An Introduction to Securing a Role in Shoreside Yachting

  • Posted November 3, 2023

Transitioning from ship to shore is a well-worn path for many career yachties, and whilst there are a host of blogs and advice in the public domain covering this very topic, I wanted to develop a series of articles that focus on the practical side of securing a new shoreside role.

Full disclosure; I’ve never worked onboard a yacht so this isn’t a journey I’ve undertaken myself. As mentioned above, there is plenty of direct advice already available from those who have, so the perspective I’m hoping to offer here is that of the professional recruiter. The observations I’ll be sharing are drawn from my experience placing many senior crew, and candidates already established ashore into shoreside roles, and from working directly with the single biggest employment sector in shoreside yachting – management companies.

From technical to operations, sales to charter, commercial to leadership, projects to new builds, the international management landscape is always hiring, and subsequently they are often the starting point for most crew (or non-crew) commencing a new job search.

But why are some candidates more successful than others? How do you evaluate a job opportunity? What do hiring companies actually want? How can you hack the interview process? Do you even need to use a recruiter? These are some of the questions I hope to provide some helpful insights into.

But let’s rewind for a moment and look at the conundrum of crew transitioning ashore and planning to stay in the industry.

Here’s an uncomfortable truth that’s rarely discussed; a great career onboard doesn’t automatically transition you into a yachting role ashore.

That sentence might sting a little if you’ve been sailing as a HOD for the last 10 years. While operational experience and appropriate tickets will usually get you in the room, they’re not a hall-pass to a glut of fabulous 9 to 5’s and a stream of shoreside job offers. I’ve worked with many crew who have fantastic sea-going CVs but struggle to translate that into shoreside currency.

But if onboard and ashore are two sides of the same coin, why is this?

Put simply, it’s driven by a combination of expectations, value propositions, soft skills and occasionally luck or good timing. That’s recruitment speak for: being prepared, flexible and realistic; developing a laser-like focus; and interviewing really, really well for the right roles, not all roles.

Working on all of these elements will automatically level-up your candidacy. I appreciate those recruitment statements are quite vague so I’ll expand further in upcoming blog posts as part of this series and give you some thoughts on how to control the controllables and develop a strategic approach to the shoreside job market. It can be hacked.

Of course, I’d always advocate using a good recruitment partner to help you navigate the job market. There’s a skill in leveraging this relationship that’s misunderstood. Gone are the days where a recruiter was simply a conduit between your CV and a vacancy, and the better you can get at partnering with an agent you trust, the better, faster results you’ll see.