CruiseJobFinder interviewed a senior HR official for COSCO Manning. The company provides recruitment services and seaman training for people wanting to work on cruise ships. COSCO also provides certification services including passport and visa applications, and licenses. They are continually looking for excellent new applicants to fill shipboard positions around the world.
What types of jobs do you recruit for?
We mainly recruit seamen and maritime crew for the cruise lines, but we also find hotel staff, construction, and manufacturing technicians, IT staff, teachers and youth counselors, and medical personnel, along with other professionals.
Are some types of jobs more difficult to fill than others?
Due to the particular nature of the higher level maritime crew jobs, these can be harder to find applicants for. Likewise, the jobs that require extensive experience or qualifications are also more difficult to fill.
What services do you offer the people who apply through your company?
Our services include training and licensing for applicants as well as helping them place with cruise lines. We have an established human resources department and provide all the assistance that applicants need. We do have training programs that are run professionally and we are partnered with government organizations as well. After training, we send them to cruise lines in North America, Japan, South East Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
Describe your perfect candidate.
We like to see that you are committed to the work and have the skills and personality to match.
What advice can you offer about resumes / CVs?
We see lots of mistakes, but the main thing is that you should be careful of is listing your previous job experiences in detail. We like to see exactly what you have done and when, so we can find out how experienced you are. Also, make it easy to read, and while detailed, do not send us pages and pages of irrelevant information.
Stick to the facts that are important for agencies to see, but don't leave anything out.
Are there any common traits people should have in order to get hired, and then to succeed in the cruise industry?
We try to create a team of seamen and professionals in the cruise industry who are dedicated, hard working with excellent language and technical skills, so these are the traits we look for.
What are the best pieces of advice you would give someone who's starting to look for their first job on a cruise ship?
Make sure you have the skills needed for the jobs you want to apply for. Check out the job description before you apply, so you know what to expect and what is required.
What advice would you give people to help them prepare for interviews?
We try to make the interview process as streamlined as possible, so the best advice I can offer is that you come prepared with all the relevant documents and be confident in your meeting.
What is the interview and selection process like for your positions?
The certification and training process is made as easy as possible and we also make the assignment and post assignment management process as simple as possible for applicants so we can speed things up and get them on board as soon as possible.
Can you describe the job placement process?
It can take from roughly 1 month to 6 months or longer to get hired after you have completed and passed the pre-selection training.
Does your company provide any pre-hire training?
The training we offer includes English language training, sea safety training, first aid, and takes place in various locations.
Can you describe some fundamental differences between the cruise lines, in terms of what they're looking for, their recruitment policies, and so forth?
I am not sure about the exact policies and procedures for the cruise lines, but I know that we offer more detailed and personal instruction as well as offer one-on-one assistance through our various training programs which the cruise lines do not offer.
What are some common misperceptions people have about working on cruise ships?
That the work is going to be easy and that you will get paid a lot. It is probably better to say that you will be able to save money, because you will be working 95% of the time you are on board for the 6 or so months at sea. Another misconception is that you will get to have a holiday. In fact you will be working every day, with no days off and you will not get to really spend time on shore. If you are in the engine room you will also mainly work below deck and not really get to enjoy the views like some of the other positions.