Why hire an in-house travel manager

Having recently placed a couple of corporate travel manager roles within a large company, I was wondering why all medium to large businesses don’t have a travel manager. So, why hire an in-house travel manager?

Sometimes, it just takes a shift of mindset to realise the benefits of hiring a new type of role such as this. Larger companies may just use a travel management company (TMC) to manage travel, but hiring an in-house travel manger to coordinate things for your company is likely to reap the most benefits.

Here are answers to the 4 most common questions I get asked if I suggest hiring an in-house travel manager

1. What exactly does an in-house travel manager do?

A travel manager directs, operates and administers travel programs for business. They often work for large corporates managing all business travel. They will be tasked with the following key points:

  • To implement the best travel policy for the organisation, and operate a streamlined approach.
  • To manage the relationship with stakeholders and suppliers, such as airlines, hotels and TMCs.
  • To negotiate the best rates for managed contracts.
  • To find areas where cost savings can be applied for business travel. This won’t necessarily mean suddenly putting everyone in budget hotels, but finding discounted group rates and deals with airlines and hotel brands, for example.
  • To process improvements to ensure the travel policy runs smoothly.
  • To implement travel systems into the business.
  • To oversee business travel bookings.

The Institute of Travel Managers has a handy guide to what makes a good travel manager, useful if this is the first time you’re hiring one.

2. What benefit would an in-house travel manager bring to the company?

Hiring a dedicated in-house travel manager frees up others in the business to concentrate on their jobs. If you’re wondering why hire an in-house travel manager rather than just rely on an external TMC, the answers include the benefit of streamlining travel in a workplace. This has a calming effect and helps staff know where they stand. It’s much more likely to be like this with an in-house travel manager, a visible dedicated and experienced person within the workplace, who understands the workplace culture and the needs of your particular business. He or she will help with cost savings, and bring insights about applying the best travel policies. They can implement an online travel system so that making bookings becomes simpler. They should also set up a system of 24-hour support – usually via a TMC – for those who are travelling, in the case of cancellations and delays, for example.

3. Wouldn’t it be more expensive to hire someone for this role?

No, freeing up others in the business makes everyone more productive – freeing up valuable time, and being able to solve travel issues quicker with one person focussed on the job. And as we’ve already stated, part of the travel-manger role is to save on travel costs. For many businesses, travel expenses are high and can spiral quickly if there isn’t a good travel policy in place. Hiring a travel manger makes the process clear to everyone in the company from directors to assistants, and should cut down on any inequalities, confusion and resentments in this area, too.

4. What size of company has a travel manager?

Any company can have someone who is responsible for travel. I’m currently recruiting for a global corporate company with 1200 employees, but anything from a company that employs 10 staff upwards can benefit from an in-house travel manager. To do this role well requires experience. Offering a good salary and room for growth is beneficial longterm as it can make in-house travel managers less of a flight risk. We supply experienced in-house travel managers and co-ordinators to all types and sizes of corporate companies.

Contact Nicola about hiring an in-house travel manager for your company: nicola@progressivetravelrecruitment.com or connect with Nicola on LinkedIn here to start the conversation.