Taking Risks – Why doing something a little different in the midst of a global pandemic is in fact a good idea!

We’re in the midst of a global pandemic the likes of which 99% of us have never experienced. Half the world is in lockdown and the rest have locked them out, so as business owner or employer you’d probably be forgiven for wanting to play it safe if you’re lucky enough to be expanding your team. 

Yet, as the title of this article reads, my feelings at least, are that it’s exactly the right time to take a risk…….

The world is entering a paradigm shift and if you don’t hold on tight to this rollercoaster, you’ll be left behind. Terms such as ‘we’ve always done it this way need to be disregarded. There’s something new coming and its not going to be ‘normal’

From buyer demographics to design language, sustainability concerns to cruising grounds, the superyacht world is changing, so we all need to adapt and excel in this evolving market. My thoughts here however are of course that of a recruiter, so only really apply to the hiring process, but will give you an idea of who I think you should be considering for your next hire. Below are a few character profiles that you’ve probably overlooked but really should consider…… 

The inexperienced junior – As I’ve eluded to in my past musings, the superyacht industry is usually fairly poor when it comes to the junior applicant. Is it fear of putting a kid in front of a client, or lack of time to train them?

The current generation studying/recently graduated are the social media generation who can influence tens of thousands using an instagram profile. They can build desire through video or photo from the opposite side of the world. That kind of reach and engagement is hugely valuable and should be embraced rather than shunned. 

Furthermore, the range of tools our up and coming technical grads are using is further advancing the way in which we design and engineer our products, reducing time to market and increasing versatility within the end product

Soft skills can all be taught. The return on investment in someone with a years experience rather than 5 could be invaluable. Maybe you should reconsider your current mantra of ‘minimum 5 years experience’..?

The Cross-Industry Hire – But a car salesman doesn’t know anything about a boat. An aircraft interior designer couldn’t sketch the lines of the next 100m stunner. Couldn’t they?

In 7 years of recruitment I’ve seen thousands, probably tens of thousands, of CVs and portfolios. I’ve seen car designers sketch lines that would match some of the best in the business and have seen the kind of sales hunger and ambition from luxury car guys and girls that has never been echoed from a sales or charter broker. 

Again it harks back to the ‘skills can be taught’ ethos. Just because you don’t start perfect, doesn’t mean you can’t become it! 

Cross industry also brings with it a wealth of new ideas and concepts. Remember a few years ago when Feadship were offering a planned maintenance setup for your newly built yacht? Pretty sure thats an automotive sector idea used to retain customers through ongoing and regular interaction. 

The industry is constantly looking for ways in which to retain customers, to drive new styles and to launch new products. Why not bring someone across from another industry who exhibits the hard skills you need (design, sales, engineering) and see what they can create. It could just be the next big thing. Plus as they train and develop in the superyacht world, it also expands the talent pool, now and in the future. 

The disruptive Marketeer – A little more specific this one in terms of role, but the marine world needs more disruptive marketing! Princess Yachts were a great-example with their Manga style video for the R35 (Bravo Kiran Haslam), Azimut put a yacht in Times square and Mercedes placed a car on the front of Silverfast. Thats three times in about 5 years that the yachting industry has caught my eye when it comes to marketing. 

Disruptive marketing can come from all walks of life and in most cases, we all have the ideas in our heads, we’re just too afraid to put them into action in case the market thinks us crazy….

I’ve seen some incredibly talented marketeers over the years come up with some great ideas, turning brands into household names as a result of a simple concept executed well. Who’s going to take the first step and launch the next brand or product that we all remember for years to come? Go on……I dare you!!!

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