Like it or not, digital interviews are a growing reality.
Apparently, 71% of companies use real-time video interviewing to recruit and 50% use video applications to narrow down the candidates. And while most captains would still admit to having a pile of CVs jostling for space on the chart table when searching for new crew, it’s evident that these game-changing techniques have also started to cross over to the world of yachting.
Not surprising really, as applicants could as easily be located in their hometown of Wellington, New Zealand, or be shacked-up with half a dozen day workers in a Palma apartment. All while the yacht itself could be bobbing away on any of the world’s oceans. If there’s a line of work that can profit from recruiting from afar, it’s definitely the yachting industry.
The benefits are quite straightforward: the owner saves on the expense of flying a crew member in, a captain saves time sifting through a jumble of similar-sounding CVs and, through pre-recorded video presentations, won’t even have to worry about time zone differences or having to make time in his busy schedule.
Skype interviews are nothing new and a great way for both parties to get more of a face-to-face feel as opposed to a chat by phone. Drawbacks, however, include subpar connectivity, straining to hear each other or, infinitely worse, your face freezing mid-speech – mouth wide open and one eye shut- not your best look. Or, my personal weakness: performance pressure. When it’s your turn to speak, you have virtually no time to process your thoughts. Being aware that you’ll need to have a quick-witted answer at the ready is, for me, a surefire tension-builder.
A similar concept applies to the aforementioned video CVs as used by platforms like Monjin. During these pre-recorded videos, candidates answer questions specifically chosen by the client. The interviews can be watched later at the captain’s convenience, while the candidate can re-record their footage until they’re happy with the end result. Although it may not happen live, being judged in front of a camera takes some getting used to. While camera comfort may come easily for a few yachties, I’d say it’s more typical for guys and girls to feel a little ill at ease and unnatural. Personally, I’d much rather shake a person’s hand and talk to them in person, than have to try and come up with a smart and original way to present my claim of being the world’s best stew.
Monjin’s Titta Uoti-Vaisanen says that she believes video CVs are part of the future and their research results certainly prove impressive: captains can save 70% of the time and 80% of the cost it takes when using ‘outdated’ processes of screening applicant CVs alone. Doubtlessly it’s a medium in which you can pack tons of personality and even creativity; think performances including artistic camera angles, wardrobe changes, rap and even rhyme. Some of these recordings prove a real hard act to follow.
Leading crew agency Dovaston Crew and the mega motor yacht Pelorus are already on board and hiring with Monjin yachting. According to Helen Warren, owner of Dovaston Crew: “Twice the number of candidates were screened in half of the time” and the Captain of the 115m motor yacht Pelorus adds: “We used Monjin yachting platform to recruit our new stewardess in under eight hours, from screening the candidate to hiring her.” Eight hours! This is normally the amount of time it takes for the first few stock-standard CVs to start rolling in!
Although nothing can replace a face to face meeting, and you might not find it a comfortable way to present yourself, these new techniques have turned out to be a lot less time-consuming for captains. And as time and tide wait for none, the use of video CVs will become more and more common.
Which just leaves me to wonder about our hardworking dock walkers though, the ones trudging from boat to boat armed with a stack of CVs. What will they now need to stick under the boat’s mat? A USB stick? A CD? Or maybe set up a projector type situation behind the back of the boat with their superyacht sales pitch on loop.