Skift Take

Whatever it takes is the message today, with social media emerging a key battleground for talent.

Travel companies are getting creative in their search for new talent. It may be one thing to increase salaries and benefits, but two travel management companies want to bring new blood into the industry by any means necessary.

Spain’s TravelPerk has turned to TikTok to recruit the next generation of travel consultants. Like many agencies it needs to staff up to help clients book business trips in these complicated times, with airline cancellations and airport chaos transforming even the simplest journeys into herculean tasks.

“It’s tough,” said Jean-Christophe Taunay-Bucalo, chief revenue officer. “You need to get people back that left the travel industry during Covid.”

Germany Testbed

Rather than using a recruitment agency, Taunay-Bucalo said the idea came from its own team in Germany, after hearing how other technology companies had seen success with TikTok campaigns.

“So we did the same,” he said, adding TravelPerk is targeting a demographic of between 23 and 28 years. “They’re not on LinkedIn, they don’t care about it anymore. They’re not on Facebook anymore. It’s been working well for us, because it’s different.”

Germany is also easing foreign worker laws to address shortages across its airports, and is aiming to fill some 3,000 positions.

The agency joins growing numbers of travel brands which are using the social video app to market holidays toGen Z and younger millennials.

However, when TravelPerk opened its Edinburgh office earlier this month the company used Bootcamp and Coding Academy as a hiring ground. “You need different approaches to recruitment compared to who you want,” added Taunay-Bucalo.

Another agency, American Express Global Business Travel, will be starting its own apprentice program in August. It wants to boost the number of counselors, and will offer on-the-job experience and opportunities for full-time roles.

Apprentices will work in its Traveler Care team for 18 months and Amex GBT said that as well as experience, they gain a nationally recognised qualification known as “Travel Consultant Level 3.”

“Our people are the soul of our business and I’m thrilled to be welcoming new talent through this scheme,” said Rachel Tonge, UK vice president and general manager. “Not only will the apprenticeship programme strengthen our team at Amex GBT, it will also introduce talent to the wider travel industry, including people who may not have previously considered joining this sector.”

Heard It On the Radio

Dnata Travel Group UK, meanwhile, launched its own recruitment drive this week. Billed as its “biggest single recruitment push ever,” it wants to fill more than 120 positions in the UK.

Like TravelPerk the group, which owns brands including Travel Republic, Travelbag, Netflights, Sunmaster and tour operator Gold Medal, is using social media, but roles are being promoted through local radio advertising campaigns too.

It wants to attract new talent around its employment centres in Lancashire and Surrey, as well as Chester and across its network of Travelbag high street travel stores. It also offers home-working positions.

“Like many travel companies, we’re seeing demand for our holidays pick up,” said Ailsa Pollard, CEO — UK & Europe. “This means we need to increase the size of our team, especially in the critical customer service and sales areas, to ensure we’re able to maximize that interest.”

If successful, the new roles would come on top 160 jobs already filled since the start of the year. The company, which employs about 800 people, is also developing graduate and apprenticeship schemes.

Free Daily Newsletter

Sign up for the most popular Skift daily download of news, happening, and headlines in the travel world

Tags: american express global business travel, business travel, corporate travel, corporate travel management, labor shortages, training, travelperk

Photo credit: Agencies are looking for more consultants to help cope with more complex travel bookings and flight disruptions. Mimi Thian / Unsplash