Travel tech firm Expedia Group is planning to expand its UK operations by recruiting candidates for around 120 predominantly tech-focused roles at its London base as the travel industry rebound continues, City A.M. can reveal.
London is one of the group’s tech hubs outside the US, with close to half of all employees in the city working in tech roles.
Stephen Lochhead, senior vice president of global talent acquisition at Expedia Group, disclosed the news to City A.M. today as he said that “Expedia continues its journey as a technology-focused platform business powering travel, so access to the best developer talent is essential.”
“London is one of the top tech destinations in the world as well as being a global travel hub so it’s natural that we will continue to ramp up our operations here.”Stephen Lochhead, Expedia
Expedia Group has operated in the UK for over 20 years. It currently occupies 230,000 sq ft of Derwent’s Angel Building in Islington where it moved to in 2011.
The HQ is a short hop from Old Street Roundabout, the epicentre of the London tech scene.
“The high proportion of our UK employees with tech roles is largely due to a rich pipeline of talent and the importance of the London location,” said Lochhead, citing the concentration of software development talent as a key factor for the location of the roles.
“We continue to expand our tech footprint to support our partners across the globe and UK-based developers can bridge multiple time zones and resolve complex issues wherever they might arise,” he stressed.
Expedia Group’s recently launched its so-called Return Ticket programme, which is open to caregivers with a 2+ year gap on their resume to reintroduce them to the tech workforce and convert them into full time employees.
“Compared to some of the big tech brands, we’re at a relatively early stage of our journey, which means the door is open for young developers to step in and make a big impact right away,” Lochhead said.
“Culture-wise, we have the energy and vibrancy of a start-up within a well-known brand with global scale – it’s a best of both worlds’ scenario. In addition to tech hiring, we are also increasing our early careers as well as hiring for commercial and functions talent in London.”
Remote vs office
Despite a trend towards remote working, the group still sees big city-based hubs like London as an important part of where it operates.
“Expedia has a culture of close collaboration and we’ve found that alongside the undoubted productivity gains of home working, our offices have an important role to play in bringing people together and sustaining this ethos,” Lochhead said.
“The hybrid work approach is optimised for both flexibility and personal connection as we work together to crack problems facing the tech and travel industries.”
“London allow us to tap into a deep talent pool from across the UK, as well as top developers from Europe and further afield that the city continues to attract post-Brexit.”Stephen Lochhead
Lochhead acknowledged that competition for talent remains high, but travel is one of the world’s favourite industries, helping to shape people’s identities and create memories, he said.
“We have a great team in place and our experience is that lots of strong candidates want to work here”, Lochhead concluded.