Say hello to Lightning: the employer-brand marketing agency*

Here at Lightning, you know we like to swim against the current. Strut to a different beat. Blaze our own trail in creating a whole new model of travel and lifestyle recruitment. Like all rebel brands, we know being like everyone else won’t change the world – and make no mistake: that’s what we want to do. 

Four years after we first broke onto the scene, we’re shaking up the travel, hospitality and recruitment industries once more. Say goodbye to Lightning, the straight-up recruitment agency, and hello to Lightning, the employer-brand marketing agency*.

We’re still on a mission to consciously connect humans with businesses to help both thrive. The difference is – after four years collaborating with future-facing partners, talking with incredible talent, and creating headlines in the likes of Campaign, Condé Nast TravellerForbesMail OnlineIndependentHR Magazine and Recruiter – now we understand what our industry truly needs.

You don’t just want us to put bums on seats: you want help growing your team with soul and purpose. To give the people what you want, we’re launching some tasty new products – behold…

Superior service (20%)

Available on either an exclusive or retained basis, depending on the brief,  you’ll get all these yummy benefits…

  1. Access hard-to-reach passive candidates

Here at Lightning we never, ever use job boards. Instead, we focus on growing an engaged community around the Lightning brand – meaning working with us gives you access to those hard-to-reach passive candidates. You know, those unicorns who might not even be actively looking for a new role (and certainly wouldn’t be trawling job board or LinkedIn ads) well they're engaging and sharing our content and are probs already in our DM's. Meaning you’ll be getting a superior service, even though this is our standard package.

  1. Headhunt the right person for your business

We don’t just advertise a role and wait for the CVs to come rolling in, oh no. In fact, we don’t rely on databases or email marketing, full stop. Our team are go-getters who absorb your brief then actively rearch out (and sell your business to) the right people for your role. Thanks to our strong brand and glowing reviews, they trust us enough to follow our lead. We also vet on culture add when retained.

  1. Discover impressive out-of-industry talent

We all know travel and hospitality is facing a talent crisis. So how come while other agencies’ talent pools have dried up, ours is fuller than ever? Because our brand awareness spans across industries and we actively promote the travel industry as an employer of choice, convincing impressive out-of-industry talent that ours is an industry worth jumping ship for.

  1. Understand what great candidates really want

The gap between what employers are offering and what candidates want is increasing - we have been consulting to make sure our long term partner clients are above industry standards, so they get access to the best talent (through us) and their workplaces are both inclusive and set up for success.

  1. Get what you pay for

Yes, we are more expensive than our competitors. But you know what? You get what you pay for. Working with Lightning is like getting a ‘blue tick’ in our industry, because we’re known for our strong values and strict no-d*ckheads policy with both clients and candidates. We open doors and create change, but we only work with people who share our values or are actively committed to being better. We also are the only recruitment agency in the space to fully utilise marketing and socials - with our engagement rate across all platforms at the 20% mark and our growth being completely organic, we have created a unique value proposition.

  1. Harness our recruitment expertise

Get help figuring out where the gaps are in your team and who’d be the best person to fill them with dedicated recruitment consulting. As if that’s not enough, we’ll even build out the job description and plan the end-to-end process for you, too. [Retained only]

What you get

  • The best standard recruitment service in the industry - if you just want us to advertise your role and email a database of people you already know then reach out to anyone who has travel recruitment in their company name.

  • Access to talent that you cannot get access to yourself, nor through other companies with travel recruitment in their company name. 

  • A team that genuinely give a sh*t about you and your company and will work on the role tirelessly, not just for a few days.

Who it’s for

  • Non-retained: companies who have their sh*t together and just need us to get access to some extra special talent for roles that are already set up for success 

  • Retained: companies who are struggling to find and retain talent, hard to fill roles within companies, companies who don’t have thought out job descriptions / processes and are extremely time poor that need us to do lots of work to the role and the package in order to get access to the talent you need

How it works

  • 20% fee on either an exclusive or retained basis 

🏆 Elite service (25%)

*Here’s where Lightning: the employer-brand marketing agency comes in. Get everything above, plus…

Remember that nowadays the world eats with it’s eyes 👀actions speak louder than words, and with Insta and Tiktok taking over, a Job description simply isn’t cutting it to showcase how awesome it is to work at your organisation - people need to SEE it to believe it.

