Job hunting, looking for a candidate, or ready to make a change? Read this.
Marc Anthony said, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life” and that pretty much sums it up for a lot of us in the yachting industry. Getting there, on the other hand, is a different story. Long gone are the days of a casual stroll down the dock to get a spot on a busy charter yacht. We’ve all heard many versions of that story from veteran crew, reminiscing about their first position on board. Today though, things are different. The world is different and the job market is different, and add in the joys and complications the internet presents and it seems like being better connected doesn’t always result in necessarily getting together the right candidate with the right yacht.
Here are our top tips for the seekers and the finders:
I AM LOOKING FOR A JOB
If you’re seeking your first job on a yacht or planning a career change, here’s what you need to do…
1. Find yourself an agency you love
Whether you are a captain or a deckhand, a kite surfing instructor or anyone looking to “move up” onto a bigger boat, the first thought you have when embarking on a job search should not be getting head shots done. From the basics of getting your CV together, to helping you to address any potential shortcomings or gaps in your experience, the best recruitment agencies will want to get to know YOU. It’s in their best interests to get you on a boat you’re going to love so get a reference, do some searching online and meet them in person to get organised.
2. Discover your special skill
Maybe working in yachting has been a dream of yours, or you want to see if your talents and experience shore side could be valuable in starting a career in yachting? If you are a first time yachting job seeker, especially if you have a particular profile, you need to get some expert advice on how to proceed. Crew that have special technical skills from videographers to drone handlers, kite surfing instructors to carpenters, are in hot demand. (I won’t even mention the severe shortage of really good masseuses and hairdressers right now). You may be a more valuable candidate than you think, but only with the right training, tickets and professional guidance to get you ready.
3. Don’t cut corners
More isn’t always better in yachting. I feel bad when I see those pesky LinkedIn posts that invade my newsfeed from time to time from potential candidates practically begging for a job onboard. It doesn’t often work in other industries and apart from the occasional lucky strike it doesn’t in yachting either. This is your career and doing it right can mean the difference in building up your bank account, or being stuck shore side for the rest of you life. Get a professional to put you in front of the right captains and on the right boat.
I AM LOOKING FOR CREW
If you’re a captain or a yacht manager looking to fill a position onboard, here is our advice…
1. Don’t be a CV trawler
Give me the name of a fellow captain anywhere that has time to sift through dozens of CVs and we’ll give send you a lifetime supply of Superyacht Content pens right now (am I right?)… Quality, not quantity, is the key here because after all, time is money. Many crew agencies execute database mining with a clever keyword search and send you all the candidates who come up straight to your inbox. A great crew agency will actually search, vet, and present you with a small number of fantastic people for your open position.
2. Agency networks will find the unfindable
Often those with the most specialised skill set aren’t looking for a job. And these positions (particularly when you consider they will have dual responsibilities on board) are tricky to fill, to say the least. The Jet Ski instructor who is also the engineer; the chief stew who also has experience as a seamstress; the deckhand who is also a certified pilates/yoga professional. You need to be creative to keep the boss happy so the recruitment team you partner with, shouldn’t be any different. You may get lucky with a suggestion from a fellow captain, but this is akin to a needle in a haystack. The best recruitment professionals think out of the box and network in other complimentary industries to find you the right person.
3. Make sure candidates get a real vetting before they meet you
Job hunting statistics tell us that about half of job seekers are outright lying or embellishing their skill set on a CV, yet so very few potential employers vet their candidates. Would you ever put a person in charge of the health and safety of your owner not having done so? Make sure whoever is sending you candidates is calling every single reference (and then some) before you even see them for an interview.