Our staff recently interviewed a senior manager for ISMIRA Recruitment and Crewing Agency. ISMIRA recruits for several of the largest world's largest cruise lines!
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Here's an Excerpt From Our Exclusive Interview...
What does your company does for cruise lines?
Our role is to pre-select applicants, organize job interviews, and then place the selected new-hires or returning crew to the assigned vessels.
What types of jobs do you recruit for?
We supply personnel for the food & beverage department, retail sector, casino, the deck & engine department, entertainment, housekeeping, hotel and various other hospitality departments.
From which countries do you recruit?
We are working with the applicants from the countries where we have our offices and also from the neighboring countries including Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland Estonia, Moldova, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Georgia.
Do you charge a fee to your clients?
There are no fees associated with employment, however, applicants need to pay for their joining ticket, transit visa, passport, and other documents depending on the employer's requirements.
Are there any common traits people should have in order to get hired?
The key word in what we are looking for is a so called "hospitality gene," so personality is the most important factor in what we are looking for. You need to be a people person. English language knowledge is a must. Other languages and the right experience and qualifications are considered as advantage, but not always necessary.
What are the typical terms of employment?
The normal employment is a 6 to 8 months contract followed by 6-8 weeks of vacation time. With most positions income depends on the gratuities, so it is indeed very hard to outline typical pay rate. I would say starting from $1,000USD to $2,000USD and more. When you have a job where earning tips is important, it is more imperative than ever to have a great personality.
What is the interview and selection process like for your positions?
First we receive your resume, and if it looks good, we will set up a Skype video interview with one of our personnel managers. Then we invite all successful applicants to come to a main interview with the respective employer.
How long does it take from the time someone contacts your organization to getting a job?
Our pre-interview is usually set within one week of the initial contact. If successful, the final interview with the employer follows, and it is hard to predict a time frame on this, as it depends on the employer"s needs. Usually we have interview sets with different employers at least 6 times per year. Once you have successfully interviewed with the cruise lines you will be informed that you are now on the waiting list to get a job.
Does your company provide any pre-hire training?
In certain locations we provide pre-interview training to familiarize applicants with the requirements and conditions of working on a cruise ship, and well as get them prepared for the interview with the cruise companies.
If you had to guess, what percentage of employees on cruise ships were hired through staffing agencies like yours?
Probably 90% of them are hired by agencies like ours.
What are some common misperceptions people have about working on cruise ships?
There are many advantages such as the possibility to travel, obtain international experience, and save money, but remember this has nothing to do with cruising, as you will join the ship as a crew member, and you have to work hard 7 days & 70 hours per week.
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