I spoke to a candidate this week who got me thinking. I was about to write her off because she had turned down a great charter yacht but I changed my mind after I had spoken to her and decided to write this blog with the shoe firmly on the foot of the newbie yachtie! Before I get into that, please don’t mistake this blog for an attack on yachts and our clients. That definitely isn’t the case. We know only too well what a colossal pain some crew (green and otherwise) can be during the recruitment process.
To set the scene, the candidate in question had an interview with a lovely yacht (50 ish m, so a great opportunity to learn from others etc) but decided it wasn’t for her, for a couple of reasons, but the main one being she didn’t get a warm feeling from the Chief Stew. She explained to me very articulately that joining the industry for her, wasn’t just about ‘seeing the world’ or the money but a chance to further her career and for her, it had to be the right choice not the first option handed to her. On reflection, she is completely right…. You wouldn’t accept a job in the ‘real world’ if you thought your immediate boss was awful, sleazy, rude… the list goes on…. You would simply apply for new roles at a different company. It’s no different for yachties at any level but even more so for green crew.
For new yachties, this is the first step, for a lot, in to the unknown. Not only are you embarking on a new career but you’re expected to work, live and socialise with these crew, a huge ask for even the most ‘normal’ person! How many of us can honestly say that, in our former land based roles we would liked to have worked, lived AND socialised with some of our colleagues…. (Quay Crew office excluded, they are all fabulous haha)
With this in mind I think its completely understandable for new crew to make sure they are getting the warm and fuzzies from their future Chief Stew/Captain/Senior crew member. So….. As the crew member interviewing these candidates, what can you do to help?
- Organise an interview and stick to it or at least communicate if something comes up and you can’t fulfil your end. Keeping the lines of communication open is so important whatever level of yachting you are at. Be available if a candidate has a question no matter the content. We were all green once and I’m sure all had dumb/silly questions!
- Be honest! Be clear about the role, the yacht and what will be expected of the candidate. If it’s a 90% laundry role then say so, if the Boss is tricky, say so, if you’re world cruising but reality is you barely have a day off then be honest and say it! The longevity on board will for certain be better if your joining crew have realistic expectations and haven’t been sold a unicorn job that doesn’t exist.
- Be kind! It’s not too much to ask to be nice to potential crew! If it’s the right fit, both candidate and client should be excited about meeting each other for the first time and working together. The dream is this will be a union that lasts at least a year so getting off on the right foot is imperative!
- Remember it’s a two way street. There are some fantastic green crew out there that offer a yacht a lot of bang for their buck. Yachts should also be grateful when a fantastic candidate chooses them!
- Once on board have an open relationship with the candidate. Make them feel comfortable to be able to air any issues they have. It may be that you have to put them back in their box but it could be that you are able to resolve said issues. Being open and approachable will prevent internal moaning and bitching!
On the flip side of the above, there are many green crew that are entitled, deluded and have very unrealistic expectations! We deal with them on a daily basis too and always try to educate them about the realities of the industry and what to expect in their first job.
To wrap this up…. We were all green once and that’s worth remembering every once in a while. Being kind, courteous and helpful only costs time!
We look forward to hearing peoples thoughts.
If you’re green reading this, we have a few yachts looking for excellent newbies across both deck and interior so please register and get in touch!