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What To Look For When Hiring A New Skipper

skipper sealogs

Save Time By Hiring Right

Picture this, you're walking down the wharf only to discover that a boat hasn’t been tied up properly... during the night the back rope has come loose and the boats now swinging around and rubbing alongside the wharf. As you approach the vessel, you can see gouges scratched along the hull and there's an indent where it has continually bounced off the wharf throughout the night. You race down and quickly tie it up to prevent any further damage. You pull out your logbook to see who last Skippered the vessel and discover it was the new skipper you had hired only 3 days ago...

Does this sound familiar? Have you ever made a rash decision when hiring a new person, possibly out of desperation? Shortly after hiring you learn more about them and start to question your decision-making. Instead of following your gut instinct by dismissing them and restarting the hiring process, you consider the amount of time you have already invested in the employee by introducing them to your company and working through the induction process. It's almost easier to persevere and hope that they will adapt and adjust to your company standards, as opposed to acknowledging the real reason they're applying - they haven’t lasted at any of their previous jobs.

Hiring a new Skipper is no simple task, especially in New Zealand where there has been a shortage of experienced, qualified Skippers. The alternative is finding someone with the potential, desire and motivation to train. You're looking for staff who are going to take your company values and apply them to your business, as you would. Someone who will take care of your vessels and equipment, as if it is their own. This process requires a great deal of time, effort and dedication from both the employer and the employee.

So, how do you know if someone is right for the job? And how can you prevent making this mistake again? The tip is all about asking the right questions:


Here are a few tips to help you in your decision-making:



Why is the prospect interested in your company as opposed to your competitors? Ask about their previous success, their past work experience, education and what qualifications they have gained? 


Results Orientated

How driven are they? Are they comfortable driving the same boat for years on end, or are they someone who enjoys learning new things and creates goals for themselves? What is their greatest achievement, and what have they learned from their past experiences? Their answers will provide you with an idea of the Skippers potential within your company and indicate whether they are likely to commit to long term employment, with goals of reaching management level, or short term/seasonal employment. Neither is right or wrong, but it's a good thing to consider from a strategic approach when hiring to ensure they are a fit and align with your companies objectives. Asking these questions will give you an idea of their personality and if they are results orientated.


Customer Engagement

Passion is a key element to explore. What is something that they love to do and why do they love to do it? Observe their body language, their tone of voice and their enthusiasm as they answer these questions. By now you have gained insight into how they are likely to engage with customers and how ‘likeable’ they are. Also, ask them a question about a conversation you have just had and see if they have retained an overview - this is to see how engaged they are.


Cultural Fit

Some people are suited to a role, but not to others. To find out if a Skipper is suited to your business, ask questions like how do you like to be managed? What does a perfect workday look like to you? Tell me about a problem you had to solve in your last place of work? When you talk about Cultural fit, you are essentially matching people with the business culture of your company. Don't be confused, a cultural fit is not about discriminating against diversity, but simply 'making sure that your attitudes, values and beliefs are in line with the core values and culture of your organisation.'


No matter who you choose to do the job, add them and all of your crew into SeaLogs - your digital logbook. Record crew training, calculate crew sea time and capture time spent on different crew activities... ultimately use SeaLogs to identify trends early on about the next Skipper you employ!


Sign Up To Go Digital Now!

Set sail to SeaLogs today to learn how we can help grow and streamline your business!


Otago/Canterbury/Northland, On Water
New Zealand

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