Either your tourism business is seasonal or operational round the year, depending on where you live. Nonetheless, tour guides will come and go. Although some of them leave due to a lack of experience and skills, there’s a silver lining. You will have an excellent opportunity to hire an even better replacement.
Whether you are on a seasonal hiring spree or otherwise, due diligence is important. Hiring a tour guide who is going to represent you around the world isn’t an easy task. You can breeze through it, but you might end up hiring the wrong person for the job. So how to go about hiring a good tour guide without wasting time?
The best way forward is by developing a guideline that allows you to be thorough in the recruitment process. Several qualified tour guides who have studied a hospitality and tourism degrees online are looking for jobs, but their work experience, references, education, and hard skills will only give you a rough idea about them. It is always down to the instincts that will help you hire the best fit for your company. Here are some must-have traits to look for when you are hiring new tour guides for your company:
The tour guides should have excellent communication skills. These skills include language proficiency, good body language, a confident voice, and attentive listening skills. Yes, a tour guide needs to be a good listener because how else would they answer questions that curious tourists have?
A tour guide shouldn’t merely regurgitate historical facts on repeat; that would be a rather dull experience for any tourist. In fact, a good tour guide is a great storyteller. He should develop a strong emotional connection between the tourist and the place and engage them with an exciting narrative to stop them from getting bored too quickly.
It is essential to understand that every guided tour experience will be unique, and a tour guide should improvise accordingly. These unique experiences can occur due to tourists’ nature or due to some unexpected weather conditions on the go. A tour guide with improvisation skills can salvage through unexpected situations by finding other ways to make a trip memorable for tourists.
It is difficult to please everyone, which makes likability a hard thing to measure. But if one goes by the rule of thumb, the characteristics necessary to be a good customer service representative are precisely what is needed to be a good and likable tour guide. While some tourists prefer humor, others value expertise and gravitas. You’ll rarely be able to find someone who’s likable by every single tourist. Just make sure they’re authentic, kind, helpful individuals in general.
Let’s not forget that doing the same routine over and over again for a different group of people each day can become quite a drag. A tour guide can either make or break an experience for tourists with their level of enthusiasm and commitment for the job. And it isn’t too hard for tourists to sense when their guide is hiding boredom, contempt, or frustration under an otherwise helpful facade. You will need a genuinely enthusiastic tour guide for your company to make the experience worthwhile.
Look for flexibility in your tour guide. The best part of being a tour guide is that the job itself is never a complete routine. Each tour allows a tour guide to meet new people, share new stories and experiences, and mostly an opportunity to overcome new obstacles. Detours, bad weather, route changes, and closures can be quite frequent in this job, and the tour guide should be able to adapt to all the changes. The tour guide should handle any last-minute booking or any other changes to accommodate the guests in the best possible manner.
A flexible guide can manage last-minute bookings or change the schedules, but for that, you must hire an individual who is prompt at responding to texts, calls, and emails. If the guide isn’t reachable or responsive, the reputation of your company will suffer.
Curiosity and interest
Any company can get a tour guide who is well informed about historical facts related to sites, cities, and countries. All this information is easy to acquire for anyone. But what you need to ensure is that the guide should be curious and eager to learn even more. A curious tour guide interested in learning more will work wonders in the long run compared to someone who shows little to no interest in becoming better at the job.
Last but not least, you should hire a responsible tour guide. The entire reputation of your company depends on the guide, and so does the tourist’s happiness. Since you will not be in the field to supervise your guide, you must trust your tour guide to represent your company and ensure your customers’ wellbeing. Your tour guides should be consistent, punctual, and treat your customers well.
Hiring and training tour guides is a challenging task. Since they cannot be supervised in the field, trusting them with the company’s reputation is tricky. But by following this trait guide, you can hire some of the best tour guides for your company and build a fantastic team. Before interviewing the chosen candidates, make sure that you have all the questions prepared. Interview in a relaxed environment so you can know the tour guide well.