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We’ve been hiring lately. A lot. Because we are growing fast. Not so fast that things get silly, but faster than ever. Did you know we are now 40 people?

Although I have done a lot of hiring in my career, it has usually come with the backing of a large HR operation and a team of recruiters.

Here, at FESTIVE ROAD, we do things differently. We are far from a one-person hiring operation (there’s a squad!), and we use technology to help us, but we take enormous pride in being inclusive, personal and human. If you are rejected, we offer you the chance to write and tell us why we made a mistake.  We all make mistakes from time to time.

However, this all takes time. And resource. So, we wanted to share how some stand-out candidates have caught our eye. And how, in the ‘one-click apply’ world, you can give yourself the best chance of being picked.

1. Read the job description

This is such a simple thing. Read the job description. In its entirety. Pick out the areas that speak to you. Here are some things you may miss if you don’t:

  • We often ask for a cover letter. We have, vast numbers of applicants, and this may help you stand out from the crowd in the early stages. Filtering is the most time-consuming part of the process. While we use AI to help us, a personal touch always helps.
  • We have an inclusive hiring policy. This means that we can adapt if a particular part of the process is very challenging or stressful to you. But you would only know this if you read our job descriptions.
  • We ALWAYS put our salaries on role descriptions. This allows you to work out from the get-go if the role is the right fit for you. 

2. Read about us

Read about us, check out our Roader bios and LinkedIn read our Careers page.

  • Consider what you are looking for from your career, your employe your workmates. Work out what your own personal values are when it comes to work and life. What are your boundaries and how do you put guardrails around these to ensure you get the right balance?
  • Check out the language we use in our Employee Value Proposition. Does it match the way YOU talk about work? If not, and it feels like a foreign language, don’t try and fit a square peg into a round hole. We aren’t for everyone. And that is fine.
  • Test us on it! We always leave time at the end of an interview for you to ask us questions. Don’t be shy. Ask us for examples. Want to talk to someone in a similar role? That’s also fine!

3. Be BOLD!

Be BOLD! Don’t meet 100% of the requirements? That is absolutely fine. If you feel you have most of the skills required and can learn the rest, just give it a go. 

  • We employ people from inside and outside of the travel industry at all stages of their careers. If you are confident that you have the skills, but it feels like a step up, be open about it.
  • The hiring process is your opportunity to shine. There will be no trick questions! However, we expect you to be open and honest about your development areas. Chances are, we will be able to support you with these. Also, if there are minimum requirements for a role, please be honest about these. It can save a lot of time for both you and us.*
  • Be picky. If we post 5 very different roles, and you apply to them all, it is tricky for us to understand what you are looking for. If you see that we have posted several roles and want to understand which would be the best fit, drop us a note, and we will have a chat. It may be we have the right one for you, or we may suggest you join our talent pool in anticipation of future opportunities!

And finally, thank you to the following people, who created some stand-out moments over the last 12 months that made us smile and reflect:

  • The candidate, who shared that video intros would be a real challenge for him personally so asked to submit written answers instead. It was a no-brainer.
  • The candidate, who shared that she has caring responsibilities, so she would need to work near her parent’s home on a Monday. She had a WIFI connection and a laptop. We accommodated it.
  • The candidate, who shared she had recently been widowed, so going to an office again would be a change, but she thinks it is a positive one. That moment of vulnerability was a real point of connection.
  • The candidate, who admitted she had limited her career history on her resume to 15 years due to experiencing ageism in previous hiring processes. This was tough to hear, but opened up a wonderful conversation about the benefits of switching roles in your 40s/50s and all of the fantastic experience you bring.
  • The candidate, who asked the BEST ever question of us at the end of the interview**
  • The candidate, who shared her personal pillars and values so we could help align our role to these. And we did…when we offered her the job 😊 (Hi, Amy!)
  • The candidate, who had a real fear of interviews. We asked what would help and they shared that getting the questions shortly before the interview would calm their nerves. So, we sent them. And as a result, will now send them to any future interview candidates. An interview isn’t a memory test. It’s a conversation!
  • All the candidates, who negotiate their salary. Particularly young women, who seem to do this with ease and professionalism. Inspiring stuff.

I would love to hear your views on the hiring process, too. Tell us in the comments about stand-out moments as a hiring manager/candidate! And to the candidates out there using ChatGPT to write their cover letters…it is good to know that AI is yet to take over the world!

*Although thanks to the candidate, who wrote an essay about how if the guy in ‘Suits’ could pretend to be a lawyer, surely he could be a Travel professional (He was a Personal Trainer). It gave us a laugh at least.

** Tell me about a time when something went wrong on a client project. How did you deal with it? How did you manage the client? How did you manage the individual?

Louise Kilgannon
Principle, Managed Services @ Festive Road

Louise Kilgannon is FESTIVE ROAD’s leader for Outsourcery, responsible for over a dozen FESTIVE ROAD associates working in multiple travel management and meetings functions in organisations in the USA and Europe.

Want to hear more about how FESTIVE ROAD can support you with Outsourcery and organisational design? Then get in touch with Louise at louise.kilgannon@festive-road.com

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