Travel Recruiter Tip: Snap up good travel candidates quickly

As any UK travel recruiter knows, we’re currently seeing a candidate’s market – where good candidates can pick and choose the top jobs. This is true for jobs in the travel industry and across recruitment as a whole.

I’m seeing the best travel candidates gain multiple job offers, and often their current employers offering higher wages and other incentives to try and persuade them to stay.

What does this mean for employers? Well, all too often travel companies are missing out on the best candidates because they just don’t make decisions quickly enough. As a travel recruiter, I’m here to urge travel businesses to speed up the hiring process.

This is a typical scenario: I send a candidate’s CV to a client, and they then sit on it for a week to ten days before deciding they want to interview. By this time, the candidate has continued their search and secured a job elsewhere. It’s a cut-throat time for travel companies, and employers need to know that if they begin a travel recruitment process, they need to run it efficiently. They should be timing it – it’s a sprint not a marathon!

Travel recruiter tips for travel companies

Use a specialist: Using a specialist travel recruitment company such as Progressive Travel Recruitment to make sure you get the right candidates in front of you is obviously a great first step in successful recruiting. But if you then drag out the interview process you may lose those good candidates fast in the current market.

Be professional: This Travel Weekly article shows how tight the market is. Travel companies are having to dig deep to attract the best people – literally, by upping the salaries. But it’s not all about salary. Many great candidates will judge a travel company at the recruitment and interview stage. So, if you present them with a professional and slick operation, they’re far more likely to say yes when you offer a job.

Move fast: Often, if an employer doesn’t move fast enough, the candidate thinks they’ve been ghosted and left to hang. My colleague Fiona Morrison-Arnthal wrote about ghosting in the recruitment sector; this phenomenon doesn’t do anyone any favours. Of course, as a travel recruiter, it’s my job to chase the client. And believe me I do. But some are better than others at getting back quickly. It pays to make up your mind quickly – and let me, the travel recruiter, know, so I can pass on the good or bad news. Everyone appreciates swift, honest communication. Leaving people to hang is bad practise, and won’t build trust in potential new employees. People talk, and the industry is small, therefore a positive candidate experience is an important chance for your company to present itself well.

Make a shortlist fast: Recently, over a period of two weeks, I experienced four front runners in an interview process secure jobs elsewhere because they had to wait between 10 days and 2 weeks to hear whether they’d got an interview. It’s just too long.

Call after interview: I suggest getting back to people after 24 hours of an interview, either with a definite no – sorry, we’re not taking it further, or a yes, or just an explanation of what the next process is. It should never take over a week to come to a decision.

Plan sensibly: Now summer is here, this problem of not striking while the iron is hot only gets more complicated. Clients go on holiday and by the time they’re back, the good candidates have moved on. Of course, this can work both ways, with good candidates taking holidays as well. But the advice is the same – act fast, run a slick interview process and pursue the good candidates. No-one minds a call on holiday if it’s to tell them they’ve got an interview, or better still, got the job. Don’t just sit back and wait.

You’re on show: Remember applicants for travel jobs will be judging your company as well as you judging them. If you take too long to respond to an application, or post interview, good candidates will just move on to a company that seems better at communicating efficiently. Time is of the essence. If you like what you see, my advice is run with it. If you’re impressed by a candidate, you might not be the only one. Show them that you’re impressive, too.

Efficiency is important: A painful recruitment process can be a sign that a company isn’t as well-run as it might be – so even if a candidate doesn’t have another offer, they might take it as a sign that it’s not somewhere they want to work. Over-complicated interview processes have the same effect. If a candidate has to have repetitive meetings with different people before a decision is made, they may think the company is too bureaucratic. Likewise, if changes keep being made to an agreed timetable – for an interview, for example. The hiring process is as much about the company going the extra mile to impress the interviewee, as it is the other way around.