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Economics can be a baffling subject matter, with complex theories and formulas. However at its most fundamental it’s really all about supply and demand. The senior level travel recruitment market is no different to any other market in that the pendulum swings between excess demand or excess supply. I don’t have any market wide data to back up my views, however from where I sit I feel that midway through 2015 we have a strong demand for senior travel executives which is matched by a willingness of candidates to consider new career options. This is a healthy state for the overall industry, but most certainly if you are a head-hunter in  the travel sector.

There are some caveats to this overriding assessment. The first that I would make is that employers remain unwilling to consider “left-field candidates” or those who do not have the relevant experience for vacant roles. It never ceases to amaze me when I receive applications for positions from individuals who have little or no background for the role to which they are applying. Rarely will a candidate tick every box that an employer is asking for, but you need to be ticking at least a majority.

The variation to the broad view of economic equilibrium is in travel recruitment is the area of digital. It is certainly true that there has been a vast uplift in the number of candidates who are now experience in digital and ecommerce, but it’s also the case that there are far more of these jobs needing to be filled. Sounds like a happy balance? Not really, because there’s a difference between quantity and quality on the candidate supply side. The lack of really good digital marketers and ecommerce product or conversion specialists means that the salaries for these roles are increasing at a pace. You used to be able to source experienced online marketing managers (which is what they used to be called) for between £35k – £40k. Not anymore. This will now only get you someone who is light on years of experience. You need to be looking at the £45k -£55k bracket now. And for really good conversion specialists add another £10k.

Whenever I meet people who are at the early stages of their career, I always advise them to try and maximise their digital experience.

Ian Brooks. Director

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