With plans to grow its Austin employee base in the next few years, HomeAway Inc. announced Thursday it signed a lease to move into a 315,000-square-foot, 16-story Domain office tower currently under construction.
“We’re in a good growth cycle right now,” HomeAway’s Chief Product Officer Tina Weyand said. “We’ve increased our tech footprint in terms of employees by 50 percent over the last two years. We have built out a design team here in Austin as well as globally.”
Many of HomeAway’s existing 1,500 employees work out of offices already in The Domain at 11800 Domain Drive, Austin, near Whole Foods Market as well as in downtown Austin and on South Congress Avenue. The vacation rentals marketplace company moved into its Domain office in October 2014. In 2016, Expedia Inc. completed the acquisition of HomeAway.
Although the new tower—slated for completion in early 2019—could house up to 2,000 employees, Weyand said the company will keep the downtown and South Congress offices to maintain a work-life balance for employees.
New jobs will be available in technology, design, research and development, and data science. Weyand said designers focus on the makeup of the user interaction as well as getting feedback on a customer’s product experience.
“It’s super critical. This is where we bring in our customers,” she said.
Hiring locally will also be a priority, and Weyand said the company is confident it can fill the positions it needs.
“It doesn’t matter what location you’re in, the [San Francisco] Bay Area or Austin or New York, there’s always a challenge for good talent,” she said. “When you interview people they just get excited about [the travel industry]. We have really interesting work to offer and the product is exciting and stimulating.”
Part of the appeal of working in Austin is the location at The Domain, she said.
“We have employees that live right here,” she said. “As we have employees who join us and come here, they can’t get over how awesome it is to walk outside and get ice cream or go to a restaurant.”