With the talent gap growing ever wider and our industry not having anything resembling an employer brand, this package is how you’ll stand out, grow and get access to the best talent from, both inside and outside the industry.

Here’s how: 

  1. Build your employer brand

Showcase the people, the property (or office)  and the purpose behind your brand with original video content imagined and created by Lightning to demonstrate why people should want to work for your business. Here’s an example of what we can do here

      8.   Level up your internal culture and company offerings.

We know what candidates want and what is needed to make your culture inclusive. We don’t play in the ‘we’ve always done it this way’ sandpit and will help you to level up your culture and offerings through our expertise and on the ground knowledge of products and what candidates are after, we can really help you level up and retain staff.

For an added fee, if you’re brave enough, we can even come and speak to your staff 1:1 in person and confidentially to find out what they REALLY want and consult with you on how to implement some big culture changes.

      9.    Have a Lightning talent consultant act as a brand ambassador for your company. 

All of our consultants are an extension of our employer brand and they are all active on LinkedIn posting at least 3 times a week. They're low key mini industry influencers in the making. They share roles within their dedicated posts and this package will get you access to dedicated video posts in realtime about your role - literally all eyes on you and more targeted exposure than any job board / linkedin ad could muster.

What you get

  • Recruitment consulting - review of current setup, processes and job descriptions 

  • Targeted headhunting

  • Competitor analysis and role +  industry insights

  • Targeted video content in realtime  and a finished  employer brand end video showcased on Lightning channels

  • Dedicated brand ambassador

  • Culture and inclusivity level up

Who it’s for

  • Growing businesses who want help building your culture + employer brand and showcasing your company as a place people want to work, as well as getting access to the best talent.

  • Luxury properties who want help showcasing the property to prospective candidates to stand out.

How it works

  • Retainer basis on a 25% fee per role/final edited video.

  • Year long contract

🔥 Discreet executive search service (30%)

This standalone product is the ultimate in discretion and service - the kind that your HNWI clients would expect, but it’s all for YOU. You’ll get direct access to our CEO Thea Bardot (they/she)  and work with them to discreetly fill your most senior roles.

Tap into the network of a LinkedInfluencer

Working exclusively with Thea (they/she), you’ll get access to their engaged community of 12k+organic followers on LinkedIn and the doors they can open to senior talent... As one of LinkedIn’s Top 10 LGBTQIA+ voices, you’ll be aligning your brand with an influential and trusted voice on the travel and recruitment scene, all on the DL, to get access to top diverse senior talent.

Dedicated Headhunting and networking

Thea (they/she) will not only be sliding into the DM’s of industry movers and shakers to see if they’re open to new opportunities, but they’ll also be utilising their extensive network to grab coffee with the people they need to be talking to, all within the discreet settings of private members clubs. 

Not based in the UK? No bother. Sign up on a retainer and Thea will come to visit your city to do the work needed on the ground as well as immersing themself amongst your senior leadership team so they can easily vet for culture and mindset [not required, but is an inclusive value add]. They can of course do this virtually too!

Go incognito

This discreet executive search product is perfect if you’re hiring for an executive level  role, or maybe you have a senior role  that’s not yet public knowledge? Or maybe you’ve got your eye on top talent currently employed by your competitors…? Whatever your reasons, we’ll don our discretion hat (we do have one, promise) to headhunt on the down-low for key, senior hires in your company.

Market insights 

Higher fees not only mean discretion and the highest touch point service we have, but they also mean you’ll get market insights that you’re able to refer back to even after you’ve made the hire - these include competitor analysis, market overview, candidate feedback on the role and process and our very own consultation of the role + positioning of the company brand and package.

What you get

  • Access to Lightning founder and influencer Thea Bardot’s network

  • Dedicated headhunting and access to talent without anyone knowing you were hiring

  • Market insights that you’re able to refer back to even after you’ve made the hire

  • 1:1 Consulting from start to finish

Who it’s for

  • Businesses looking to fill senior roles incognito 

  • Businesses who are striving to get access to the best talent out there and would like to work directly with one of  the best recruiters in the business to get it 

  • Businesses who have exhausted their personal networks and need to maintain discretion but get access to more talent

How it works

  • 30% fee on either an exclusive or retained basis - confidentiality assured.

