Seatrade Europe and Thomas Mielke In Conversation About Recruitment And Leadership Development In The Cruise Industry

August 14, 2019 - Seatrade Europe recently spoke to Thomas Mielke, London-based Managing Director of AETHOS Consulting Group. Mielke will be moderating a panel discussion at the upcoming cruise conference to be held at the Hamburg Messe Hallen September 11-13, 2019. Here is what he had to say on some of the topics which will be picked up during the session entitled “Sustainability with a Twist – How to Future-Proof the Cruise Sector from a Recruitment, Talent Pipeline and Business Leadership Perspective”.

  • "As the fight for talent has continued and intensified throughout the last few years, cruise companies have started to embrace an approach which can be coined as 'future-casting' – in other words, rather than focusing on proven track record and/or domain knowledge, they have moved away from assessing task competencies. […] Yet, adapting one’s recruitment profile is only part of the equation. Cruise companies have equally focused on improving their in-house talent management and succession planning efforts – in other words, instead of relying too heavily on fresh recruits, they have gotten better at identifying whom they already have on their payroll and what their specific development capabilities are."
  • "Awareness has risen for the ‘problem areas’ and actions have been taken to rectify those. The shift to assessing contextual performance as opposed to domain knowledge has been the first step. Improving and investing in internal talent management and succession programs – targeted and fine-tuned for three rather distinct cultures (ship-side, land-side [non-corporate] and land-side [corporate]) – the second. Future obstacles to overcome continue to be topics centred around international mobility, cross-promotions and the fostering of a company culture which better aligns business strategies with a firm’s HR programs."
  • "Companies have set themselves high growth targets to capture untapped business opportunities, new target markets and customer segments as well as underdeveloped destinations - and this necessitates securing a very large number of staff to be able to deliver on those business strategies. Whilst for many corporate land-side positions cruise companies are quite open and happy to recruit from other industry sectors – in particular in branding, marketing, sales and, for example, finance – securing ship-side talent is arguable the much more difficult task."
  • "Many of the new recruits are coming from culturally very diverse backgrounds. Ensuring that such a multi-cultural workforce is aligned, and is buying into a common vision, is not an easy task. In a lot of the regions from which the cruise industry is recruiting from, sustainability has not necessarily risen to the top of the agenda when it comes to discussing the workplace and/or the business environment. […] The cruise industry is thus in a unique position to promote and educate staff from all over the world on sustainability – but conveying the importance of the message whilst monetary, health or other more ‘basic’ concerns are front-of-mind is not an easy feat."
  • "The sector is – partially based on the aggressive growth targets – impatient and best practices can easily, however unintentional, fall to the wayside. It is thus a mammoth task for leaders and the HR teams to instil and engrain the importance of those sustainable best practices in its workforce. This might mean aligning reward and bonus programs to specific targets and/or a general performance program which is properly aligned with an organizations sustainability strategy and tactics."

More details can be accessed here