Travel boss tells agents to recruit from outside industry to boost talent pool

Jennifer Lynch, General Manager at ArrangeMY Escape
By Harry Kemble
Home » Travel boss tells agents to recruit from outside industry to boost talent pool

A travel agency boss has urged other agents to recruit from outside travel due to a shortage of talented staff currently within the sector.

Jennifer Lynch, General Manager at ArrangeMY Escape, says all three staff at the agency’s recently launched second store in Malvern had no previous travel industry experience when they were hired.

Speaking at a workshop at the Advantage Travel Partnership conference, Jennifer said she overcame the ‘biggest challenge’ of finding staff by hiring from other sectors.

“The recruitment for our newest store In Malvern took quite a while,” she said. “We went down the road of recruiting from outside travel. You will have success if you put the time and effort in.”

Jennifer, picture, added: “Why are we not looking outside travel more? We’re just limiting the talent pool. How are we supposed to grow as a business unless we innovate.”

Recruiting in rural areas is trickier than in towns and cities because of the smaller populations, she added.

She said staff at the Malvern shop had previously worked in pubs and clothing stores and revealed she even hired her hairdresser to work in ArrangeMY Escape’s Worcester shop.

On recruiting her hairdresser, Jennifer said: “It’s all about looking for the right qualities and she had the right qualities for the job.

“She wanted to travel, she was passionate about travel, and she wanted to learn about travel. Having that passion is almost worth more than anything else.”

Asked what fresh ideas new employees recruited from outside travel had brought into the business, Jennifer said they were mainly social media points based around platforms like TikTok.

“We now do a lot of social media posts that are personal, rather just banging out another offer,” she said. “When we travel anywhere we like to show our customers where we are.”

Jeanne Lally, Co-Managing Director at Gosforth-based Travel Bureau, said ArrangeMY Escape’s recruitment drive was ‘a really positive story’ because ‘it’s about looking in different directions rather than the same direction’.

“I just think that it’s an industry thing, the people are just not there,” she added.

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