What it does: Organises holidays and travel experiences
Staff stats: 20,000 globally
The good bits: Staff discounts on travel
The not so good bits: Starting at the bottom and working your way up
The Flight Centre Travel Group story
After starting with one shop in the early 1980s, Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) has enjoyed remarkable growth to become a $20 billion business consisting of more than 40 brands. One of the world’s largest travel agency groups, it has company-owned operations in 23 countries and a corporate travel management network that spans more than 90 countries. It was co-founded by Geoff Harris and Graham Turner in 1981 with the first store opening in Sydney in 1982. Thirty-five years later, as a result of strong organic growth and some major acquisitions, FCTG is a listed company with 2800 shops and business throughout the world and annual revenues in excess of $2 billion. Operating under various retail and corporate brands, it has fully owned operations in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, the UK, the US, Singapore, South Africa and the UAE. Under the corporate brand FCM Travel Solutions, it has licensee arrangements in 80 more countries. The company’s global headquarters is located in South Brisbane, Queensland.
The backbone of Flight Centre’s organisational structure is the stone age concept of Family, Village, Tribe. Their structure is simple, lean, flat and transparent, with accessible leaders.
The company is committed to having that gender split better reflected on its board and in its senior executive ranks, with just under three-quarters of FCTG staff are female. It’s introduced a range of strategies, policies and practices to reach that goal. It believes “as a global player in the travel industry that we have the opportunity to lead the way and bring about change to this sector”.
FCTG aspires to create a diverse corporate culture that will “encourage and facilitate opportunities for the employment of women and people from different backgrounds, provide skills and career development initiatives, increase workforce participation and create an inclusive environment where employees feel they are valued”.
FCTG seeks to minimise its carbon emissions, energy consumption and waste. It insists its retail shops be designed in an eco-friendly manner and where possible provides facilities that make it easier for staff to walk or cycle to work.
FCTG promotes responsible travel, by operating in a way that “respects the environment and wildlife, and benefits local people, their cultures and economies”. The company is a contributing member of the United Nations Global Compact. This encourages businesses to embrace “sustainable and socially responsible policies and practices”.
In 2008, the founders of FCTG launched the Flight Centre Foundation, which has subsequently donated almost $8 million to charities around the world. FCTG also offers staff one day’s paid volunteer leave each year.
The recruitment process
FCTG offers a Retail Leadership Graduate Program. Retail Leadership Graduate grad Pprograms intake is in July, August and January and run for 14 months. This can be undertaken in Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, the Gold Coast, Hobart, Mackay, Melbourne, Perth, the Sunshine Coast or Sydney.
Applicants from all disciplines are welcome to apply but you’ll need a GPA with a credit average or higher. You’ll also be expected to demonstrate “leadership potential, commercial acumen, along with international travel experiences and outstanding customer service skills”.
The recruitment process starts with an online application. This involves detailing your education, employment history, travel experience, personal achievements and customer service skills, as well as providing a resume. The next step is a short phone interview. If that goes well you’ll be invited to do an online psychometric test. Then you’ll either be invited to an assessment day (involving role plays, short assessments and behavioural interviews) or a face-to-face interview with someone from the recruitment team or a regional leader (where you’ll be asked about your experience, skills and ambitions). Once the assessment day is complete the recruitment team will go through the reference and pre-employment checks. The final part of the process is a short conversation, in person over or over the phone, with a FCTG business leader. At this point, you’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions you still have, particularly around where you might best fit within FCTG.
You’ll kick off your FCTG career with hands-on experiences working at a Travel Sales Consultant, planning, researching and booking amazing travel experiences for your customers. You’ll also get extensive training in sales, leadership and business management and mentoring from business leaders who will help you develop the skills you need to run your own retail business. While on the graduate program you will work towards nationally recognised qualifications, and will be on the fast track to become a leader of a FCTG retail business.
While on the grad program you’ll receive a base salary as well as (uncapped) commission on the sales you make. There is also the opportunity to earn $10,000, that is paid out in stages as you reach your project milestones.
As you’d expect, there are some juicy discounts available on travel, including flights, accommodation, as well as free educational trips to learn about travel destinations and products. You’ll also have access to free financial advice (provided by Moneywise Global), a free health and wellness consultations (provided by Healthwise Global ) and discounted health insurance, gym memberships and nutritionist appointments.
More importantly, there are opportunities to both purchase shares in the company and a Business Ownership Scheme (BOS) for Team Leaders that will allow you to share in the profits of your retail business.
FCGT is one of those sales-orientated organisations where those who are bringing in lots of business (either individually or through heading up a high-performing team/outlet) can expect to be well rewarded and frequently promoted.
While opportunities to advance quickly are open to all staff, those who’ve completed the Retail Leadership grad program are expected to rise up the ranks quickly and given all the necessary mentorship, training and professional development required to do so. Within a year of finishing the grad program, you could be running a Flight Centre shop, managing up to 10 staff and overseeing a business with an annual turnover of $6 million.
The vibe of the place
There’s a reason (apart from all exciting travel they get to do) the staff at the Flight Centre shop at your local retail strip always seem happy. FCGT values its staff and gives them every possible opportunity to fulfil their potential. The FCGT corporate culture is young, vibrant and friendly. You’ll find your co-workers friendly and your managers supportive. So, if you’re a people person who wants to be rewarded for their hard work, you should enjoy working for FCGT.
From the Employer:
""Flight Centre Travel Group Limited (ASX: FLT) is one of the world’s largest travel agency groups, it has company-owned operations in 14 countries and a corporate travel management network that spans more than 90 countries. It employs more than 19,000 people globally and has a total of 2800 businesses.
A career with Flight Centre Travel Group is an all-encompassing journey. Our comprehensive 14 month graduate program is designed to provide future leaders with hands-on experience and understanding of the highly successful Flight Centre Travel Group business model.
Through our award-winning training, we equip our graduates with the professional sales, business acumen and leadership skills necessary to develop both personally and professionally In as little as twelve months, our graduates have the opportunity to run their very own retail business, managing and mentoring a team of 4-10 employees with an annual turnover of $6 million.
The traits and values of an effective leader manifest through positive influences, and it is our responsibility to make this a reality for our graduates. Our Graduate Program Director, Senior Leaders, and Trainers make it a priority to inspire, mentor and support our graduates on their journey to retail leadership.
Our company’s success is driven by ambitious and innovative leaders and we are on the lookout for our next generation. If you’re a recent graduate and consider yourself a born leader, driven to succeed, and are passionate about travel, fast track your career with Flight Centre Travel Group’s Retail Leadership Graduate Program."