Click Travel has been named one of the Best Companies to Work For by the Sunday Times for the sixth consecutive year, with CEO Jill Palmer saying the company is ‘focused on staff’.
The Birmingham-based travel technology business has embedded flexible working hours and the ability for employees to work remotely into its company culture. It uses cloud-based communication tools to ensure staff are connected whether they’re in the office or working from home.
Staff are also encouraged to volunteer 1 per cent of their working time to a local charity or non-profit organisation – part of Click Travel’s corporate social responsibility commitment.
Click Travel says its training programme provides opportunities for progression, which has resulted in high levels of staff retention. According to the company, nearly a quarter of its employees have been with the company for between five and ten years.
Speaking to BBT at the Business Travel Show, Palmer said Click Travel is “recruiting the best talent in the industry”, with a particular focus on engineers and digital specialists to boost the company’s technology offering.
The firm’s self-developed travel.cloud platform was named Best Self-booking Tool at the 2019 Business Travel Awards, and Palmer gives full credit to her team of engineers.
Click Travel’s recent hires include director of engineering Sarah Hale and senior engineering manager Stuart Kelvin, who both joined from Skyscanner.
Palmer told BBT: “We’re seen as one of the top companies that engineers want to work for, which is why I think we’ve been able to attract such great talent.”
And Click Travel prides itself on giving its engineers full visibility within the industry, with chief product engineer Robin Smith acting as an IATA advisor for NDC and TMC architecture. Smith regularly speaks at events across the travel industry and was named as an Industry Influencer on the 2019 BBT Hotlist.
Palmer commented that it’s “great to have someone on the engineering side talking about what we’re doing with our technology and about changes in the industry. He’s a respected voice for tech.”
Commenting on what makes the company so successful, Palmer said: “Because the business is focused on our staff, we know their focus will always be on our customers. Having a happy, motivated and productive team ensures unrivalled customer service, which has heralded fantastic results for the business.”
Since it first made the Sunday Times list, Click Travel has seen turnover nearly treble, posting revenues of £198 million in 2018 and a customer retention rate of 98 per cent. It was ranked 14th on BBT’s Leading 50 TMCs list for 2018.
Looking to the future, Palmer told BBT: “We’re focused on developing our Software as a Service model and increasing our efficiency by automating as many processes as we can. We’ve recently had a major investment from our new owner, Business Growth Fund (BGF), and we’re on target for 25 per cent growth.”