Monday, July 24, 2006

Expect to pay for the best

Gail Kenny from Gail Kenny Executive Search writes:

The impact of the internet on the travel industry is well documented, but less has been said about the effects on businesses that work as service partners to travel companies.

With regards to recruitment, there has been a huge shift in demand towards candidates with online skills and experience.

For the dedicated online players such as Expedia and Opodo, it is a pre-requisite that potential candidates are web savvy.

But even for the more traditional travel companies, there is a clamour for talent that will help them play catch-up with their presence on the web.

As with any market, where demand exceeds supply, the price increases. This is starting to occur, but not as yet to an unmanageable level.

The supply side is being “topped-up” as travel companies do more online, and their staff start to build up their online experience.

There is also the opportunity to bring in talent from outside of travel, which many travel companies are keen to do, however as many are quickly discovering, the digital media world is a place where appropriately qualified executives are extremely well remunerated.

It is in such market conditions, where talent is in shorter supply, that effective search or recruitment intermediaries can really add value.

Of course it’s true that most recognised travel brands are now using their websites to advertise any vacancies they have, and this is a sensible policy. However, this only captures the part of the market that is actively looking.

For the more senior positions, you always cast a wider net by applying the techniques of a full executive search, and in particular pro-active “headhunting”.

One final impact of all this for the search and recruitment companies, is the need to improve the “eye candy” of their own websites. Hence has just undergone a major overhaul!

Happy headhunting.

Gail Kenny, managing director, Gail Kenny Executive Search

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