Travel Counsellors
North West
Travel & Leisure
People & Operations


Travel Counsellors is a disruptive and highly personalised platform business that connects a global community of travellers with expert, self-employed travel advisors (Travel Counsellors).

Having thrived during and immediately after the pandemic, due to the high levels of customer care shown by the Travel Counsellors, the business recognised the opportunity to improve its support model for the betterment of its community and customers.

With targets of £1bn turnover, Steve Byrne identified the need for a people focused individual to lead and improve the operational support model at scale.

The new Customer Services Director was required to play a key role in the digital transformation of the business, combining the best human and digital capabilities to drive outstanding customer experience and operational efficiency. Additionally they would play a key role in ensuring the systems, team and operational processes can deliver and support the company’s strategy whilst ensuring the very best experience for their Travel Counsellors and their customers.


Rowan’s Head of HR and Ops Louise Ellis, and Executive Researcher Gemma Quaye, worked with Steve Byrne, HR Director Karen McCormick and new Chief People Officer Victoria Wilson, to develop the brief for the incoming Customer Services Director. This involved identifying the professional competencies and behavioural attributes required by the individual to ensure the cultural fit was achieved.

As experts in Executive Search, Rowan held a strong understanding of the challenges involved in re-engineering a Customer Services function that could be successfully scaled with intimacy. Using our rich talent banks and Leadership Dynamics product, Gemma was able to identify customer-oriented and people-focused candidates who also had the relevant domain and functional experience.

Using our proprietary PACE assessment tool each candidate was evaluated to ensure their behavioural profile complemented both the Travel Counsellors culture and the behavioural traits of the wider leadership team.


Rowan appointed Claire Hill into the role of Customer Services Director. Claire had previously held senior Customer Service positions within several e-commerce businesses, such as and Studio Retail, and had the complementary behaviours that matched her with the senior leadership team at Travel Counsellors.

Claire brought with her a wealth of experience and was able play a vital role in maintaining the incredible customer service levels as the business achieved accelerated growth.

"It was a pleasure dealing with Louise and Gemma. In a challenging market, they delivered a strong list of candidates for the role and we are delighted with Claire’s appointment and her joining the business."
Steve Byrne, CEO
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