CruiseJobFinder had the opportunity to pick the mind of a hiring representative for North Star Cruises. The company was established 25 years ago and has developed into one of the most unique cruise companies in Australia. The cruises take place on board the True North and with authentic Australian crew to chaperone guests, they visit and explore some of the most remote and natural parts of the Kimberley Coast.
North Star Cruises is an award winning cruise operator in Australia offering 1 and 2 week adventure and eco cruises along the Kimberley coast.
How many vessels does your company operate?
We have one vessel, the True North.
Describe a typical ‘cruise’ if there is such a thing. What would the shipboard experience be like for a typical employee?
The life on True North is a fun one, and we encourage our employees to interact with the guests, making it different from your usual cruise.
What are some of the common job titles you advertise for?
We often need sales and marketing staff, but on board we advertise for cruise attendants, who have the responsibility of keeping the guests entertained, doing housekeeping, serving tables, assisting with the bar tending and in the galley, so really they are hands on and work all over the ship.
What are some of the selling points you use to get people onboard to work with your company?
It is a completely different experience from working on a traditional cruise. If you love nature and being with adventurous people, you will love our company.
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?
No, to keep the cruise as authentic as possible, we only hire Australians.
Do you have a ‘season’ or ‘seasons’ where you’re busiest? Describe the seasonality aspect of your business.
We are busy all year round.
Regarding seasonal or temporary staff…What percentage of your staff are returning from the previous year vs. new hires?
Many actually love the atmosphere and type of cruises we offer so they do return, but we have a lot of new people all the time, so I would say it is about 50/50.
Do you have a lot of college kids/students working for you? If yes, then what attracts them to your jobs?
Yes, they love the fact that they can come and earn some money during their study breaks or during the holidays.
During what times of the year are you recruiting the most?
All the time.
Describe your perfect candidate. How can someone best make a great first impression with you?
You need to impress us with your excellent customer service skills, attention to detail, energy and friendly nature. The perfect candidate is someone who is well rounded, and who works well as part of a team.
What advice can you offer about CVs? What are the qualities of a great CV? And what are the most common mistakes you see in CVs?
We see so many CVs and applications, that I would say the main thing is to make sure that you have all the relevant qualifications and training that we require. You must have your STCW95 Certificate of Safety Training and whatever other qualifications or experience asked for. Ensure that you list these items on your CV and make sure that you give us all the right information. Many times, people forget to update their CVs and we have incorrect contact info and the like.
Are there any common traits people should have in order to get hired, and then to succeed in the cruise industry?
Well since the cruise industry is all about the guests, you must be a good communicator and good with people. Your personality is the main thing that will be looked at to see whether you are capable for this type of work. Another trait you should have is being well organized and motivated as well as not being afraid of long hours and hard work, in fairly small living quarters.
What are the typical terms of employment offered?
For many of our on board positions we offer 4 weeks on and then 4 weeks off. We have permanent and casual positions available.
A lot of seasonal employers have trouble keeping staff for the whole ‘season.’ Do you encounter this?
No, our employees love working for us.