Looking for the Right Kind of Person: Recruitment in Nature Tourism Guiding

Jarno Valkonen, Heikki Huilaja, Saara Koikkalainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Discussions about the working life have focused on the increasing centrality of employees' personality as a job skill. The importance of recruiting the right kinds of persons has been noted also in the hospitality and tourism sector. We examine the nature of qualifications necessary in interactive service work by studying the recruitment of safari guides in the commercial nature tourism sector in Finnish Lapland. We argue that to understand the nature and significance of the soft and technical skills in this field it is necessary to analyse the continuum of the long recruitment process. The process does not stop at signing the work contract, but lasts for the entirety of the first winter season. Selection, training and control are also parts of recruitment as means with which employees are socialized as part of the company product. Even though companies prefer employees who are willing to work with their personality, they go to great lengths in trying to ensure that that employee's personality aligns with company goals and policy. Yet as safari services are produced and consumed outdoors in the wild in an interactive relationship between the guide and the customer group, employees enjoy some relative autonomy at work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-241
JournalScandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • nature tourism
  • guiding
  • recruitment

Field of science

  • Sociology

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