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Search strategies for hiring tourism professionals

Tourism can be an industry with a high turnover, but if you’re proactive about looking for new talent, you’ll be able to fill your business with better candidates to make you stronger in the long term.

If you want to find the best staff for your tourism business, then you're going to have to put in some time to find them. Being proactive about hiring new talent means finding candidates who are qualified, available, and interested in taking on a role with your business. This is different from recruitment, which is more of an ad-hoc process of finding candidates to fill vacancies as they emerge and moving them through employment pipelines. Both disciplines have their uses, and the relevant skills and tactics between the two can overlap. So, if you're interested in finding the very best talent for the job, take a look at some of these ideas for building up your team.

Improve your Google skills
Google is a tremendously powerful resource for finding staff, but you need to know how to leverage its full range of abilities. "Operators" are commands and characters that instruct Google in the specifics of a search and help it refine its parameters. Examples of this might be AND, +, OR to add a parameter, and NOT, – to exclude a word. An advanced search string for might look like "("tourism rep" OR "tourism booker") -job -jobs -examples -samples." Figure out how to conduct advanced searches, and you'll be able to narrow down results to what you're really looking for.

Don’t forget LinkedIn
Networking is an important skill for any employer, let alone a recruitment agent. LinkedIn is the world's foremost professional networking platform in the world, so it's vital that you're taking advantage of it. LinkedIn lets you find exactly the kind of staff you would want to hire and then lets you get in touch through shared connections, groups, or just by direct contact. It's also incredibly useful in the tourism industry since it's such a global platform and can instantly widen the talent pool no matter where your company is operating. The dedicated tools for recruitment like LinkedIn Recruiter and Pipeline are also worth exploring for their analytics tools and more powerful search filters.

Recruit from social media networks
LinkedIn will probably be one of your main online ports of call for recruitment, but don't forget to explore other avenues from time to time. Social media sites give you a more interactive approach to finding talent, letting you participate in social media activity to help you break the ice with potential candidates. However, you have to take into account the particular strengths and weaknesses of the platforms you'll be working with. Facebook profiles, for example, don't go into much detail about the particulars of a potential candidate's professional skills. But if you looked at the groups they were a part of; you might get a better idea of their experience. Twitter is another useful source for recruitment, where finding out who is following who can provide a similar insight into a person's suitability for a role.

Leverage referrals
Proactive recruiting is at its most effective when all parties pull together to achieve results. Encouraging your staff and partners to distribute job vacancies throughout their purview can be an excellent way to achieve results. You can also incentivize current employees to find new talent by offering them bonus schemes for new recruits they bring your way. It also helps give your current staff more of a stake in the business, which can be good for your company’s morale.

Use advanced hiring tools
Resources like Facebook and Google are useful, but paid sourcing tools can be much more powerful and yield higher quality results. Tools like SignalHire can help you search for talents via a variety of parameters like name, number, email address, and location, making it easy for you to reach out to the best candidates. The service also lets you browse potential recruits by their skillsets and the industries they work in, after which you can contact them directly through email addresses verified by third parties. This can let you find a qualified tourism development manager who’s in the best position to contribute to your company. Services like these aren’t always free, but they represent excellent value and can expedite all your recruitment activities.

Establish a nurturing strategy
If you’re proactively looking for potential hires, you’ll probably come across some potential candidates who tick all the right boxes for a role that you haven’t created yet. Maybe they catch your eye for the future expansion of your business or could be useful if you opened another office. In these instances, make sure you save the candidate and approach them with a view to building up a genuine relationship with them as time goes on. You can help monitor their development and stay in touch through social media to stay apprised of their movements. Then, when the right position for them does open up, you can put them at the top of the queue during the recruitment drive.

Consider peer interviewing
When it comes to figuring out the suitability of a candidate, someone in your company who fills a similar role might be a better judge of suitability than a manager or stakeholder. You can give your current staff the responsibility to carrying out a particular stage of the interview process and use their experience to evaluate what the candidate can bring to the crew and whether they’d be a good fit for the team. Involving your employees at a decision-making level can leverage their insights and help bring your team closer together.

Final thoughts
Tourism can be an industry with a high turnover, but if you're proactive about looking for new talent, you'll be able to fill your business with better candidates to make you stronger in the long term. Staff who have been proactively sourced will also be entering your company with a stronger interest in the business's success than someone who simply answered a job advert online. Proactive sourcing is the best way to make sure that you have the perfect team to help you succeed, and more investment in your staff will lead to better productivity.

Photo by Ben Rosett on Unsplash

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