We interviewed a Hospitality Manager for Captain Cook Cruises, a leading small ship cruising company in Australia. Captain Cook offers a variety of products on the Sydney Harbour and an accommodated cruise on the Murray River in South Australia. Our interviewee employs all Hospitality and Frontline Crew.
How many vessels does your company operate?
We have a total of 15 vessels catering from a minimum of 2 persons up to 700 guests.
Describe a typical “cruise” if there is such a thing. What would the shipboard experience be like for a typical employee?
The typical work day/evening is a dinner cruise and the work schedule is as follows:
What are some of the common job titles you advertise for?
We employ the following personnel: Stewards, Deckhands, Customer Service Agents, Cruise Director, and Bar Staff.
Are some types of jobs more difficult to fill than others?
We have no real problems filling positions, as we are inundated with applications. Everyone wants to work for us!
What are some of the selling points you use to get people onboard to work with your company?
They get the best view in the world of the Sydney Harbour! This is usually the biggest selling point.
You are a local operator. Do you only hire people from the immediate area or do you occasionally hire people from other areas or even other countries?
We hire locals only, but do offer seasonal opportunities to those in Australia on working holiday visas.
Do you have a “season” or “seasons” where you’re busiest?
Yes, we have two seasons – busy and extremely busy! The summer months from November until February are the extremely busy ones.
How many seasonal staff do you typically hire, and for which positions?
We hire 30 to 40 stewards for approximately 3 months at a time.
Regarding seasonal or temporary staff…What percentage of your staff are returning from the previous year vs. new hires?
Our temporary staff members are usually from overseas, in Australia on working holiday Visas, which means they rarely come back.
Do you have a lot of college students working for you? If yes, then what attracts them to your jobs?
Yes, they enjoy the variety of shifts, the flexibility, and the view of Sydney Harbour.
During what times of the year are you recruiting the most?
October and into November.
If hiring foreigners: what is the process that a non-citizen must go through in order for you to be able to hire them?
They must possess a working holiday Visa and then of course have experience.
Describe your perfect candidate.
Personality is key. You must be a people person – full stop.
What advice can you offer about resumes / CVs?
Keep it simple. We only need to see one to two pages maximum. The most common mistakes we see are spelling and grammatical errors.
Are there any common traits people should have in order to get hired, and then to succeed in the cruise industry?
Absolutely! People skills are essential for those wishing to succeed in this industry.
What are the typical terms of employment offered?
We offer 3 month casual work and pay our temporary employees $20 per hour.
Are there any benefits or perks that your employees enjoy?
We offer free cruises for our employees and their partner.
A lot of seasonal employers have trouble keeping staff for the whole “season.” Do you encounter this, and do you give incentives to keep staff for the whole season?
Not at all. Fortunately for us, everyone loves to work on Sydney Harbour.