‘Square Peg, Round hole’ Comparing Corporate Recruitment and Yacht Recruitment

Square Peg (Corporate Recruitment) – Round Hole (Yachting)

I have always liked this expression – however, if you hit something enough it will fit, I believe that was engineering lesson one when I was a deck cadet.  

The analogy is very true for corporate world recruiting and trying to make it fit yachting. We have had several external recruitment trainers with 30+ years’ experience say yacht recruitment is like nothing they have ever experienced 

With this, why are we trying to force yachting into this corporate style of human resources and employment?  



certainly feel there are things we can take from the corporate world of courseI cannot think of many Captains or HOD’s with extensive human resources and employment training. Corporate recruitment will have a strict hiring policy and a Human Resources department with 100 rules and regulations.  Training ipeople management techniques and crew retention is happening and this is great for yachting. A good number of Captains and HOD’s have helped with our workshops and blogs about interviewing and being interviewed. We do this to aid yachting, not change yachting.  If you need help with setting a recruitment / hiring policy that works for you, let me know liam@wilsonhalligan.com  

Our company ethos is also very much about being a recruitment partner’ and to give clients solutions. This partnership entails delivering matched candidates, interview training, market information, talent pools, terms and benefits offered, technology, and advice. As soon as you add pressured sales techniques associated with the corporate recruitment world it changes the approach.  


Comparing a Yacht to a Business

Yachting also has some incredibly high-powered positions; an example is a 100m+ Captain is by comparison running a €200 million+ company. Recruiting in the corporate world for someone to run a €200 million company you would go to a recruiter who’d want to be retained (paid upfront) and would charge in the region of 30% of the annual salary. Yachting in comparison one month’s salary is the fee is a total of 8.2% of the salarySo many factors make this situation so unique to yachting. 

Regardless of the recruitment environment, ware a service provider and are here to help, the customer is always right is the WH style. Us recruiters complaining about lack of feedback and professionalism from yachts hiring is not going to help matters, especially given that recruiters often have a bad reputation to start with!  

We work over a long time with our clients to try and help better the recruitment process for both sides involved.  This differs for all clients depending on their preferences – for some, we manage the whole interview process or for others we allow use of our office for interview days. Several Captains and Owners Reps have sat down at our recruiter’s desks and worked on the who/what they need. This can still be achieved in this remote working world we are now living in. 

This is however a two-way street and it’s about us listening to our clients’ wants and needs and how we can work best with that, rather than dictating what we want as a recruiter.  As mentioned, yachting we know is unique – our clients are extremely busy, they don’t have a stationary office like others in the corporate world and as such the recruitment process should be adapted to fit, rather than us expecting the same as what others would in a recruitment process ashore.