“In the past few months I’ve applied for many jobs and only got an answer if the position has been filled when I’ve contacted the agent directly. I never get told why I haven’t been considered for an interview.” chief stewardess Agis Variani tells The Crew Report.
"Agents are our link to the next job and all the feedback they can give a crewmember in search of a job is helpful and welcome."
“Feedback is important for the jobseeker because it is important to know our deficiencies or what we are lacking that makes us unsuitable for a job. Sometimes there are a few things that could be possible to fix or some courses that need to be taken,” adds Variani, who is currently looking for her next job as a chief stewardess.
Variani’s desire to get feedback from crew agents ties in with what I hear from Louise Cailbourdin, crewing manager at The Crew Network. “Generally it is the more qualified and senior candidates who ask for feedback because yachting is and has been their dedicated career choice,” Cailbourdin reveals.
However Cailbourdin raises an important point – agents need the feedback before they can pass this on to the candidates. “Crew agents, when presenting a shortlist of candidates, should ask for feedback from the hiring manager, which helps streamline the search and selection process. Agents can only pass on information to candidates if the feedback is given to them – which is not always the case. It is obviously worthwhile for recruitment agents to share constructive feedback with crew, because it helps them enhance their hiring potential and career growth.”
“Agents are our link to the next job and all the feedback they can give a crewmember in search of a job is helpful and welcome,” says Variani. “It is also important because it helps build up a positive self-esteem for the candidate.”
And this is where the difference between sitting down with a recruitment agent can make the difference. Variani points out that when you apply for a job via a link online, you can only really expect to get an automated response. This is why she makes an effort to go and meet with the agents she hopes will be recommending her for positions. “The most important thing is to know your agent personally and make some kind of connection with them, so they can remember you when you apply for a job,” she says.
There is, of course, a difference between getting feedback following an interview and being shortlisted, points out Milica Seguela, headhunting specialist at The Crew Academy. “Where candidates have only been shortlisted but never contacted for an interview, sometimes it is difficult to give everybody feedback when crew agents are busy. Often it is down to owners’ or captains’ preferences.”
Where possible, however, feedback, as Cailbourdin states, streamlines the whole process. “Both crew and agents benefit from feedback, the source being the owner or hiring manager,” she concludes.