Welcome to our Meet the 50 Team series, where we give you the lowdown on how the people at 50onRed get stuff done. This time we’re sitting down with our Talent Acquisition Coordinator, Lauren Donaghy!
Your official title is “Talent Acquisition coordinator”. What does that entail, and what’s your typical workday like?
My day typically starts with coffee. Lots of coffee. You can usually find me running around greeting candidates who come in for interviews or prowling LinkedIn for promising talent. I’m often one of the first people candidates interact with when they make contact with 50onRed, whether it be through scheduling a phone interview or a message responding to their application. Aside from interacting with candidates, I help coordinate events like our Philly Crafted: Tech Showcases and make sure we’re all set for career fairs, hackathons, and tech events. I also work with our Designer, Dave, to get super cool 50onRed swag and create our bi-weekly careers newsletter (which you can sign up for here!).
You started here as an intern. What made you decide to stay full time?
I started at 50onRed as a co-op out of Drexel. My goal was to get some exposure to an office environment and figure out if I could cut it in the business world. Granted, this is not your typical office, so I probably still have no idea how that all works, but I was hooked after my co-op.
A huge part of what made me stay was my team. The Admin team is super awesome. A lot goes into maintaining the environment here and ensuring 50onRed is a fun place to be. The Admin team keeps the office up and running while making everything look completely effortless. A lot of the great parts about working at 50onRed, like the delicious catered lunches and celebratory outings, are all planned and executed by our very own Admin team. It also doesn’t hurt that they’re super cool people.
For Halloween last year, you dressed up as a bottle of Sriracha. What are the weirdest foods you’ve paired with Sriracha?
I can’t say that I’ve ever put Sriracha on a weird food, mostly because I’m of the honest opinion that Sriracha belongs on everything. My favorite Sriracha recipe is as follows:
1. Obtain food. 2. Put Sriracha on food. 3. Consume food.
What makes recruiting for a tech company unique?
Technology is ever-changing and always evolving, so it’s a constant learning process. Recruiting for a tech company necessitates keeping up with the trends and the shifting tech landscape. Another unique aspect is the huge scope of personalities we interact with. Engaging a marketing professional can be very different from chatting with an engineer.
A huge challenge in the tech recruiting world is the massive demand for talented engineers. Technologists are, and have been for some time now, the most in-demand professionals in the market. Given the caliber of our team, it can be like finding a needle in the haystack to make sure someone is at the level we need.
There’s growing competition to work in the tech industry. What advice would you give people looking to work here?
Finding ways to stand out from other candidates is your best bet for besting the competition. The team here is always looking for candidates who’ve put a lot of work into side projects (in other words, have something to show for their talent). To us, side projects mean you’re passionate about the technology and you’re exploring new things on your own. We like people to have a mastery of the fundamentals, but who also are able to dive deeper. A true grasp on how languages work and how systems work together is another a huge selling point. Teamwork is really important here, too, so proven ability to work as part of a team is essential. Being able to make us laugh doesn’t hurt, either.
What do you think makes Philly such a cool place to live?
I’ve lived in Philly for about five years now. There’s something for everybody here. We’ve got art stuff, food stuff, bar stuff, music stuff… You name it. Some of my favorite city spots pretty much revolve around coffee, mostly because they are coffee shops. If you’re ever sick of Starbucks, you should check out Rival Bros. Another huge draw for me is the music scene. XPN is always putting on awesome (and sometimes free) shows, and there’s been an explosion of cheap venues that have pulled in some great bands.
Who are your mentors here, and what have they taught you?
Shannon, our HR Manager, has been my mentor and advocate since Day One of my internship. Internships can be tough because you’re oftentimes treated like a kid and given low priority responsibilities. That was definitely not the case here. Shannon was constantly looking out for new avenues of responsibility for me to explore. I was able to help out the Legal Team and Recruiting Team in my downtime, and that sent me off on my path to full-time Talent Acquisition work.
After my transition to Talent Acquisition, Wellington, our Talent Acquisition Lead, has been my mentor. He’s showed me the recruiting ropes, taught me how to conduct a phone screen, and has trusted me to not scare people away, which is kind of a big deal.
We have lots of unique desk setups around here. What made you decide to swap out your chair for an exercise ball?
To be honest, I gave up my swivel chair when there was a chair shortage out on the floor. It’s not all bad, though. The exercise ball has grown on me because I get to roll around and look like I care about fitness. My core hasn’t improved at all.
What’s your fascination with turtles?
I spent the summer after my freshman year of college as a research assistant for a turtle-focused research program based in the Jersey Shore area. Essentially, it was a study aimed at tracking the population dynamics of diamondback terrapins (read: turtles) in Barnegat Bay and connecting those observations to human activity in the area. I basically spent the whole summer on a boat with some awesome people and got to hang out with baby turtles. And now, thanks to the last round of Secret Santa, I have a pretty swanky turtle mug.
Want to learn more about 50onRed and see what opportunities we have available? Head over to our Careers page.