As Jayne Peirce Recruitment Solutions marks its first birthday, Juliet Dennis talks to its managing director about setting up a business and the health of the jobs market
Staff in the travel industry are nervous about job hunting in the current climate.
“People are not actively putting their CVs out there with lots of recruiters and, if they do, they choose to work with just one or two recommended recruiters,” admitted Jayne Peirce, managing director of travel recruitment specialist Jayne Peirce Recruitment Solutions.
They want candidates to tick every box. They want the best people in the market,” said Peirce.
“Times are hard and a lot of effort goes into recruiting. Companies would rather wait for that individual than make an appointment that is not right.”
Many companies in the sector are recruiting staff only to replace those who have left, according to Peirce, who quit her role as account director at Gail Kenny Executive Recruitment to set up on her own a year ago.
Despite the challenging environment, Peirce said her business had enjoyed a positive first year’s trading and maintained there were some optimistic signs for the travel recruitment sector.
While the year is likely to continue to be challenging, Peirce claims demand is increasing for candidates with online and travel industry experience.
“The wave of new recruits in travel will come in the online sector; that’s where the growth is and will continue to be for a number of years,” she predicted. “Companies who have come into travel and do not have staff with travel experience are now tapping into candidates with tour operator experience.”
The situation has been helped by a marked shift in how companies recruit online staff, with businesses now taking on employees from within the sector and paying competitive salaries.
Peirce said: “Eighteen months ago when companies looked to fill online positions they were open to candidates from other sectors, but when we presented candidates they tended to recruit the person from the travel sector because of their knowledge of the industry.
“The industry has nurtured some really bright pay-per-click and search engine optimisation experts that are very much in demand.
“Travel is starting to offer the levels of pay for online jobs that you get in other sectors; they are now more realistic.”
Evidence that specialist travel businesses are continuing to thrive in the marketplace should also give hope to the industry, said Peirce. “Specialist companies have enjoyed expansion and I think we will see more of the same next year,” she added.
Travel companies have also been actively trying to increase their presence within the trade, which has led to a rise in the number of account management and specific trade sales roles.
“Two years ago these roles were few and far between, but over this last year we have seen all sorts of companies expanding their trade presence. It’s a way for them to secure distribution within the trade,” said Peirce.