/ 6 September 2013

Tapping into destination recruitment

When Tourism Queensland launched its Best Job in the World campaign in 2009, the aim was more to market the region to tourists than to attract skills.

The global online campaign to recruit a “caretaker of the islands” who would be paid to live on Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef islands, famously generated publicity with a value far in excess of the investment made in the campaign.

About 35 000 people from more than 200 countries applied for the post and general interest was so great that the Best Job in the World website crashed two days after the campaign launched (it is reported to have generated more than 15-million pageviews since it launched).

The phenomenal success of this campaign may have sparked a new trend: destination recruitment.

Tourists and young people
Travel website Jauntaroo.com has followed suit with its Best Job Around the World competition, another marketing exercise offering one winner a year of paid-for globetrotting.

Following Queensland’s campaign, Tourism Australia this year held a competition offering the “Best jobs in the world” to promote all its states.

The tourist authority said: “More than 330 000 people from 196 countries around the world expressed interest in the six dream jobs with more than 40 000 video entries being uploaded.”

Tourism Australia said it partnered with industry, state and territory tourism partners in the new Aus$4-million campaign to target the international youth market, a segment contributing nearly Aus$12-billion annually in tourism spending.

It said: “The global youth market is an important target for Australian tourism as it not only helps drive overall expenditure but also assists the industry to fill a number of job vacancies that exist via the ‘working holiday maker visa’ programme. It is also a great way for youth travellers to earn extra funds so that they can extend their time in Australia.

“Globally, with high youth unemployment and the global financial crisis still impacting some of our key markets, a working holiday or a gap year before starting work is a very attractive prospect to this group.

“Given the seasonal nature of the tourism industry, the working holidaymaker visa has the potential to provide significant support to help fill many of the 36 000 vacancies across the sector if applicant numbers can be increased.”

As part of the global youth campaign, Tourism Australia has partnered with the global recruitment service Monster to link young people across the world with Australian job vacancies, making it easier to go to Australia to work, live, travel and “explore the Australian way of life”.

The partnership offers free recruitment advertising, on a Monster working holiday microsite, to companies that offer casual and temporary jobs that are likely to appeal to working holidaymakers.

East Africa
Building a business case on the popularity of destination jobs, new internship recruitment agency Mashariki Africa officially launched in East Africa this month, offering hospitality internships in the Zanzibar Islands, the Serengeti in Tanzania and in Nairobi, Kenya.

Interns are invited to apply for posts online and are promised a salary of US$500 to US$800 a month, plus a round-trip airplane ticket from the applicant’s home city to the internship destination.

Programme director Hashim Ahmed, a hotel investment advisor by profession, says he observed, through his interactions with hotel owners in Kenya and Tanzania, that there was a shortage of foreign language speaking staff and an increasing number of hotel guests from non-English speaking countries such as China, Korea and Japan.

“Naturally, it adds great value for [foreign] guests to have hotel staff speaking in their language.

“We agreed to promote the hotels and destinations here, and [to invest in] qualified applicants, to fly them into East Africa, and provide essentials such as meals and accommodation plus a salary,” he says. “It’s being done everywhere, we’re just doing it in East Africa now.

“Our style is very much a ‘destination recruiting’ one; we believe students and applicants, or anyone for that matter, would appreciate a wonderful workplace.”

Ahmed says the online model makes global search simple: “The internet has great immediacy and urgency qualities. We’ve received applications from as far away as the US. We’re in the very early days of understanding the advantages of international online marketing for this kind of recruitment. However, it is perhaps the most effective medium for us right now,” he said.

“The responses we’ve had have been very positive. There has been a lot of interest, especially from hospitality students and graduates seeking placements to gain working experience in their study major. We’re also very pleased with the quality of candidates and applications we’re receiving.”