Audley Travel aims to fill 100 vacancies as it rebuilds workforce

Audley Travel is looking to fill more than 100 vacancies as it looks to rebuild staff levels reduced during the pandemic.

The tailormade luxury operator’s chief executive Nick Longman said its workforce had reduced from 900 people worldwide to 600, before a recruitment drive was started six months ago.

Longman confirmed it currently had 100 vacancies on its book across finance, technology, sales and operations and is “recruiting as many people as it can every month”.

“We’re not a business that transacts online. We need people,” Longman told Travel Weekly, as he admitted the lack of staff was restricting its ability to trade to its full potential.

Longman said the situation had led to quite a lot of “marketing savings” while it doesn’t have the resource to fulfill more demand.

But he added: “While it’s good to have savings, it’s a bad saving. I’d rather be recruiting and selling and doing much more brand activity.”

Longman said Audley was keen to “recruit a more diverse workforce going forward” and had partnered with a school in Shepherd’s Bush to explain what it was like to pursue a career in travel.

He said the company was also looking to introduce internships and apprenticeships from 2023 as a way to produce home-grown talent, adding: “Sometimes these things are as good for your business as they are for the participants.”

Longman said Audley was also recruiting more senior staff and homeworkers – but stressed it was important to find the correct “balance” in the workforce.

“We’ve always had homeworkers but it’s been fairly small,” he said. “Audley has a really strong culture and if you had too many homeworkers, it would be hard to maintain that culture. So I don’t know what the right number is but there’s a balance.”

Longman said the “on-boarding” of new staff was much quicker since it had moved to online training through the pandemic, and said a lot more “rigour and process” had been brought into the company since the appointment of Katie Sandwell as human resources director from easyJet in January 2020.

“Bringing in more flexibility of where people work has allowed us to have slightly longer opening hours than previously,” said Longman, explaining staff were required to work a minimum of one day a week in the office.

“We are encouraging more, but there needs to be a reason to be in the office. Teams are coming in on certain days together. New starters are coming in as they need to be in the office more to become more experiences by hearing from others in the company.”

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