💡 Lightning Consults - fixed fee

Don’t have the budget for our Elite service, but looking for recruitment consulting and support, so you can hire directly? We’ve got you. 

For a £4999+VAT fixed fee we’ll work with you to figure out where the gaps are in your team and who’d be the best person to fill them.  We’ll then build out one  job description and plan the end-to-end recruitment processes for you for that role.

We will compile a report for you based on  market research, competitor analysis and our own knowledge of who to target for this role, as well as reviewing your internal setup to advise on how to level up to attract the best talent.

You’ll get 3 dedicated 1:1 video/IRL hours with this package + all our hours behind the scenes setting you up for success.

Once we’ve worked our magic, you’ll  have the option to take our insights and run, or use the fee as credit to be removed from an invoice if you want us to do the hiring for you too.

🤝 Mutual commitments

The most successful long-term relationships are reciprocal, y’all. We’re introducing mutual commitments to keep both parties accountable in all our partnerships, which we ask you to agree to before we start working together.

We commit to:

  • Replying within 24 hours

  • Giving you a dedicated account manager

  • Vetting all candidates – including a video screening – before you even get their CV

  • Working with you to identify you pain points and coming up with an approach that will solve not only your immediate hire, but set you up for future hiring success.

  • Representing your brand with passion and pride

  • Submitting candidates at a salary they’ll accept that’s in line with their experience and market value

  • Being honest and constructive if we can't find you your perfect person

  • No bullsh*t, ever

You commit to:

  • Hiring for the roles we consult on once they’re signed off

  • Feeding back on candidates and interviews within 48 hours

  • Dedicating time to giving feedback that’s helpful to both us and candidates

  • Being willing to be vulnerable and accountable

  • Having fun while growing this partnership, your company, and your culture

  • Working with us exclusively on the agreed roles

  • Paying your invoices on time

  • Giving our candidates an awesome and timely interview experience

  • Being transparent about where you’re at with any internal candidates

  • Matching the salary expectations of the candidates upon which they are submitted

💸 The retainer model - our new best friend.

We’re gonna be real with y’all: most (if not all) of the work we do happens way before you actually hire your new talent and until now, we’ve been doing consulting and headhunting, for free. That’s on us!

What we’ve realised is, we’ve actually been working on a retainer model, but not getting paid for our time - classic. So we’re here to change that and intro you to our new bestie. Right now, with the talent gap as big as it is, the amount of work required to fill roles is increasing and this model is the only one that will guarentee the results you need in the time you need them.

Here’s the thing to remember: the awesome hire is just the cherry on top. Our worth is not determined by simply giving you access to candidates - that implies if we can’t fill a role, we are worthless.

We work our little butts off to help you grow your business and we think we deserve to be paid for our time, expertise and the work we’re doing to get you your superstar. That’s not unreasonable, right?

So, if you’re coming to us with a brief that includes phrases like ‘we don’t have a JD’, ‘we can’t retain staff’ ‘we have used other recruiters but can’t find the person’ ‘we aren’t getting traction online’ ‘we don’t have a set interview process’ etc then after our initial consultation, we’ll likely be telling you that you need a retainer for us to do the work to help in order to dedicate the time we need to.

This looks like:

  • 30% due for us to start working on the brief, after we’ve had a call with you to diagnose your problems and how we can help. We’ll put together an action plan for you and teachable insights into how to recruit and retain in future as well as reviewing the entire recruitment process and beginning to spend time headhunting and video interviewing for culture add.

  • 30% due upon receipt of vetted candidates and market insights.

  • 40% due for day 1 of the hire.

You’ll leave with not only a superstar employee, but have gained market insights, a review / build of a streamlined recruitment process, targeted headhunting and access to talent you categorically won’t get access to yourself, and knowledge that the person you’ve just hired is truly the best in the biz and you’re setup to nurture them.

We’re so excited to start this next chapter with you all. Get in touch to find out how we can help - we'll set up a confidential video chat to help diagnose your pain points and set up a plan that's bespoke to you and your business to help both thrive, and most importantly save you time and money.


And to practice what we're preaching, here's our CEO Thea (they/she) explaining on video just why you should choose to partner with Lightning, below: 

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Thea Bardot

4th October

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