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The Global M blog

Lunch and Learn with Annie Grases 

by | Mar 9, 2022 | HR & Talent Acquisition

This blog covers all things relating to Job search, HR and Career Development.

The team at Global{M} spoke with Annie Grases during our last Lunch&Learn session. Annie is recruiting the best talent to work at Booking.com. As all of you might know, Booking.com is a technology that makes travel easier and helps you to book accommodation, flights, cars in almost every place in the world that you might want to explore 🌍

We asked Annie to share her recruitment journey with us, discussed the candidate experience, how to influence the right person/team at the right time, and what are the best ways to structure your work process.

Annie, please tell us about your life and career journey so far?

I am from Venezuela, but I have been to so many places last 12 years. I lived in Panama, London, Netherlands, and now I am based in Barcelona 🇪🇸

I originally studied Communications and worked in TV&Radio Production Industry, but then I fell in love with recruitment.

I have been working at Booking.com for 8 years now, and I honestly think that it is a really cool career journey. I have had the opportunity to recruit for marketing, finance, people, legal & more. These are very different areas in business, but it helped me get to know the company and a lot of people from every team at Booking.com, which definitely makes the hiring process easier.

When I first joined Booking in the Netherlands, I had an entry-level job as a coordinator. I think it was a really great experience because I learned what it is like to schedule interviews and meetings, manage stakeholders, and then slowly start to recruit.

Annie Grases

You have mentioned working with different business areas, can you give any tips on influencing the right person or team at the right time?

Yes, I think this is an important aspect. We often work with Senior Stakeholders, and we all know that most of the time they are busy. So, I try to influence people who are reporting directly to them and sitting in the interview panel. They can help with reviewing CVs, for example. Thus, it can help to speed up the process and let HMs know that this is your top priority right now.

If I am recruiting in a team with people who potentially don’t have that much experience, I try to organize alignment meetings, bring the whole team on board, discuss job descriptions, competencies, timelines. But at the same time, I give people an opportunity to add their value, so the panel is helping hiring managers as well.

I also suggest HMs bring their team members to our meetings, especially if we have already worked with similar roles. That will help stakeholders with their busy schedules and recruiter to have this instant feedback.

Annie Grases

What do you do to make sure that there is a good candidate experience and journey at Booking.com?

We have a lot of recruiters at Booking.com and everyone finds their way to make the candidate experience the best. I have a really open personality, so I like to talk with them 😊

I do the initial screen call and try to get to know what’s their drive, why they want these roles, then I ask more about the practical and technical side. I pass them to the next round right on the spot if everything goes well ✅ During this call, I also prepare them for the next steps, suggest them to provide their technical skills examples, their knowledge, use the star method.

After the first call, if there is a YES or a NO, anyway, I will always call them and offer feedback. Even if I only have two minutes, I will make sure I contact them, because they value it so much.

During your screens do you write your own notes, or does it go straight to the ATS? What’s your tip there?

We have a scorecard in Greenhouse (ATS). I worked on that personally, and I have it tailored to every role I hire for. I know what questions I need to ask, what points we should discuss, so according to that, I can easily make my decision on the spot.

How do you deal with juggling different roles and keeping track of everything?

That’s a really great question because I recruit for different areas of the business. My brain needs to shift from recruiting HR roles to the Cyber Security role, for example. So I tend to plan phone screens for the same roles on one particular day. Candidates are not always available when you need them to be 🤷🏽‍♀️ In that case, reviewing the pipeline in Greenhouse and reading through my notes helps a lot to structure my following days or weeks.

I also work with the shortlist and constantly update Hiring Managers, so they know which role is on which stage. It saves my time and keeps them on track ⏱

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