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16th August 2018

How we recruit (by one of our new recruits)

Evie, one of our new USA travel specialists, describes her recruitment experience joining Audley, and how she found our new video assessment process.

I discovered Audley about four months ago, while job hunting for a role I could be passionate about. I visited the US for three months after graduating from university, and caught the travel bug in the process. 

A couple of my friends had joined Audley just over a year earlier, and their obvious and enduring love for both the company and their role was what really piqued my interest.

Applying for my role coincided with Audley launching a new recruitment experience for candidates. 

Hiking in Yosemite National Park

The online application form

I visited the Audley Careers website and applied online, which was both quick and straightforward. You’re asked for some personal details, including contact information, and a brief summary of your experience in travel, plus a copy of your CV/resume and a cover letter.

I was then invited to complete a short questionnaire, which evaluated my work-life traits and took about 15 minutes.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

The video interview

The next step in the Audley recruitment process is the video interview. Admittedly, the idea did make me nervous, but actually it was fine. The questions were well worded and gave me plenty of time to prepare my answer before recording it. You can do the recording on any mobile device, including laptop, smartphone and tablet (using the latest versions of iOS or Android, or the latest version of Chrome or Firefox). I could also complete the interview at a time of my choosing, in my case at home, alone, in my pyjama bottoms, with a well-deserved glass of wine waiting for me just to the left of the webcam’s field of vision.

You can blur the video on your screen as it records, so you don’t have to watch yourself squirming in discomfort (a feature I found helpful), and you get two attempts to answer the questions. 

Chad Horne, our Head of Resourcing, explains why we have introduced the video assessment:

The video interview

Face-to-face interview

Following the video interview, I was invited via email to a phone interview, which quickly turned into the offer to come into the London office in Shepherd’s Bush for a face-to-face interview the following Monday.

I was met by Ashleigh, a Resourcing Specialist in the HR team, and Ben, Head of the Canada, Alaska and Arctic team (the Head of the USA team was on a research trip in the US). The style of the interview was relaxed and well structured, starting with an informal discussion about my travel experience, followed by a walk around the office (which is amazing, by the way - vibrant, lively and modern) and a short writing task to measure my written skills. One week later, I received the much-anticipated call… I’d got the job. 

Kayaking in Santa Barbara

Induction

Initial training begins a couple of weeks later, with a one-week induction course. This is designed to prepare you for ‘fam’. Travel specialists joining Audley spend a month in destination; this is known as a ‘familiarisation trip’ or a ‘fam’. 

Within four days, I was fully briefed and kitted out with my itinerary and all of the documentation I’d need over the next four weeks in the States. 

You’re also given extensive training on what to expect, what to get out of the trip, what to pack… everything you could possibly think of was covered. Before you jet off, you get to spend a little time with your team and meet your Regional Sales Manager. 

Two days later, I was off to America.

Cycling in the Napa Valley wine region

Learning on the job

I flew from London Gatwick to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where I met another new recruit called Samantha. We spent the next four weeks together, driving the coastal route and stopping off at various points of interest on the way, all the way down Highway 101 to Los Angeles. 

The itinerary had been planned out for us, with car hire, hotels and flights all taken care of by Audley. Our trips are very much about giving our clients unique experiences, and some I had included wine tasting in Napa Valley, whale watching in Monterey, a full-day guided hike in Yosemite and a tour of the local food cart stops in Portland. A fam gives you the opportunity to see your country of expertise as your clients do, and you’ll keep topping up this first-hand experience every 12 to 18 months.

In-house training

Back from fam, you start an intensive three-week training course, The Audley Way Part One. You’ll learn what it means to be part of Audley: the company values, how to liaise with clients and make successful bookings, and so much more. 

Then, you join your team, speaking to prospective clients on the phone. I’m currently in the middle of The Audley Way Part Two, a secondary training course that continues through my first months at Audley and involves a monthly training day. 

My introduction to life as a Travel Specialist at Audley Travel has been an absolute pleasure. From the ever-evolving and forward-thinking recruitment approach to the enriching and unique familiarisation trips that this company provide, I have learned and adjusted to this place faster than I ever thought possible. 

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