Not all travel industry recruitment agencies are the same

I’ve worked in travel recruitment for 7 and a half years, with the last 15 months at Progressive Travel Recruitment. Moving travel industry recruitment agencies to Progressive was largely driven by the opportunity to work from home. I’d spent 15 years commuting into central Manchester in the travel industry and as a travel recruiter, and now, with two children, I wanted to alter my work-life balance and have the chance to do the school pick-up.

Although I don’t miss a single second of that commute, since starting this job, I’ve found many other reasons why this has been a great move.

I’m aware that writing this blog could be seen as a bit try-hard; trying to impress the boss! However, the thing that really is different about working here is how James Roberts treats his employees. This is a travel recruitment company that genuinely cares and where hard work is properly rewarded. It’s probably the first time I’ve felt like I’m really valued and that my thoughts, ideas and opinions count. If I’m on a travel recruitment roll – I’m allowed to go with it. I’m trusted. There is an extremely healthy respect between employers and employees. I think that’s still pretty rare and worth highlighting.

Here’s why I think working at Progressive Travel Recruitment has improved my career and my life:

International travel recruitment

I hadn’t had the chance to recruit internationally before. Progressive is one of very few genuinely global travel industry recruitment agencies. We are given the tools and the set up to effectively manage recruitment outside of the UK. So, after successfully placing people in roles in Los Angeles and Tampa, Florida, as well as working on roles in France, I’ve found it’s really broadened my recruitment experience. I really enjoy being involved in global travel recruitment.

Working with international travel and hospitality clients and candidates gives my job added interest. Understanding cultural and practical differences in other countries is just part of it. I’m part of an experienced global team, and everyone is a world traveller – there is shared knowledge and useful assistance at my fingertips. The fundamentals of successful recruitment remain: fully understanding both client and candidate requirements, building a relationship with both, and presenting opportunities and solutions that are beneficial to clients and candidates.

Recruiting throughout the UK

In previous roles, I’ve only recruited for 3 or 4 UK regions. To be honest, I always found this frustrating. The country and the world are so connected these days that setting up boundaries feels restrictive. So, I now enjoy the opportunity and responsibility of comfortably recruiting for travel jobs across the whole of the UK, from the Scilly Isles to the Orkneys!

Work life balance

As I said before, my driver for moving travel industry recruitment agencies was the chance to work from home. James is exceptionally good at managing this aspect of the team. He and the other directors place a lot of trust in us, and when someone places trust in you, you rise to meet that. They also actively encourage us to take breaks by walking the dog, or taking screen breaks. They do much more than lip-service in encouraging wellbeing at work and a healthy work life balance.

Being able to do nursery and school drop offs and pick-ups when before I would have been commuting is so valuable. It has really benefitted how I live.

The directors’ trust in the team results in us all being extremely hard working, responsible and mature individuals. Everyone sees the benefit and rewards of working hard. The flexibility allowed in taking time out of our working day to deal with the school run, for example, means being flexible with our working hours. For me, it’s a great solution to balancing parenting and work. I think I do both better now.

Freedom to recruit for executive and management travel roles

In my previous travel recruitment positions, the salary ranges for roles I could work on were capped. Anything over a certain salary level had to be passed to an executive team. But here, I’ve successfully placed people in mid-senior management roles and enjoyed the responsibility that entails. Encouraging executive travel recruitment is about trust in employees. James realises that if you’ve made the connections, it makes sense for you to pursue the roles those connections bring. If the client trusts me, then so does James.

Varied roles in travel

Previously, I’d be recruiting for the same roles over and over again, whereas here it’s been exciting and refreshing to take on, learn about and successfully recruit for all sorts of different roles. Yes, it’s been a challenge and taken me out of my comfort zone, but inevitably this is beneficial. I’ve broadened my experience and proved we can all still learn new things. The travel industry is ever changing and evolving. We confidently reflect that here – we’re Progressive by name and nature!

Exclusive travel clients

I’ve secured a number of exclusive agreements to work with clients based on them valuing my 10 years’ travel industry experience as well as 7½ years’ expertise in travel industry recruitment agencies. I’ve successfully delivered for these clients, strengthening our relationship with them.

A diverse travel recruitment team

Progressive Travel Recruitment is made up of a diverse team of people from different cultures and countries. Because everyone works from where they like, we are based all over the globe. This has been so refreshing. We all share personal and professional experiences – and learn a lot from each other. Everyone here has previous experience working within the travel industry. It’s one of our USPs.

We communicate on video calls, email and through work events regularly, so although we’re spread out, we’re constantly in touch. Travel is international after all, so it makes sense for the team to be international, too.

Looking for travel talent? Connect with Simon Hurst-Grover on LinkedIn here >

Think you’ve got what it takes to join the Progressive Travel Recruitment team? Connect with James Roberts on LinkedIn here >