My round-trip back to Expedia Group
Alex Mayes | Talent Acquisition Manager
Welcome to Expedia Group! We’re thrilled to have you on board again. For our readers, please could you tell us a bit about yourself and your career journey?
I grew up in the East of England but have been working and living in France for 5 years – so my home is pretty much here now.
I initially started in Education, teaching, mentoring, and tutoring across different age groups at schools in the UK and in France. During my Erasmus year I moved into recruitment for an education start-up. After finishing university, I re-joined that start-up and moved back to Paris.
A year on, I joined Expedia Group (EG) and had 3 exciting years with our EMEA Talent Acquisition Teams. I left for an exciting opportunity within the jewellery/retail industry for a year, where I could grow my own recruitment program and learn the ins and outs of recruitment strategy.
I decided to move back to EG after a year away, looking for a different type of team structure and for a more inclusive and conscious work environment.
Why did you decide to leave your company and specifically go back to Expedia Group?
My main motivation for joining a new company was finding somewhere where Talent Acquisition played an important and respected role. That has always been the case at EG – we work on so many projects to ensure candidates have the best and fairest experience possible when applying for our roles.
When I had made the decision to ask to come back, the process went extremely quickly (5 days!). I had looked at other potential roles in my market, but no one was as quick and respectful of my time as EG.
Ultimately, EG’s Talent Acquisition Team is one of the best – not just on their day-to-day work, but because they genuinely care about their candidates and about improving HR and Recruiting policies and processes to ensure that the right candidate gets the right position, and that we provide support to other candidates’ job searches, even externally.
One thing I realized when deciding to come back was how much I missed working with a team who I can rely on – I was extremely isolated in my previous position with very little support or chances to brainstorm with a wider team, so being able to be part of such a diverse and international team where everyone wants to help and has great ideas, has been a great change.
What made Expedia Group so appealing to you?
I think EG is initially so appealing because of the travel aspect. I live abroad, so I’m used to travelling and working internationally. Once you look a little closer at EG though, you start to see that there is so much more under the surface – we look at building diverse teams; giving the right opportunities for development to everyone; making life easier for customers and clients (and ourselves).
I think today, one of the most important values we have is Include Consciously. Working in such an international environment with lots of different people, I’m glad to see that inclusivity is taken to heart by everyone at EG – whether it be a question of gender, background, sexual orientation etc., people are welcoming, will ask questions to learn more, and will never exclude you from the conversation.
What impact are you wanting to have this year?
I’m hoping to support the teams in continuing the great work being done on Inclusion and Diversity topics across the world. They’ve been doing some amazing work across a lot of different topic areas, and I’m happy to be able to contribute to this side. I also want to support in simplifying and improving different processes across the Talent Acquisition team use – I’m hoping I can be a fresh pair of eyes on some ways of working.
Can you give your two cents on today’s HR world (including The Great Resignation and Great Regret)?
It’s an interesting one. I think what we’re all realizing is that there are a lot of opportunities out there. As you go through your career, you’ll come across great companies and companies that don’t really fit with you. As a candidate you have more choice and more opportunity, so it’s a question now of finding the right place for your career to grow.
Certainly, I’ve been part of “The Great Regret” – I realized that I just wasn’t personally aligned to a lot of the policies at the company I had initially left to, and that the structure didn’t make sense for me and my needs.
It’s important to know what kind of work environment you’re going to be walking into, and thankfully Expedia Group is an amazing place to work.
What is your favorite travel destination?
This is a good one – it changes all the time. I’ve always enjoyed Spain – I had the fortune of being able to go there with my family quite a few times when I was younger to enjoy the sun and sea and get away.
As I’ve grown up, I’ve been leaning more towards the Netherlands recently, and am hoping to go back soon – I spent quite a few summers playing field hockey out there. Surprisingly though, I’ve never done Amsterdam, so that’s my next destination!
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