Friends to Coworkers: A Referral Story

Everyone thinks their friends are amazing, smart, and fun, but would you actually want to work with them every day? Zach Bird, eCommerce Optimization & Sales Coach does! He referred his friend Josh Ziman, now Sr. UX Designer and they are the self-proclaimed referral kings of HomeAway. They are sharing why they love their jobs and how they are helping their friends work here too.

Zach taking a selfie in front of the birdhouse meeting rooms at our Penn Field office in Austin.

Zach taking a selfie in front of the birdhouse meeting rooms at our Penn Field office in Austin.

Zach and Josh met at The University of Texas, Austin and have stayed friends in their postgrad years. When it came time for Josh to leave startup life, he asked Zach about his HomeAway experience.

When Zach describes his role he says, “Before I was a sales team lead at a startup, but now I’m in a sales coaching role and I work with 34 of our reps on soft skills, training and delivery. There are several things I love about working at HomeAway — it’s a bigger company, we have great incentive programs, and even more resources since the Expedia acquisition.”

This was enough to pique Josh’s interest and begin the application process. Now that Josh is officially part of Team HomeAway, it’s much easier for him to give insight about the day-to-day on the engineering and product teams.

“Before HomeAway, I was the sole UX designer at a eight person startup in travel and hospitality. We built products for hostels and backpacker transportation in Latin America. On a small team, my work spanned many disciplines, which is what I preferred at the time.

HomeAway allows me to focus and ‘go deep,’ which is what I wanted next. We have a large team of expert designers, prototypers, researchers, and writers — a diverse group of people who grow and teach one another everyday. It’s a fantastic place to think scientifically, challenge ideas, learn new processes and improve my craft.” - Josh Z.

So how are these two friends handling future referrals? Josh and Zach made an arrangement to split bonuses because they have so many mutual friends who also want to work at HomeAway!

While combing your LinkedIn connections and following up with hiring managers may sound tedious, these two swear it pays off.

Josh joined Team HomeAway as a Sr. Experience Designer in 2018.

Josh joined Team HomeAway as a Sr. Experience Designer in 2018.

Zach says, “I love using LinkedIn to promote job postings from HomeAway. The referral bonus is fantastic and well worth the extra effort of sharing job postings and following up with people.”

They even have a system in place to decide who should talk to each referral.

“It’s easy to talk to a wide array of people about working at HomeAway because our roles are so different. If they are pursuing a more technical role (developer, UI/UX) that’s right in Josh’s wheelhouse. We also have a number of contacts in the sales space here in Austin, so when we come across someone who’s more aligned for that, I come in as the resident sales coach. I think we both have a lot of insight into the recruiting and hiring process as well and will often try to help folks navigate the process altogether. In fact, I know that Josh is reviewing the resume of one of our mutual friends right now!” - Zach

You might not be a personal acquaintance of Josh or Zach, but they have some recommendations on how to get someone in your corner to advocate for you.

Zach says, “First, you need to be qualified for the job, make sure you have a good track record with the person you’re asking to refer you, it’s really that easy.”

Whether you’re looking for a new job or looking for referrals to join Team HomeAway, it’s always easier with friends, just ask these two!

Want to join Team HomeAway or learn more about what it’s like to work here? Visit our careers page!

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