Tourism Talent's Anna Hayward and Jason Hill Tourism Talent's Anna Hayward and Jason Hill

Recruit from other sectors

Employers in the travel and tourism industries need to look beyond their own sectors to boost their pool of human resources – including areas where many of their own people may have ended up due to the pandemic, says Jason Hill, managing director of Tourism Talent.

‘Areas like retail and aged care have snapped up people from travel and tourism, including some I know of directly from the retail travel sector. So the employers obviously recognised the transferable skills these people have.

‘That can work the other way, as long as travel employers are open minded and prepared to forgo some of the knowledge they think they need in an employee.

‘If you employ someone for their customer service and their knowledge, then training those people on specific product and skills will be invaluable.’

Hill says that employers looking toward immigration to ease their staff shortages may find some relief in lower level roles. ‘That’s where backpackers and those on working holiday visas will provide some answers. A relaxing of immigration policy would certainly help.

‘However that’s not going to save businesses who are looking for middle and senior management personnel.

They need to be looking at ways to retain and up-skill existing staff, build an attractive employer brand and head hunt the best talent out there.’

Hill says great talent is being snapped up quickly and people are being increasingly incentivised to stay where they are.

‘As travel returns the industry is in a strong position to offer something attractive. There will be successful people in other retail areas that may not even have considered a role in a travel agency – but who could quickly learn the specific skills and knowledge required.

‘The key word for employers right now to attract great people is flexibility. Having an open mind to factors like place of work, hours of work, extra leave and considering transferable skills are allowing employers to secure staff that historically they may not have looked at or attracted.’

New face at Tourism Talent

Anna Hayward joins Tourism Talent as it expands into the business events sector during the Covid recovery.

Hayward has held sales and marketing roles within tourism and hospitality in local government, regional tourism organisations, international hotel groups, luxury lodges, public relations offices, and the oil industry, and led the Auckland Convention Bureau for 14 years.  She has previously been chair of the New Zealand Convention Bureau and was the recipient of the CINZ (now Business Events Industry Aotearoa) NZ Outstanding Achievement Award 2018 for her services to the sector.

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