Steve Coppin-Smith
May 13, 2016
4 mins reading time

Selling the dream at SMR11

On Sunday 5th May, our Hungry Geeks attended the Silicon Milkroundabout tech job fair to share our great job opportunities at Holiday Extras with some of the best and brightest tech job seekers around.

Finding candidates is tough! One of the great things about SMR is that the vast majority of attendees are actively looking, but because it’s such a good opportunity to engage this group, it’s very competitive. Standing out from a crowd that includes some big, recognised names is a challenge.

Standing out from the crowd.

Our People team did an amazing job of providing our Geeks with an excellent platform from which to promote HX. Between our head-turning signage and our alluring swag we had a lot of visitors. The stand offered an engaging narrative of our surroundings, our ethos, our tech stack and our industry recognition.

Photo of our SMR stand

We also made sure that our guys on the stand were part of the teams we are recruiting to. What we lacked in confidence in approaching strangers and recruitment lingo we made up for in real, applied knowledge of our tech stack and what it’s like to be a Hungry Geek at HX.

We have to try hard at these events because we’re competing against big brands to get noticed. For example, the large supermarket chain next to us (not in the Times 100 Best Companies to Work For or particularly known for tech careers) rocked up with little more than a couple of pull ups but still had great foot traffic. Perhaps this is at least in part because nearly every attendee would have passed their branding on the way to the event that day.

Still, we go all out. We go all out because we know we have great opportunities for excellent candidates. The job is not complete with an attractive stand though, as we’re not the only people in our position going all out to be recognised.

No, really… it’s that good.

I can only comment on my own experience, but I have known companies who in an effort to stand out promote beyond their means and are not able to deliver on their promise. I would be extremely surprised if you hadn’t too. Ever worked somewhere when work-life balance became condensed into a Sunday afternoon? I can count myself as a skeptic on this front and wouldn’t expect to be the only skeptic at SMR last weekend.

However, the biggest surprise since I joined HX in March 2016 is that you can believe the hype. I feel absolutely entertained, rewarded and well looked after, as promised. Ultimately, I feel honoured to be here. One of the hardest things then, in relation to recruiting, is to stay cool and not gush to the point of leading a skeptic to think we’re trying hard for the wrong reasons. Apologies to anyone who received an unstructured rambling of superlatives on the day.

Here’s hoping!

We might not see the benefits of our time at SMR straight away, but it’s all part of the process. Sure, we’d love to see a surge in applications, but part of the task at hand is getting out there and building awareness in the tech community, which is a long game we’re making good progress in. When people think of forward thinking tech companies that are great to work for, we want them to think of Holiday Extras. As far as platforms for this go, SMR is a really good way to express yourself to an already engaged audience!

If you couldn’t make it but would like to hear more about life at HX, check out our Twitter account and careers site. Then send in your application, you won’t regret it.

Tags Jobs, Fair, Applications, Work-life, Competition, Promotion, Swag, Life