Industry urged to do more to retain new staff

Industry urged to do more to retain new staff

Travel companies need to work harder to retain new staff, according to an industry recruitment specialist.

New Frontiers general manager Jose Cofone urged companies in the trade to review their staff induction processes, test candidates’ skills at the interview stage, give new staff a mentor, introduce them straight away to colleagues and  ensure their desk is ready when they start.

Speaking at the company’s HR Club Seminar, Cofone said it was critical companies took note of these basic guidelines to hang on to new employees because of a shortage of skilled staff in the current travel industry market.

“The growth of the market means companies are recruiting and growing, but there is a shortage of good people out there,” he said.

In 2012, New Frontiers had just over 50,000 applications for job positions; in 2013 this rose to just over 60,000 and last year it reached just over 68,000.

So far this year the company has had just over 13,000 applications.

“If it continues at this rate then we are looking at 80,000 applications this year,” added Cofone.

Online job boards mean candidates continue to be aware of roles being advertised even after they have started a new job, which could make them more likely to leave their new workplace if they are not nurtured in the right way, he said.

“It means they know about job opportunities with other companies every day and they will be aware of these if they are not happy,” said Cofone.

Based on a New Frontiers survey of 200 placements by the company, the main reason for leaving a job had shifted from a lack of career prospects in 2012 and 2013 to earning more money in 2014.

Of those surveyed, 40% had left their jobs for more money in 2014, compared to 38% because of lack of career prospects. In 2013, 51% cited lack of career prospects and 36% for more money. In 2012, it was 66% because of career prospects and 37% for more money.

The average “low end” cost for a company of losing a member of staff – including the cost of recruiting and absorbing a new worker –  is £30,614, according to an Oxford Economics report, said Cofone.

There are also other factors to consider, such as the impact of staff leaving on existing employees. “The loss of staff affects other staff as the company is then more short-staffed and staff can become tired and stressed. There’s also the cultural impact. Whenever someone leaves others ask why they’ve left and what’s wrong with the company.”

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