too was on vacation, but we had a call the following week. I was three quarters of the way into my senior year of high school, had just turned 18, and little did she know, I was Skype calling her from an office in the library. I told her my story of starting young in the marketing world, why I like TripAdvisor, and what I wanted to do for an internship. Employer branding, a newer initiative and trend in talent acquisition and recruiting, related well to my background in marketing.
She connected me to the queen of employer branding and sourcing, Stacy Zapar, who you might be familiar with from the Go TripAdvisor group on Facebook. What was originally a 30-minute call turned into a 90-minute conversation about anything and everything. Instantly, I could feel Stacy’s warm personality, energy, enthusiasm, passion, and love for life! Stacy did not have to sell me on why I should join TripAdvisor, it was the chance to work for and with her that was enough on its own plus my love for travel and the site.
One week after graduating high school, here I am at the TripAdvisor headquarters interning to bring my inbound marketing perspective to the worlds of talent acquisition, recruiting, and employer branding. I spent the first day attending the State of Innovation forum hosted by BostInno.
I like joining fast-paced and fast-growing companies and TripAdvisor has revolutionized the way we plan and book trips, research places to go, travel, and has created a new market in a big travel industry! I never realized TripAdvisor’s massive company size and number of employees… it tops 3,000 people. For that large a company, TripAdvisor operates more like a startup than it does a large corporation given its size and valuation.
Even as an intern, I am impressed by the perks and benefits TripAdvisor offers… a learning and development platform, intern outings (a Red Sox game next month), referral bonuses, a fitness center with classes, and yes, free food and drinks as that tends to win us over too.
Recruiting is a little like sales on finding and sourcing candidates, especially passive ones. It may take a while to find a needle in a haystack to get the best candidate for the job, but in the end, quality is more important the quantity (unlike sales sometimes).
I brainstormed projects and ideas for the summer ahead and realized how much recruiting now depends so much on marketing. It is definitely a two-way street for both the company to attract the candidates and the candidates’ need to attract or appeal to the company. The idea is getting in front of candidates where they already are… whether it is on a social network, searching for jobs, looking at careers pages, or via email… the employer needs to be there.
Sitting around recruiters all day makes me realize how lucky I am to work here and how hard it is to find great talent. I am still getting used being a marketer on a recruiting / talent acquisition team, but it is a new learning experience, will expose me to a new sector of business, and make for a fun, productive summer!
Lane Sutton is an Employment Branding Intern at of our Boston-area headquarters and is also our TweetAdvisor of the Week. Be sure to stop by Twitter or Facebook to say hi to Lane and the rest of the #GoTripAdvisor hiring team! We’re also on Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Hope to see you there!