How do you work with Maritime Training Academy?
Sovren Crew recommend the Maritime Training Academy courses to Crew via Sovren Nautical Academy.
What is the recruitment process?
A captain or someone with a management position on board, yacht owner or management company will discuss with the SOVREN Crew team the vacancies they have onboard. The team then access its current database of over 60,000 crew to find the best matched candidates. The crew consultants will then prepare a packet of information with CVs, video profile etc and send to the yacht. When the ideal candidate is chosen, the SOVREN crew team can then arrange contracts, logistics etc for the smooth addition of the new candidate to the existing crew.
How do you recruit for your Superyacht roles?
As mentioned above, once we have the request from the captain/ management etc. (client) for a vacancy, we look through our database to find the best matched candidates for the role. Our system searches for the people with the right qualifications, experience and even personality type (through our new Sovren Personality Assessment). Once we’ve found our top matches, we verify the candidates details and their interest in the role before sending their information to the client.
On average, how long does it take from reviewing CVs to hiring?
SOVREN has recently invested in a progressive system that reduces the process time significantly. The AI-led system selects the best matched candidates to the vacancy with a % score of compatibility. The shortlist is then manually verified by the crew team. The system uses this two-step verification process to ensure the finest calibre of candidates are selected, are available to work and will be an asset to the role.
What do you feel are important attributes or skills for a candidate to have?
Honesty and a strong work ethic are key. Working within the yachting industry can be very demanding, often in short periods of time (on season/off season). If you’re looking for a laid-back, easy job then this probably isn’t the industry for you. Another key skill would be customer service, more so for client-facing positions, but when dealing with yacht owner and guests onboard it is important to meet their needs and provide the best service possible.
How do you think studying with the Maritime Training Academy supports candidates in their job search?
The courses provided by the Maritime Training Academy provides candidates with the opportunity to really develop their knowledge in many areas of the industry. Training provides the foundations from which an individual will develop their experience and skills.
CVs are an important first impression – what would you say is important to remember when applying for a role at Sovren? (from layout to highlighted skills)
There is a lot of competition out there, as more and more people are discovering this industry as a viable option as a career choice. It’s a competitive international market, if one doesn’t stand out from the crowd it can be really hard to get noticed.
Traditionally a good CV is the initial method to get noticed. A CV needs to be professional, and with an easy to navigate layout. A good CV will be concise and to the point, but always adding a bit of charm and humour where possible to also show your personality. As presenting a character on a piece of paper is impossible, the new SOVREN crew system provides the service of a ‘reality cv’, a video prompter where the candidate can record a short piece to video which will capture their smile, friendliness, and demeanour.
A professional-looking headshot is also a big part of a good CV. Show the reader you are serious about your career by making sure every detail of the CV has been executed to perfection.
What do you think is key for career progression in the Superyacht industry?
Career progression is down to hard work, commitment, a personal sense of responsibility and always a certain amount of luck. The people who stand out to us, as recruiters and trainers, are the seafarers who always look smart, have their qualifications and certificates well-presented or organised, are punctual for meetings and are personable in their manner.
The yachting industry is all about people as it is very much a service industry. When it comes to qualifications and training, it is advised they follow the set career paths to ensure they are trained to the level at which they are expected to form. Accidents can happen when crew are ‘in over their head’. Train well and from that solid foundation, build your expertise and experience before moving up.
What tips would you give for a newly qualified candidate looking for employment?
Be patient, the recruitment process can be a long one, for every role advertised there could be many people applying. First impressions count so always be ready for a call and have your bag packed with folder ready so you can attend an interview with the minimum of delay. Smile! Even if you’re been declined for work at every yacht so far that day, the next crew to meet you could be the ones to welcome you onboard. Don’t let it show that you’ve been turned away from 20 yachts already that morning, perhaps it’s the 21st that you show up to and you’re exactly what they’re looking for.
Are there any areas that you think are particularly competitive?
It is considered that the roles that are more competitive than most are in the arena of the captains. More young captains are emerging, ready to step up and take command; they often provide a cheaper alternative to the experienced mature captain and these may be of interest to some yacht owners and management companies. It is often false economy however, as it is often said “If you think hiring professionals is expensive, try hiring amateurs”.
Alternatively, are there any areas that you think are in demand of candidates?
We would say interior crew and deckhands. When the season starts, the engineering or captain’s department would have two open positions each, and the interior department would have 20. Green deckhands are also in high demand.
What would an ideal candidate be to you (skills / qualifications / attitude etc)?
We believe the right candidate should have the right attitude from the start. Be teachable, even if coming from a hospitality or commercial background, as things on superyachts are very different from those particular industries, even though on the surface they seem very similar. A good candidate will know they need the right qualifications to succeed, knowledge is key!
A good candidate will also need certain skills, like being a ‘people person’ if dealing with the guests regularly. Even engineers (who are normally a little more hidden away in the engine room), will often have to deal with guests or owners. It is also important to be helpful and know how to work as a team, everyone should be working towards the same goal, delivering the best experience to guests and owners. Every person onboard is as important as the other.
Lastly, would you recommend candidates studying a course with Maritime Training Academy?
Of course, investing the additional time and money into developing your knowledge and skills will not only make you stand out from the crowd but also ensure you are qualified to act responsibly in the role you have been engaged in.