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Backroads Seasonal Trip Leaders: The Hiring & Training Process


There are three stages in our hiring process. After each stage we will communicate with you and let you know if you will, or will not, be advancing to the next stage. Once our Hiring Team has reviewed your application we may contact you to schedule a Skype/phone interview. Similarly, after a Skype/phone interview we may invite you to attend a Hiring Event. Finally, before leading trips, every New Leader must graduate from Backroads Leadership Training Program. In 2014, 96% of our New Leaders graduated and worked in the field.


The Application

Click the button on the sidebar to the left that says "Apply Now" to get started. You'll find that there are three components to our Trip Leader application. Throughout the application process you will be able to pause, save your work, and continue later.

  • The written component of our application includes filling in online text boxes to give us your contact information, employment history, education details, travel experience, language proficiency, and thoughts in response to a short essay question.
  • You will have a unique opportunity to respond to some questions via video that will help our Hiring Team get to know you better than through bullets on your resume.
  • The other component of the application process is uploading a driving record. This component may be completed after your application has been submitted because acquiring a driving record can be time consuming and we don't want it to delay our review of your application. We are not able to consider applicants who have alcohol related offenses on their driving record (DUI/DWI).
  • Additionally, if you know someone who works for (or has worked for) Backroads, you may contact them and ask them to submit an "Internal Referral Form" for you.

The Interview

Once our Hiring Team has reviewed your application they may contact you to set up a brief Skype or phone interview. During this conversation they will confirm your availability during our peak weeks and ask you additional questions to better determine your fit for the Trip Leader position.


The Leader Hiring Event

For those who progress past the interview stage, the final step in the Backroads hiring process is the Leader Hiring Event. This is a day long group interview during which you will interact with other applicants and Backroads staff in a variety of exercises that involve problem solving, teamwork, bike mechanics and a little bit of public speaking. It's challenging and a lot of fun. For many the Backroads Leader Hiring Event is the most memorable job interview of their lives!

Please note: The cost of travel to Hiring Events is paid by the applicant.


The Backroads Leadership Training Program

Once hired, all new Backroads leaders attend our two week Leadership Training Program before being trained on a real trip by an experienced Training Leader. The Backroads Leadership Training Program focuses on the essential skills required to be a successful trip leader: guest service, problem solving, bike mechanics, public speaking, food preparation, driving, trailer maneuvering, internal systems and etc. And it goes beyond these basics to teach New Leaders what it means to be the face of Backroads for guests around the world. These two weeks are a powerful time for personal and professional growth. We are regularly contacted by universities and businesses, and recently the TV show 60 Minutes, who are all curious about the philosophy and methods behind our unique and extremely successful approach. It's an intense but rewarding two weeks!

Please note: The cost of travel to the New Leader Training Program is paid by the New Leader, however all further work related travel is paid by Backroads including flights for North American Leaders to Europe if the individual has the requisite language and/or expertise. Housing is provided during training.

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Backroads Seasonal Trip Leaders

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"Getting a job as a Backroads Trip Leader felt, at times, more exhaustive and thorough than getting an FBI clearance. But the process is entirely worth it - what a group of people! Our recent five-day 'staff ride' (for all Backroads employees) in Crete reminded me what an incredible group of people we work with - fun, outgoing, caring, open-minded, generous, hilarious and spontaneous!!!"

Lentine Zahler
Leader since 2010, Private Trips Consultant