Finding the right person for each position is an important job at any company, and this task is particularly challenging at a place like PetRelocation, where roles often defy easy description.
Luckily we have a strong and savvy Human Resources team! Over the past six years, Tom, PetRelocation's HR manager, has done his part to build a successful and unique company by taking a creative approach to recruiting, interviewing and nurturing great talent. Read more about Tom in our latest employee spotlight.
What made you want to apply at PetRelocation?
After first glancing at a job post and doing a bit of research, I was naturally drawn in by the uniqueness of the company and PetRelocation’s purpose. On a professional level, I was excited about working at a small business with a start-up mentality to gain greater exposure to watching a company grow into a larger one. I had previously worked at larger companies that were a bit further down the corporate road and wanted more experience with the up-front heavy lifting within HR.
Your pup Leo is an office favorite. Tell us about how he joined your family.
My fiancé and I were looking for a dog and we had heard from a friend of a friend with a black lab that recently gave birth to a litter of puppies. We decided to make the trek from Austin out to Red Rock, Texas and after coming down a driveway/dried-up creek, we came upon the home and met the little clan of Texas labs. After meeting “Stompy” as the family’s three-year-old daughter lovingly nicknamed him, we knew we had found our boy and ended up taking him home right then and there. He was about 8 weeks old and it was a month out from our wedding! After a week or so of being around him non-stop, we felt Leo would be a nice nod to a family name and a good name of the newest member of our family.
Leo is a loving loyal dog and I am pleased to see him still have that puppy spark even though he is turning into an old boy. We get a kick of seeing him do the same ‘stompy’ galloping on occasion when he is chasing after a ball or playing with his little sisters/my girls.
As HR Manager, you and the rest of the People Team do so much to keep our company thriving. What initiative for the team are you most proud of?
There are always so many initiatives centering around improving the employee experience which is what makes this such an exciting company to work for. One of the proudest initiatives I have been a part of is championing our wellness and discount program. Not only has it been incredible to see so many team members invested in their health, but it has also been rewarding to see the savings for the company and in turn directly reward that money back to those who earned it – all by focusing on their health!
You are often a top contender in the office steps challenge. What do you do to stay so active?
Years ago, I was fortunate enough to receive a Fitbit from some fine folk which has made me aware of being active throughout the day. Being the benefits administrator for PetRelocation, I have learned some tips and tricks over the years like being OK with parking far away from a store’s entrance or exploring the scenic route around the neighborhood for a walk which I try to do on a daily basis. I used to live in San Francisco and New York City, so I have years of experience traveling by foot. Of course, having Leo and my little ladies (5 and 3 years of age) have me constantly on the go as well. I also love doing yard work on the weekends which certainly helps during those office step challenges!
These two keep Tom active!
Let’s say someone is interested in applying to work at PetRelocation. What advice would you give them while they go through the interview process?
Almost all our applicants love pets. While we appreciate this like-mindedness, rarely does it ever make someone stand out from the crowd. What makes a candidate stand out amongst the crowd is good research into the company, being able to showcase why your background fits with the current needs of the company, and being open about what skills you are looking to improve while you are with us. We always leave room for questions during our interviews so it is also reassuring to hear well thought out questions asked by the candidate as they get to meet with different members of the hiring team. Our best interviews flow like a casual conversation. In short, be yourself and try to build upon the things you pick up as you are learning more about us.
What do you want people to know about working at PetRelocation?
Working at PetRelocation is quite the challenge as anyone who reads our customer stories and company updates can probably pick up on. We solve incredible logistical challenges and arrange happy pet reunions around the world every day. It’s amazing to hear the stories that our consultants and coordinators share. You can’t make this stuff up!
We are so fortunate to have a culture of dedicated, supportive team members who have an incredible work ethic which has afforded us the opportunity to continue being the leaders in our industry throughout our 16+ year journey as a small company based out of Austin, Texas that services the world.
When you aren’t supporting the team of pet shippers, what do you do in your spare time?
I’m a family man so most of my spare time is spent entertaining and being with my family. I love cooking fresh homemade meals every day, spending time out in the yard, and I am an avid music fan that is constantly reading about albums, artists, labels, producers, and all things music both old and new.
We LOVE the Austin, Texas culture here at PetRelocation. If you had friends visiting for a weekend, what would you take them to do to show off the city?
For food, we always like casual spots like Kerbey Lane, Torchy’s Tacos, Chuys, Salt Lick, PokeJos, and Amy’s Ice Cream. For nature activities we like exploring the Greenbelt, hiking around Lady Bird Lake, and a taking a cool dip in Barton Springs. We always love seeing movies so inevitably a trip to Alamo Drafthouse usually is in store. For fun with the younger crowd, we love The Thinkery and also the train at Zilker. Shopping trips usually involve treks to Waterloo Records, End of an Ear, and window shopping down the South Congress Avenue shops.
And lastly, if Hollywood were to make a movie about your life, who would play you?
Hmmm, a Hollywood version of my life? Anything to get Daniel Day-Lewis out of retirement! As a bonus, it would be awesome if we could get Werner Herzog to be the narrator.