The Gold Medal and Travel 2 chief explains how gut instinct and inclusiveness can help hire and retain the best staff.
Recruiting the right person for the job – and ensuring they stay with you – is vital to business success.
In the old days, a job description was called a ten-liner – it was much looser then. Now you’ve got to be very clear of what’s expected of the candidate and what skillsets and experience are needed.
Create a formalised structure. Consider a series of joined-up interviews with several people in the room who’ll get to know the candidate.
We typically do two to three interviews, often with different people.
If it’s a job that requires system skills, for example, we’ll all ask questions on the subject in different ways and then compare notes afterwards.
We steer clear of panel interviews – some firms like the intimidation tactic but I think it’s old-fashioned.
Candidate personality is also important. If they’re going to be selling holidays, they’ll need to be warm and
easy to get on with.
I use instinct a lot in interviews, considering whether the candidate will complement the team. It’s also important to ask yourself: “Are they a good fit for us, and are we a good fit for them?”
Ensure people are welcomed, have everything they need to work properly and a programme of who to meet to get to know the business.
I learnt from my time at travel start-ups that the turnover rate can be high. At Gold Medal and Travel 2, people have been there 10, 20, even 30 years. Best performers are rewarded with fam trips.
We also have an employee recognition programme where colleagues can nominate each other.
Train managers to be on the lookout for people who want a change or a new challenge.
Regular one-to-ones and reviews will help. It’s about listening and making it happen. Our new graduates will rotate six months at a time to move around different departments.
We have a “no eating at desks” policy at our Leyland office. Businesses have to think about the whole community of the office and how it functions. In our Kingston office, there are regular pub quizzes and five-a-sides.
When colleagues get to know each other, it ensures longevity and gives people an extra reason to be at work.
In Leyland, we have a personal trainer who runs bootcamps once a week. That idea came out of a committee meeting and has been very successful.
When we moved to Leyland, we worked from the team up to ensure people had a say in how they’d work and what the office would look like.
We now even have a team that looks after our pond. They’ve connected with local wildlife experts to turn it into a sanctuary, and we’ve given staff a budget for that. It makes them proud of where they work.
Gold Medal and Travel 2 are trade-only operators providing you with access to over 100,000 hotels, all major airlines, touring, cruise, groups and luxury, all at the most competitive prices in the market.