Daniel, what are the main targets for North America over the coming years?
To obtain a competitive advantage while maintaining an unwavering attitude of our core values: “clients first, technology over operations, and everyone is unique.”
How do we achieve the advantage? We still need to obtain a few remaining key affiliations and associations within the US and Canada. Also, we must be proactive in creating brand awareness of our superior product and services while at the same time increasing customer engagement through thoughtful digital marketing and social media campaigns.
If we are persistent in building the brand while providing superior customer support, this creates favorable conditions to hire the right talent and opens up possibilities to countless new partnerships. In order to be competitive in this sector we must remain vigilant by constantly adapting to the ever-changing travel landscape. We must continue to invest in research and focus on the development of key products and services that will allow for a better partner experience.
“Clients first, technology over operations, and everyone is unique” says Daniel Wilkies, Senior Director of Business Development at RateHawk
We have seen you have been touring the US recently, can you expand and share some highlights? Are there any promising deals or partnerships that can help achieve the targets?
We have been fortunate to obtain preferred partnership status with leading US travel associations such as: ASTA, USTA, and CLIA. This success is a testament to our product and services and further legitimizes our brand on a global scale. We have secured major partnerships this year with leading Host Agencies, Tour Operators, TMC’s and Travel Clubs which will be posted in the near future. Stay tuned!
Since March the team has doubled in size! Has it been tough to hire suitable employees? What attracts them the most about what we offer?
With growth comes more responsibility to company culture. As we scale in the US and Canadian markets, we must constantly be sourcing the most optimal candidates. We are in an exciting period of rapid growth and we have been fortunate with a very seasoned HR and Recruiting team to be able to provide potential candidates with the right mix of benefits and culture. This in tandem with the current team’s passion, creativity, and innovation has led to an overwhelming abundance of potential candidates who truly cherish the opportunity to be a part of our growing brand.
We have invested heavily in creating unique and purposeful roles that are the backbone of our organization’s DNA, “To enrich everyone’s travel experience around the world with cutting edge technology.”
Michelle Lizama, Account Managers North America: “To be a part of the RateHawk team you should be proactive, persistent and ambitious.”
Gary Boyd, Account Managers North America: “A growth mindset and empathy are vital qualities to success at RateHawk!”
Do you have any new exciting roles open for candidates?
We currently have 2 Team Leader positions available for the US region.
As the team works remotely across the country, how often do you meet? Are there mostly official meetings or do you occasionally gather to have some fun?
As the majority of the team has been formed in recent months and we are all remote workers in an expansive country, we have not had the opportunity to meet as much as we would like, however, we do have our first country-wide meeting scheduled for later this fall. This will give us much needed time for team building, training, and a little fun, as well. Until then, we meet on a regular basis through our video conferencing platform to meet and discuss work related topics. However, we also prioritize finding the time to discuss weekend plans with family and friends, it shouldn’t be 100% about work.
I encourage and empower the team to share experiences from calls, partner visits, as well as, wins and losses so we can all learn from each other and collaborate to create actionable and scalable solutions.
RateHawk provides us with a good work-life balance. When I am actively meeting my team in person, we attempt to have an element of fun involved too, whether it’s an outing or an activity together, time permitting. One of my favorite things to do is Escape Rooms and to date, we have a 50% success rate in Escape Rooms (maybe not the best percentage in a sales role). This type of extracurricular activity builds camaraderie, rapport, and at the end of the session, whether we “escape or not”, it provides heart racing action and a lot of fun.
Do some kinds of interesting traditions form inside the team while it is growing?
In my career, the best part of building teams has been the myriad personalities and characteristics of each team member. Each one brings value and their contributions which come from various backgrounds and careers and are key factors in developing and maintaining a cohesive team environment.
In our weekly team meetings, I encourage and empower the team to share experiences from calls, partner visits, as well as, wins and losses so we can all learn from each other and collaborate to create actionable and scalable solutions.
We are in an exciting period of rapid growth! We have invested heavily in creating unique and purposeful roles that are the backbone of our organization’s DNA, “To enrich everyone’s travel experience around the world with cutting edge technology.”
What drives you the most in your ambitious journey to conquer the North American market?
Plain and simple, to be #1 in the North American market. I believe wholeheartedly in our product and this is the “spark” that drives and compels me to put forth maximum effort every day. My belief in the RateHawk brand creates a strong desire to constantly be improving and overachieving. We have a world-class UI/UX on RateHawk.com and within a very short time period in the market, we have been able to accomplish amazing results. We have only scratched the surface and still have a lot of work to do, however, we have made serious strides with our disruptive mentality and subsequently, the market has begun to take notice of RateHawk as a reputable supplier in North America.
My personal mantra is “Relentless Pursuit.” In order to be #1 in the market, this requires dedication and commitment and if done correctly, it is a precursor to achieve great things. I don’t believe some of us are born successful and some are not, but what I do believe is that some are more dedicated than others and put in the necessary work to be successful.
Michelle Lizama, Account Managers North America: “I like to work in a very ambitious, global company with big projects ahead of us, I love to be working remotely. I like the flexibility RateHawk gives us!”
Gary Boyd, Account Managers North America: “Working at a global company, scaling the RateHawk brand is exciting and challenging. The growth opportunities for me are endless. In addition, having the flexibility to work remotely with colleagues from different cultures and backgrounds has been personally rewarding”.
If anyone asked, why should they join the RateHawk team, what would you say? What makes your team so unique, so that someone would love to become a part of it?
Because we have the pedigree and the evidence from 7 years of the RateHawk brand, 13 years of the Emerging Travel Group brand. Even though the North American market is still in a startup mentality, there is a huge upside from experience of successful launches from other developed regions. So for me, potential candidates who want to join the team, provides opportunities at the ground level. We have the opportunity to, as we say it in the US, “The David versus Goliath” scenario. The “Goliaths” in the industry are well known and established, while we are temporarily, the “little David” but we have the ingredients to cause a “stir” in the industry because of our product and team. The right place, the right time, the right team gives us the opportunity to be the number 1, and I think that is the driving factor for potential candidates to come on board and create something special.
I say it to every candidate that I speak with, that in 3–5 years I want to be able to look everyone on my team in their eyes and say “we did this”, that we were the ones responsible for being number 1 in the NA market. These opportunities do not come around often. Felix Shpilman, our CEO, and the leadership team have given me a lot of autonomy to develop the team I think is best for North America and I think we’ve been very successful thus far. I believe this is the main reason that people want to be a part of our family because of the high ceiling and career potential that we have in the market.
The right place, the right time, the right team gives us the opportunity to be the number 1, and I think that is the driving factor for potential candidates to come on board and create something special.
I would just like to remind all the readers who may not yet be affiliated or partners with RateHawk, that we have the tools, technological services, and years of experience to make your travel business successful, but at the same time, we pride ourselves in the personalized support that everyone receives no matter how big or small. So, don’t get left behind. Come see for yourselves what all the fuss is about and why everyone wants to partner with RateHawk!