How to Hire Tour and Activity Employees in the Worker Shortage
One major effect of the pandemic has been a mass labor shortage that has made it difficult for tour and activity businesses, among others, to find qualified candidates for employment.
“In 2022, the predicted labor shortage will be 480,000 travel and tourism workers, meaning that one in 13 positions will go unfilled.” (World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC))
Many operators – including employers like you – have not been able to fill positions with qualified candidates since travel has made a comeback in the wake of the pandemic.
And, with the busy season just around the corner, it may become difficult to find and retain quality employees. This is especially the case when everyone in the travel industry is hiring at the same time.
We recognize this issue and are here to support you with three ways to find top talent.
Create a Permanent Jobs Page
A great first step to reach your hiring goals is to add a permanent jobs page to your website. Even if you are not hiring at this exact moment, you should feature what positions will be available during your busy season.
For instance, if Julie is passionate about kayaking and is hoping to work at your kayaking business starting in June, she may look at your website in the few months prior.
Furthermore, if you want to hire for the month of June, it is critical to give yourself a month or two to collect as many applications as possible. This will be key to hiring the best possible candidates.
Once you create your job page, there are a few items you should include for each role:
- Job descriptions that have as many details as possible
- Responsibilities that each role has
- Qualities you are looking for in each candidate (for a tour guide, start here!)
- Hours they will be expected to work each week and how scheduling will work if they get the job
- How the hiring process will go (i.e. how many interviews will occur and if it will be in person or over the phone)
- Benefits and vacation time
- Any other perks that will make someone want to work at your company (i.e. fun staff outings)
Pro Tip: Create an FAQ section for commonly asked questions that will apply to all roles. For instance, “do I need special training to apply?” or “is this a seasonal position?”. You can add to this section as you begin conducting interviews and find out what candidates want to know.
Post Jobs in the “Right” Places
Expand your reach for quality candidates by posting each job in other places aside from your specific site.
Online Job Boards
There are a lot of online job boards out there, such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, Ziprecruiter, Adventure Job Board, etc. Conduct research to find out which pages will be the most successful.
You can do this by searching for similar positions in your area. For instance, Google search “haunted walking tour guide in New Orleans” and see which job boards pop up first.
Presumably, your audience on your social media pages are fans of your business and industry. You can post about your open positions with a link to your jobs page so more people will see the openings. Encourage current employees to share as well!
Aside from your own social media pages, consider posting your jobs on Facebook or LinkedIn Community Groups. These choices should be relevant to your specific business. For example, if you are looking for new hiking tour guides in Colorado, search for Colorado-based hiking groups to post your open positions in.
This one is an oldie, but a goodie. You can print out flyers with the details of your open positions and post in local coffee shops, bus stations, and more to find local candidates.
Pro Tip: Print a QR code on the flyer that candidates can scan and be taken directly to the jobs page on your website. This will streamline the process and make sure all of your applications are online and in the same place.
Be Selective in Your Hiring Process
Once you’ve posted your open positions, you’ll likely have a lot of options for each role. Now is the time to be selective.
Ask yourself, “who is my ideal candidate?” In the worker shortage you may feel tempted to try and just fill the positions with whoever applies. But this can lead to turnover, especially if the candidates aren’t the best fit for the role and struggle to perform their tasks.
It’s important to get the best people into each opening, so be picky! If you do a good job creating your listing and posting across channels, you should have a big pool of candidates where you can find the right person for the job.
That being said, we know you may be in a hurry and need to hire right away. Ensure that you have a plan to thoroughly train each new team member. This is what will lead to higher retention, which is critical during a worker shortage.
Overall, when you are looking to hire this season, think about your ideal staff member and cater all content to them. You can always be particular when picking your staff, but make sure you have the resources, training, and incentives to back it up.
Although our industry has suffered in recent years, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. The WTTC predicts that the travel industry could create 58 million jobs in 2022!