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Experiential Guides

Would you like to join the Wilderness Scotland guiding team? Do you currently guide clients around Scotland, introducing them to our landscape, history and culture? Do you have a passion for outstanding service, a love of Scotland’s natural landscape, and curious mind? 

If the answer to these questions is a YES then keep on reading.

The Wilderness Guide plays a pivotal role in the company, ensuring that our clients experience outstanding adventures throughout Scotland. We are recruiting now for guides to work in 2019 and beyond, although there may be some opportunities to lead trips for us in 2018 as well.

What We’re Looking For
Wilderness Scotland is seeking guides to deliver experiential travel in Scotland for our clients. To be an experiential guide, you do not need to have an NGB qualification (but great if you do) as any such activities would be delivered in tandem with a qualified guide. You may currently hold a formal guiding qualification (such as being a Blue Badge or Green Badge guide) or you may simply have gained experience working in the sector. You will need to hold a valid first aid qualification. You will need a curious mind which thrives on seeking out interesting new experiences and encounters for our clients.

Our experiential guides will lead small groups of clients around Scotland, sharing their passion for the destination. As well as being knowledgable with regards to Scotland’s history, heritage and culture, you will introduce our clients to Scotland’s nature through various experiences designed by our team. These are much more than regular sightseeing trips – we want to connect our clients to Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage and your role is crucial in achieving this aim. Therefore, you must be able to demonstrate a great love of and knowledge of Scotland’s natural environment.

Vitally important is the ability to demonstrate great familiarity with many areas of Scotland. Knowledge of Scottish history, culture, environment, geology and geography is also important to us. Of course, we aim to provide our clients with the best possible experience, so our guides must take pride in their work and have a natural flair for customer care and hospitality.

Such high standards mean that we are unable to offer work to guides who have not worked in Scotland before or who have just graduated from a tourism degree but lack guiding experience in the field.

If, however, you have the knowledge, character and experience to work for Wilderness Scotland, we would love to hear from you and can offer you an excellent wage, good working conditions and the opportunity to lead superb trips in some of the most beautiful wilderness regions of Scotland.

While we have a lot of fun at Wilderness Scotland, our team is 100% focused on delivering 5-star world-class client experiences. As such, the successful guide will bring a professional and high-energy approach with an unwavering focus in all aspects of the client travel experience.

What You Can Expect
Wilderness Scotland is based from an incredible location in Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park. We offer a special combination of interesting work, career opportunity and supportive culture in which to thrive as a freelance guide. We have steadily grown over the years and plan to continue this growth path, which in turn, will offer a wide range of guiding opportunities.

Wilderness Scotland is a company whose aim is to break new ground and set the worldwide standard for what adventure and experiential travel should be. We commit with passion to providing our customers with the most inspiring experiences of their lives, ensuring our experiences are delivered sustainability, promoting the value of wild places, setting new standards for tourism experiences and creating a rewarding, meaningful and truly fun place to work

Being a guide for Wilderness Scotland is more than just another freelance job. It means being part of a dynamic team that are always seeking new ways in which we can improve with guide feedback highly valued and acted upon. The successful guide will thrive in this fast-paced environment and within the wider Wilderness team but will be encouraged to bring new ideas and enthusiasm to the role and the company as a whole.

The freelance benefits of guiding with Wilderness Scotland are as follows:

  • Guiding opportunities on a freelance basis
  • Competitive daily guiding rates
  • Meaningful and rewarding work
  • Working with high-quality equipment
  • Training and development opportunities
  • Support from our dedicated operations team whilst guiding in the field
  • Industry discounts on outdoor clothing & equipment (for core guiding team)
  • Opportunity to be part of an industry-leading adventure travel company

How to Apply

Please send a CV detailing any relevant qualifications, work experience and a summary of areas of Scotland where you have worked as a guide. Please note that we get many applications for guiding work and if your application does not cover the above, it will not be considered or responded to.

Please also include a 1 page cover letter and send together with your CV to julian@wildernessscotland.com. The cover letter should detail the following:

1/ Why you wish to work for Wilderness Scotland in a guiding capacity
2/ What motivates you to guide in Scotland
3/ Your interpretation of what is meant by outstanding customer care and hospitality when guiding experiential travel holidays

To informally discuss guiding with us, please call 01479 420 040 and ask to speak to Julian or Myles.

If you wish to join us as a guide then you will be require to progress through our in-depth guide selection process detailed below. Our aim is to take on guides who are looking to work with us for many years to come and hence this should be your intention if you are keen to join our guiding team.

Guide Selection Process

We believe our guide selection process offers a robust and transparent approach to guide recruitment, selection and subsequent work allocation. A fundamental principle of the approach is that it’s a two-way process; offering potential guides the opportunity to learn as much about Wilderness as Wilderness learns about them.

If you are keen to work for Wilderness Scotland then please consider the following steps before applying.  All applications should be sent to julian@wildernessscotland.com in the first instance and include a cover letter highlighting why you wish to work for Wilderness Scotland and what sets you apart from all other potential guides who are keen to work with us.

 

Stage 1 – Application
Potential guide applies either through referral from an existing guide or responding to website/other promotion.

Stage 2 – Interview
Potential guide meets with a senior member of the Operations team for a formal 1.5 hour interview. This follows a pro-forma with set questions. This interview helps clarify and determine if the candidate should be invited to guide selection and whether they wish to attend.

