Backroads Trip Leaders: Hiring & Training Process
"I was so impressed with the caliber of training I received for this job. From public speaking to problem solving, it was true leadership training. Some people pay to get this sort of intensive training, but I actually got paid to be the learner, and had fun too! After training with Backroads, a lot of leaders say that they don't just feel like a better leader - they feel like a better person. It's introspective, reflective and provides the opportunity to improve yourself both personally and professionally."
Andrea Richards - Leader since 2006, Yellowstone & Tetons Regional Expert, Hiring & Training Specialist
What Do You Need to Get Started?
We can only accept applications from candidates who have legal work authorization to work in at least one of the following countries: the United States, Canada, Switzerland or France. Other nationals are welcome to apply, but must obtain appropriate work visas on your own to enable you to work outside of your home country. Note: applicants with specific interest in working for Backroads in their home country ONLY are encouraged to apply. These applicants must be hired as subcontractors, and not as Backroads employees. Special arrangements for some applicants can be made to subsidize travel to a Backroads hub (only for those traveling from outside Europe or North America). See our leader FAQs for more information.
To be considered for the Trip Leader position, you must possess a clean driving record. Our insurance will disqualify any applicant with a DUI/DWI on their record, or significant points from driving infractions.
Applicants are first reviewed based on date of completed application. Note: we require several supporting documents before considering an application complete. See how to apply for more information. It generally takes 3 weeks upon receipt of your entire application packet (online application plus supporting materials) for review, depending on the number of applications we receive. It is in your best interest to assemble your documents early, as we receive hundreds more applications than we have positions to fill, and earlier is always better for securing your chances of being hired.
After we review your application, we will contact you via email or phone to let you know the next steps. We may follow-up with a few questions to learn more about your skills and experiences that relate to the leader position in a brief phone interview. At this point we offer more detailed information about pay, as we consider you a finalist in the process.
Leader Hiring Event & Training
Based on applications, phone interviews and references, the most qualified prospective leaders will be invited to attend a day-long interview known as the Leader Hiring Event. If you are invited to an event, you are required to attend in order to be considered for the Trip Leader position. The cost of travel to Hiring & Training events are paid by the applicant, unless special arrangements are made. See FAQ page for more information for applicants traveling from countries far from a hiring event. The following dates are confirmed but please note: there is a chance that we could cancel later dates if our hiring needs are met early. We recommend choosing the earliest hiring event possible to increase your chances of being hired.
Please note all dates below are subject to change.
Leader Hiring Events
- Thursday January 17: Berkeley, CA
- Tuesday, February 5: Berkeley, CA
- Thursday, March 7: Berkeley, CA
- Thursday, March 21: Florence, Italy
- Tuesday, March 26: Paris, France
- Thursday, April 4: Berkeley, CA
- Thursday, April 25: Berkeley, CA
- Tuesday, May 14: Banff, AB Canada
- Thursday, May 16: Berkeley, CA
- Monday, June 3: Salt Lake City, UT (tentative)
- NEW DATE Thursday, July 18th: Paris, France (hiring for 2013 Van Support Drivers with the possibility of transitioning to Trip Leader in 2014)
Once hired, New Trip Leaders are required to attend a Training Session. Travel to your hub* prior to Training is also paid by the applicant/new leader, however all further travel for work is paid by Backroads, including flights for North American leaders to Europe if the individual has the requisite language or expertise. Housing is provided in each hub and training is a paid activity.
Setting you up for Success in Training:
Leaders in the past have mentioned that they found it advantageous to spend time on self-guided study to prepare prior to arriving to a hub for Training. Backroads will supply materials to get you started, including reading, self-guided tutorials, online videos, and bike skill mastery checklists. If the time is compressed between your hiring and training events, this can be done upon arrival but it's to your advantage to get a head start as there is a lot of information to learn!
If you do not currently hold a CPR/1st aid certification valid through October 2013, it's to your benefit to get certified prior to arriving in Training (some hubs will have courses offered but some will not and this certification is mandatory to lead trips). Backroads will reimburse your costs up to $65.
Leader Training Sessions
To maximize your work opportunities, we recommend choosing the earliest training session possible. This is especially important if youre interested in working in Europe, as we may cancel later dates if we meet our business needs ahead of schedule.
- Tuesday, February 19 Saturday, March 2: Salt Lake City, UT
- Tuesday, April 9 Friday, April 19: Pernes Les Fontaines, France
- Tuesday, April 23 Friday, May 3: Pernes Les Fontaines, France
- Tuesday, April 30 Saturday, May 11: Salt Lake City, UT
- Tuesday, May 21 Saturday, June 1: Salt Lake City, UT
- Tuesday, June 4 Saturday, June 15: Salt Lake City, UT (Canadian IGA Course 5/28-31; drive to SLC 6/1-2; return drive to Canmore 6/16-17; GRAF 6/19-22)
- Tuesday, June 18 Saturday, June 29: Salt Lake City, UT
- NEW DATE Wednesday, August 7 Wednesday, August 14: Pernes Les Fontaines, France (Van Support Training)
Trip Leading Schedule
After assessing skills and expertise during the Training Session, we assign Trip Leaders to specific departures (your "schedule"). Once hired, candidates have the opportunity to submit areas of interest and requests for time off. Generally, new Trip Leaders start field work 1-21 days after the Training Session is completed.
*Hub: Generally US citizens = Salt Lake City, EU citizens = Pernes, Canadian citizens = Canmore