Training Is Key to Retaining New Talent

by Richard D'Ambrosio
Training Is Key to Retaining New Talent

Photo: Shutterstock.com


Across the travel industry, everyone is talking about the good news, the boom in bookings though travel agents. But as their business grows, travel agents find themselves scurrying more than ever to find and nurture and train new talent. That’s why ASTA chairman Jay Ellenby is making the training and recruitment of new travel agents one of his highest priorities for 2017.  

At yesterday’s “The Top 5 Ways to Attract and Retain Great Talent” breakout session, Philip Banks, president of 12-agent Legacy Travel in Dallas, TX, said a focus on providing a lifestyle that attracts agents, and communicating a stable income growth path, has helped him achieve a remarkable record in retaining his staff. Since 2010, he has lost only five agents, including two who wanted to be stay-athome moms.

His agency has been recognized by the Dallas Business Journal as one of the Best Places to Work in Dallas for 2016.

“We aren’t necessarily looking for young people, but because our industry pays lower salaries, we see that younger people are more interested in becoming agents,” Banks said. So he makes up gaps in salary with at least one vacation each year, 401K matching, fun employee events, and other perks like massages and health club memberships.

To retain young talent, agencies “need to be set up to welcome new people,” Banks said, including a warm welcoming and a training program that sets them up to succeed and gives them the skills to earn a competitive salary. Training on travel technology in particular can be very intimidating.

“The training process can be very difficult, and that can lead to new hires leaving early,” Banks said. “My business won’t survive if we don’t nail those first few weeks and the training process.” Since their compensation is based on production, agents at Legacy Travel begin to earn a very competitive salary after 1824 months, Banks said.

“Our employees are pretty well paid. It’s a mathematical equation, so it is really obvious for someone to figure out what it takes to make a lot of money.”

  1
  0
Tip of the Day
Daily Top List

Most Useful Twitter Accounts for Travel Agents

1. AskTSA

2. FlightRadar24

3. Department of State

4. CLIA Global

5. ASTA

Source: TMR

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Specialize in Japan's Endless Opportunities
Specialize in Japan's Endless Opportunities

The course covers everything from Japan’s historic monuments to its unique culture. 

Costa Rica is Ideal for Solo Travelers
Costa Rica is Ideal for Solo Travelers

Ranked among Lonely Planet’s top places for solo travel in 2018, sell Costa Rica to clients looking to travel alone.

New State Department Advisory Website Gains Travel Industry Favor
New State Department Advisory Website Gains Travel Industry Favor

Straightforward warning system and cleaner website should make it easier for flyers to prepare for overseas travel.

The Travel Corporation Launches Online Travel Portal
The Travel Corporation Launches Online Travel Portal

Central portal for e-documents, itineraries and emergency contact information helps both travelers and travel agents.

River Cruises: More than a Worthwhile Niche for Travel Agents
River Cruises: More than a Worthwhile Niche for Travel Agents

River cruising is hardly new, but if you consider the constant evolution of the ships, product offerings and itineraries that make up this segment, the definition of new takes on a different meaning.

Earn Bonus Commission as an Oceania Cruises Sales Specialist
Earn Bonus Commission as an Oceania Cruises Sales Specialist

Receive an overview of the key hallmarks found on an Oceania Cruises vacation.

News Briefs
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Scenic Cruises