Stage 3 – Guide Selection Event
A 2-day guide selection event will take place twice a year, usually once in October and once in March. It is emphasised that the selection is a two-way process as outlined above. At any point, a potential guide should feel free to leave the process if they don’t think guiding with Wilderness is for them. Likewise, please don’t be offended if we don’t think you are the right fit for Wilderness Scotland. One day will be spent indoors providing an orientation to the company and guiding in general. The second day in the field with some of our senior guiding team.

Stage 4 – In the Field Assessment
Assuming the potential guide passes through the Guide Selection, they will then be asked to join a trip to shadow for 1 or 2 days. The “assessment” word is used advisedly because it isn’t a pass/fail scenario. However, it should very much be seen as part of the extended selection/interview process and will likely take place in the season following the Guide Selection.

Stage 5 – Recommendation & Shadowing
The potential guide will receive recommendations on next steps. These would likely be summarised as follows:

– the potential guide is ace and could go out with a group asap
– the potential guide would really benefit from working alongside a senior guide for at least one trip
– the potential guide at the moment requires further support and training to get to the required standard

In all cases, we believe it makes total sense to have a new guide work alongside an existing senior guide wherever possible. Many of our trips require two guides so this is possible.

The offer of work following these steps does very much depend upon volume of work available and availability of guides, hence it is not guaranteed.  Our existing core guiding team will be given priority, however, we are in this for the long game and hopefully you are too!

JOB DESCRIPTION

Whilst the details below do not cover every element of the freelance Wilderness Guide role, they do provide a general overview of what you can expect from the role.

Seasonality

April – October is the main season during which we run trips in Scotland with the majority of trips taking apace from May-September.

Location:
All locations across Scotland and its islands, with a particular focus on the Highlands and Islands

Expectations

Wilderness Scotland guides are at the heart of the business. The success of any one trip depends upon many people, arguably none more so than the commitment and performance of the guide. We’re dedicated to achieving greater recognition for the guide community – as a profession which is respected by our clients and the wider tourism industry. This recognition starts with doing the highest quality job on each and every trip – be that the first outing of the season or the last when you may well be running on empty. We expect our guides to be dedicated professionals and committed to the relentless pursuit of amazing client experiences. In return, we strive to offer working conditions which lead the way for the adventure travel industry.

Guiding Roles & Responsibilities
The role and responsibilities of a Wilderness guide are as follows:

To represent all aspects of Wilderness Scotland’s operation in the field.  This requires guides to:

1/ Embody the Wilderness values of Inspiration, Professionalism, Sustainability and Innovation.
2/ Be totally focused on delivering amazing customer experiences and embracing the concept of sustainable tourism.
3/ Foster strong relationships with our partner network of hotels, transport, activity providers, other services and the rural communities where we work.
4/ Develop familiarisation with the products and services of Wilderness Scotland, and Wilderness Ireland.
5/ Act as proud ambassadors for their country and the adventure travel industry.

To provide clients of Wilderness Scotland and our partners with a professional, inspiring, informative and entertaining outdoor experience. This requires guides to:

1/ Be professional at all times, in appearance, behaviour and conduct.
2/ Be open, honest and approachable with all clients.
3/ Be flexible and responsive and realise that no one trip is the same.
4/ Undertake to develop knowledge and skills beyond technical capability.
5/ To be conversant with the content of the Guide Manual plus all the resources provided for the successful running of a trip.

To deliver to clients an adventurous yet safe outdoor experience, having regard to Health and Safety and Risk Assessment procedures. This requires guides to:

1/ To be fully conversant with all of the Standard Operating Procedures contained in the Guide Manual.
2/ Be familiar with the Risk Assessments for the relevant activities and be confident in their dynamic application in the field.
3/ Carry out the necessary equipment and safety checks as required by the activity (NGB guides only)
4/ Obtain relevant weather forecasts & other meteorological information on a daily basis.
5/ To follow the emergency procedures and incident reporting procedures in this manual whenever required.

To be committed to the on-going maintenance and improvement of standards in all respects. This requires guides to:

1/ Provide trip and client feedback by completing a Trip Report immediately after every trip.
2/ Make a commitment to ongoing personal and professional development, including attending Training Events where requested to do so.
3/ Provide the office with photocopies of all qualifications in electronic form relevant to guiding with Wilderness Scotland and Wilderness Ireland.
4/ Ensure that any renewable qualifications are up to date e.g. First Aid.
5/ Hold appropriate public liability insurance to protect against any claim not covered by Wilderness Scotland’s or Wilderness Ireland’s insurance policies.

Skills, Knowledge & Experience
• Minimum of 2 years relevant guiding experience within Scotland
• Detailed knowledge of Scotland and the travel and tourism industry, ideally possessing a good understanding of the adventure travel sector
• Experience of dealing with all parts of the tourism supply chain including accommodation, transport and other service providers
• Good ITC skills with experience of cloud applications and Google Apps
• Good knowledge of Scotland

 Core Competencies
• Highly developed inter-personal skills, awareness and emotional intelligence with an ability to develop and sustain business relationships.
• A natural collaborator who enjoys working in teams with a diverse range of individuals
• A strong and clear commitment to customer service excellence and “extra mile” delivery
• Excellent attention to detail, even when faced with multiple tasks
• A genuine interest and passion for Scotland and its natural environment, culture and heritage
• A curious mind which seeks out interesting experiences and encounters for our clients

Reporting To

Operations Managers & Guide Coordinator