Laurence Lewis looks at the benefits of hiring an older crew member if you are a younger Captain. It will bring diversity and in turn build a stronger crew
Captains, why hiring crew who are older than you can make for a stronger and more balanced team and ultimately create a stimulating work environment for all and, most importantly, an enjoyable yachting experience for owners and their guests.
Just as there are now young millennial CEOs, there are young millennial Captains at the helm of ever-larger yachts and crews. This is changing the face of our industry as the introduction of MCA certifications did a generation ago in the late nineties, when a new wave of certified crew came to the front.
Young Captains have worked hard to get to the top and share values such as dedication, vision, and drive whilst having probably worked with experienced mentors who helped them along the way. Whether yachting ‘through and through’ or from a mix of commercial and yachting experiences, regardless of your unique path and story, captaining a large motor yacht is a great accomplishment.
Building a crew is a challenge for anybody and nothing is truer than this for the first time Captain. ” He’s older than me, should I hire him? ” is a question in every millennial Captain’s mind as he or she sifts through CVs.
Initially, it might seem odd to have someone older than you report to you, so here a few points to keep in mind:
– New job, new yacht, your first Captain /Owner relationship to create, develop and manage…you have a lot on your plate. An older crew member, be it Chief Engineer, Purser, Chef at your side can give you much needed support and will require less ramp up time to get the job done quickly and efficiently without too much input from yourself, giving you more time to concentrate on your new day to day job of a Captain.
– An older crew might need less maintenance – they want to do their job, do it well and go home on holiday or rotation.
– If an older candidate wants the job you are offering, it implies he wants to be there and has chosen you, just as you have chosen him. This person will be focused on delivering a top service and doing a good job, for the benefit of the operation as a whole.
– An older crew member has probably got a great network of handy industry contacts that as a new Captain you might not have had the chance to fully develop, yet can instantly benefit from.
– An older crew member can also act as a mentor for the most junior crew of the team, thus creating a nice dynamic. The mentoring is thus split and does not solely rest on your shoulders.
– An older crew member can bring stability; resilience and years of experience will have taught him how best to overcome set backs and how to move forward. This person will likely have been exposed to a multitude of guests and will know the importance to think on his feet and even pre-empt events and demands.
– An older crew member can have a calming effect in the crew mess and have a positive influence on others.
Safety is obviously a key component of running a top yacht and naturally, it is very high on most owners’ agenda. An age diverse crew and the mix of individual experience which comes with this kind of team, contributes to creating a strong safety culture. Which owner would not appreciate that?
So, in summary a diversity of age within the crew can be good, and as a Captain, hiring an older crew member will definitely have a positive impact on the whole crew and yacht and probably increase your efficiency as a first time Captain.