Does salary speak louder than benefits?

Does salary speak louder than benefits? Listing Image

As explored in previous blog posts, recruitment in the travel industry right now is highly candidate-driven, with many companies vying for a small pool of top talent. One of the most important factors in attracting and retaining employees, no matter the industry, is, of course, employee salary. In an industry that has been historically famed for its benefits, how does that weigh up in 2023? In this blog, we will explore the role that salary and benefits play in recruitment in the travel industry and determine which speaks louder in today’s market. 


Travel industry perks 

The travel industry was once renowned for its many perks and benefits – travel discounts, fam trips to dream destinations, glamorous award ceremonies, legendary office parties and glitzy supplier-sponsored events, to name but a few. Once upon a time, it was fairly common for candidates to accept a lower salary to join the industry and live the revered travel lifestyle.


But times have changed. In a post-pandemic world, values and priorities have shifted. With the introduction of remote and hybrid working, many employees now live a life that doesn’t lend itself well to London-centric events or last-minute overseas trips. This, combined with the current cost-of-living pressures, means that salary is now higher on the candidate priority list than ever. And this is a reality that some travel businesses have yet to accept. 


Ambitions Travel Recruitment owner Fi recently had an uncomfortable conversation with a small, independent travel agent owner that is looking to re-grow its team. Although, unlike many other travel businesses, the casualties weren’t from pandemic redundancies but from staff leaving to join a larger company in the same area paying a better salary. The employer was unhappy to hear that their salary offering was not going to attract candidates despite her business’s good reputation and close knit team environment. 


Basic benefits 

Benefits are still a vital part of any job offer. And not just the exciting travel industry ones. Health insurance, generous pensions, competitive holiday allowances, enhanced maternity and paternity leave, caps on unpaid overtime, and of course, flexible working are all part of an attractive compensation package. However, in our experience, much of this is still lacking compared to other industries. 


A good basic benefits package can not only enhance the employee’s financial stability but also provide a sense of fulfilment and job satisfaction. For example, travel card discounts and flexible work arrangements can provide employees with a better work-life balance, allowing them to spend more time with their families or explore their other interests. Professional development is another important and highly valued benefit - helping employees stay current and develop their skills, making them more valuable to their employer and the travel industry as a whole.


Salary is the bottom line  


Despite the importance of good benefits, salary still speaks volumes louder, particularly in the current climate. Benefits are an essential part of the package but won’t put bread on the table, pay the ever-increasing utility bill or keep the wolves from the door. Additionally, many travel colleagues who left the industry during the pandemic have seen the other side. They now know what other industries pay and don’t want to settle for less. There’s no avoiding it; attractive salaries are key to travel industry recruitment in 2023. 

Has your business benchmarked its compensation package recently? Fi at Ambitions Travel Recruitment can help you refine your offering and get you in front of the right candidates. Get in touch for more information.

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