Leading UK OTA On The Beach is looking to double the size of its digital team within the next five years after a planned move of its head office into central Manchester.
Simon Cooper, the firm’s chief executive, said he expects the division to top the 200 headcount, up from the 100 it employs today.
Currently it is located in Cheadle close to Stockport on the outskirts of Manchester but the firm believes a more city-centre location will help it compete for the right talent.
Cooper said: “At the moment we manage to recruit people despite our location. Most of the graduate population we are looking to recruit live in areas of the city centre and do not drive.”
On The Beach wants to remain in its Manchester home and Cooper said ideally its contact centre and head office and digital functions would remain under one roof
But he said while contact centre employees are happy in Cheadle, other parts of the business are best suited to being close to a central public transport hub to attract staff from across the north.
“We have built a very successful business based on the talent we have recruited thus far, so we want to be able to retain that talent and to recruit similar talent at an accelerated pace,” Cooper said.
Cooper acknowledges On The Beach is having to compete with other large digital in the Manchester area like Rentalcars.com, Moneysupermarket and Boohoo.com.
The average age of employees in the OTAs digital team is around the early to mid-20s, said Cooper, and they are attracted to Manchester for its growing youth culture and social scene.
Key skills areas On The Beach will be recruiting for will include development and design, digital marketing, data analytics, and data science.
In order to retain talent On The Beach has created a remote working capability so that developers who have relocated away from Manchester can continue to work for the company.
Cooper spoke to Travolution after On The Beach revealed year end preliminary results that showed group adjusted profit before tax up 33.8% to £28.5 million.
Daily unique visitors to the website has increased 13.6% to 60 million, with marketing spend as a proportion of overall revenue down from 44.7% to 41.2% compared to the previous year.