Advice from Kirk Myers, management consultant, Travel Training Solutions

Recruiting the right member of staff for your team can be a difficult task. In many cases, managers and owners have received little advice or training on how to effectively recruit the right person, from the processes they need to go through to what to look for. Here, Travel Training Solutions’ Kirk Myers has some tips.

Who are you looking for?

Ensure you have an up-to-date job criteria for the role you wish to fill. This gives you a good opportunity to refine the job specifics and the qualities, skills and competencies you are looking for from applicants. Remember, some of the skills and knowledge required can be trained and developed; however, the most vital qualities – positive attitude, personality, reliability and desire to succeed – are difficult to nurture but are priceless traits.

Where will you find them?

There are a number of specialist travel industry recruitment agencies online. They charge a fee to advertise your vacancy, and attract candidates with experience and skills compatible with your vacancy.But you can also advertise the role in a travel trade publication; locally, on a Jobcentre website, in your local press and on community job boards; and even on your own office door with a sign saying ‘Vacancy – apply within’. The golden candidate may walk past.

Plan it right

Set a timeline. Rushing the process can lead to you employing the wrong person, with all the problems that go with that.

  • Give time for the job postings to attract applicants and set a close date, such as four weeks.

  • Create a short aptitude test for the interviewees and start to form a list of open and probing questions.

  • Identify a colleague to help with note taking. Practise your interview questions on each other.

  • Successful candidates may have to work a notice period of four weeks in their existing job, so bear in mind it could be a 10-week process before their start date.

What to look for

Create a list in order of importance of what you want in the candidates and mark each applicant a score out of five. Serious interest should be given to achievements, performance and awards. Length of service, promotions and career progression show how they have been valued by previous employers. Read every application and CV carefully and shortlist your top five candidates.

The interviews and the offer

Interviews are often affected by anxiety, so creating a relaxed environment is important. Greet with a warm smile and ensure all seating is at the same level. Popping out to make a brew leaves the interviewee on their own for a short while to take in their surroundings and feel more at ease. Make sure you have prepared well, practised and feel natural with your list of open questions. It’s good to score candidates out of five for each criteria and quality you are searching for. Most importantly, obtain employment references before making that all-important 
final decision.

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