How to Find and Hire the Best Tour Guides
The difference a great guide can make for your tour business is bigger than you might be thinking. Since they often play the role of brand ambassadors, they will build the bridge between you and your clients. What is more, with the right attitude and knowledge tour guides can massively influence your company’s reputation in the day-to-day interaction with people.
So it is surely worth making an effort to find one that can embody the core values and principles you want to promote in the long run. Especially during these tough times when what you really need is to stand out from the competition and offer something exceptional and truly immersive.
Although it sounds simple, we know that finding the best tour guide is not an easy ride. That’s why we prepared this article for you. It will help you find a person that fits your company culture and at the same time has valuable qualities to bring on board.
Ready? Let’s go!
Table of Contents
What makes a great tour guide
So what is the first quality you need to look out for when hiring a new person? Of course, every tour guide needs to have accurate and significant knowledge of the history, culture, and heritage of the area they work in. But the scholarly type of guide sometimes forgets to have fun and socialize with people.
Then what are the unique traits that go beyond the expertise and define the perfect tour guide? And by this, we don’t mean any being born with any extraordinary skill. Just the ability to be an engaging storyteller without too much effort. In the end, people who can juggle between facts, jokes, and historical knowledge create the most memorable experiences.
Having a cool personality and the talent to tell stories is particularly important at the moment when virtual tours and experiences are gaining more popularity. The industry needs guides who are genuinely passionate about what they do and can do it well.
As you probably suppose it is not too hard to recognize these qualities in potential candidates. They stand out with a smile and can engage in a conversation that is outside the context of work. The minute you meet them you can sense their personal touch and attitude.
But now the question is, where do we go to find tour guides looking for opportunities. The next part will give you the answer.
Top platforms to find tour guides
There are a number of websites and systems that can make your search for a tour guide lot easier. The only thing you need to know beforehand is what type of previous practice and location you’ll be looking for. Do you need a person with experience in sightseeing tours or adventurous local experiences? Perhaps someone who is into arty tours or bus tours. Once you know the answers just go ahead and try these platforms:
You are probably not surprised to find out that Viator is number one on our list. It is the industry leader in tours, activities, and guides! They can help you find things to do and people to accompany you almost everywhere in the world.
From a hiring standpoint, you can approach guides to see if they are interested in working for you on a permanent or freelance basis.
Indeed is rated the number 1 job site in the world for a reason. There are millions of people looking for a job every month. It is the ideal place to post your job advert if you want to reach a wide audience. And the best part, it is free!
Does your company or organization have a LinkedIn page? If not, don’t waste more time and set one up. This will allow you to share business updates and job offerings with your audience. You can set a daily budget and pay for more impressions in case you want to target a particular audience and demographics, making it easy to hire the best person for the job.
Monster is another popular job board that’s been around for over 2 decades. People from around the world use it to search for suitable positions as well as career advice. Their tool Monster Studios allows you to add videos to your job postings and thus make them more attractive.
Glassdoor is one of the world’s largest career communities. Millions of job seekers from around the world visit it every month to explore companies and share reviews. You can use the platform for branding purposes in addition to hiring. The Glassdoor Employer Centre helps you manage your brand and influence how employees and candidates see your company.
Creating your job ad/brief
If you want to take exciting and passionate tour guides on board, you need to create a compelling job description in the first place. Put yourself in the shoes of the ideal candidate and think about what would make you apply for your job. Give people a good reason to make an effort and prepare their CV and cover letter for you.
To stand out among other similar job postings, go the extra mile and provide plenty of relevant detail about the company and advertised position. Talk more about workplace culture and features of your business rather than particular expectations and requirements. Last but not least, include plenty of details about the employee benefits and perks. People love knowing this kind of detail and it also gives them extra motivation to apply.
This step can be a bit of a challenge especially if you received tons of applications overnight. Since you probably won’t be able to interview all candidates, you need to recognize the best CVs in the pile.
Think outside of the box and try to see the potential in people they might have demonstrated through creativity or their own unique way of expression.
Of course, if you need candidates who are truly knowledgeable in particular areas like history, food, or art, look out for them. Still, don’t entirely rely on background and experience as this is not always a guarantee for a good fit.
Our advice is to invite a variety of people with different strengths and interests in the interview. The one to one contact will give you the missing answers and also let you recognize the candidate’s talent that we talked about earlier.
Meeting people is among the most enjoyable parts of the recruitment journey. It is a chance to get to know them and find out what’s the personal touch they will add to your tours.
The best practice when interviewing for a customer-facing role is to invite the candidate to the so-called panel interview. This is a job interview in which the applicant answers questions from a group of people who make the hiring decision. It gives you the chance to gain perspective from other people in the organization and make an objective decision. In addition, you get to see how they communicate with a group since this will be their primary responsibility.
The only way to make sure the guides are right for the advertised position is to see them in action. You can either organize a trial day or attend the tour yourself to evaluate the candidate.
Based on the reaction of your clients or employees, you can decide which candidate is the best for this job and be relieved you’ve made a good choice – or need to continue your search.
Onboarding and ongoing training
Your job does not end with employing a tour guide. However talented he or she is, this means nothing if you don’t introduce them into the position properly.
To make things work you need to provide the guide with comprehensive training into the company’s operations, management, and culture. Make them aware of the various responsibilities within the business.
It is a good idea to take your guide on a tour around the areas they’ll be working in. Emphasize any particular responsibilities that they will be expected to undertake. Give them all the necessary insight they need to do the job well, along with a good perspective on the rest of your business.
The truth is that there are a number of tour guides currently looking for employment opportunities. The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in many valuable, experienced, and trained people going on the job market. This means that now more than ever you can find and hire someone unique with great qualities and dedication.
Take your time to explore different candidates and remember – clever guides can enlighten people and talented guides can inspire them. Look for a person who can do both.