Homeworking agency Not Just Travel is recruiting between 50 to 100 experienced travel agents for its new division.

The division was set up earlier this year to expand the business beyond its traditional franchise model aimed at people who are new to travel, and is led by Cherie Richards – who joined from Global Travel Group.

Paul Harrison, one of the co-founders of Not Just Travel, said hundreds of travel agents have applied for the new venture.

Speaking on a Travel Weekly webcast ahead of Not Just Travel’s first virtual conference on Saturday (September 5), he said: “We had 200 inquiries in the first week [in July]. And it’s been mental ever since.”

He said the business has the “luxury of being selective” and can choose applicants who have demonstrated loyalty and stability in previous roles.

“We’re looking for nice people. We want people who fit our values…that are hungry, and share our vision,” he explained.

He said Not Just Travel has 750 agents in its franchise division but this new division will be a more “intimate” group initially.

“A lot of people will be looking at what we’re doing in this new division,” he said.

“We’ll get the ball rolling, the nice comments will get out there…and then some of the bigger fish will come swimming along.”

He said the franchise side of the business is still recruiting and there are plans to offer different entry levels for people who may want to join, such as business development managers who have been made redundant.

Harrison said the company had not expected to recruit franchisees during the height of lockdown in April, May and June but ended up recruiting almost 20.

“There’s so much interest. We’ve traditionally had a franchise which cost about £15,000 to join, which rules out many people because they don’t want or haven’t got that amount of money to spend,” he said.

“So we’ve been tailoring and creating new opportunities for people to be in travel.

“Times of adversity change people’s mindset. We’re opening new doors, new divisions that will fit a lot of people.”

Not Just Travel has also been recruiting head office staff to help with the plans for growth.

Harrison said five applicants have been interviewed in the past week for senior roles, and more positions are planned.

“We are building for the future,” he said.

“When we appointed Cherie, we offered her the role in February and then Covid hit. Most people would have said, I’m sorry, the world has changed,  and retract the offer.

“But we see this as an opportunity to grow and diversify so Cherie is the first of many. There are going to be a lot of people joining us in different capacities, a lot of growth, and therefore there needs to be a lot of structure to underpin that.”

MoreNot Just Travel launches experienced agents division

Cherie Richards joins Not Just Travel as chief business development officer