April 18, 2024

Back to school

It's time we all went back to school to 'sell' business travel as a career choice, says ITM's CEO Scott Davies

There is currently, and quite rightly, a lot of conversation in business travel around how we can attract new and future talent into our industry. This has always been an interesting challenge but is now even more pertinent given the resourcing issues we see in various sectors.

Many different approaches can be explored and we often seem to focus on two in particular; partnering with education establishments and apprenticeships. Both are worthy initiatives but require careful thought and execution if they are to generate positive outcomes. The first challenge may even be to establish what those achievable positive outcomes in each case even are.

In order to connect with college and university students we need to be sure we have the right audience, with the right story to tell them and, most importantly, a path for them to actually get a role. But just a minute, I have asked many dozens of people in the industry if they ever aspired to work in business travel during their student days and not one says they did. So, I’m not entirely sure this is our silver bullet after all.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t try to inspire young people to work in our dynamic and extraordinary field. For my part, I would like to ask every person who has enjoyed some level of success in business travel (including every ITM member) to make a promise to go back to their own school of choice and ask if they can have 20-30 mins to share how their work life played out and fulfilled them. If we all did that, we might each light a flame within just a few people and the collective result could be immense. With that spark we then need to guide these individuals to the great employers that they can to choose from. TMC’s job pages would be ideal places to point them towards.

Now there’s a thought. That would mean that every single one of us is responsible for the finding the future talent of the business travel industry.

Your industry needs you. Are you doing enough?