Winter Season Recruitment 

Winter Season Recruitment 

As the winter season rapidly approaches the importance of finding the right staff for our chalets becomes more and more important.

As with many chalet operators the staff that are employed are the face of the company in resort. Working on the front line, representing the company in delivering on all the promises made by the sales teams, the website and improving on the service standard set by the previous years employees.

The smaller and dare I say it, the more bespoke a company is, the more important it is to get the right staff. Staff who get the balance of the old adage “work hard, play hard” just right. Staff who are prepared to put the job first, work hard and enjoy the benefits that this brings.

“The more you put in, the more you get out” is a phrase we often use in interviews, as it rings so very true in this sector of the industry.

Lots of other cliches also bare a good amount of truth. Like “Happy Staff = Happy Guests”. This is like a one big “happy merry-go-round”.

Happy staff = happy guests = happy staff = happy guests etc etc……

To some employers you are in danger of becoming another name on an ever increasing payroll. When literally 100’s of staff are employed to work in chalets, serve guests, cook food, clean toilets then it is arguably harder to be different or to stand out from the crowd. You are treated the same and often tainted with the same bad colour of the proverbial paint as the rest of the rag-a-muffin team that has been assembled.

With a smaller, niche company you have more autonomy, more flexibility and a lot more responsibility. You’re trusted and asked to perform your duties to the best of your abilities. Not ordered or told to reluctantly do something you don’t agree with.

With a trusted, reputable smaller company you are usually encouraged to socialise with your guests, mingle, talk, expected to hold conversation and to almost become a part of their holiday. After all, if our guests go away remembering the service that you have given them and commenting how good the staff were, how pleasant the resort team were, the more likely they are to come back and rebook next season.

For a company like us, it is crucial we get the right staff for the right chalets. Each chalet has its own persona and character and attracts a certain guests type. We need to find staff that can work in that environment. We need to employ staff who are going to work well together, live together and socialise together. We want staff who can work as a team, work hard for each other, and represent the company and just as important….we want staff who will enjoy their job and enjoy their season.

Recruiting for a bespoke company is harder then it seems and quite often more complex then is perceived. There are constraints, it is like a juggling act. You want “the right” staff. You have to try and pick a team who get on with each other, who will live and work with each other. You have to think of accommodation, who can live with who, who can share a room or apartment together. You need to think of the location of the chalet in relation to the staff accommodation. You need to think of the staff welfare, their enjoyment and job satisfaction, you need to be aware of compatibility and stability. We may have couples, friends or individuals all thrown together for a five month period. We have to juggle wages, egos and special requests or requirements where ever possible.

By no means am I trying to look for any sympathy or trying to make our recruitment process sound difficult or complex or overbearing or god forbid, unenjoyable….I am setting myself up for the next point….

If we spend so much time and put so much effort into finding the right employee – sifting through endless CV’s (yes we do read every one), reading all cover notes and letters (yes we do read every one), checking references when required, arranging face to face interviews in the office, planning the time to give everyone a decent interview slot, arranging skype interviews with people in far flung countries (quite often speaking to them on weekends, early mornings or late evenings so it fits in), following up, second interviews, reference requests, agency connections and conversations and finally into job offers, contracts and then the season…..

Then why on earth would you jeopardise your job chances by being so unprofessional in return?

If you are serious about securing a job for the winter then you need to be professional in your approach to it. That speaks volumes to any prospective employer.

I am sure most people who recruit can relate to this, but if you simply don’t reply, we are not going to chase you.

If you don’t show up for an interview with no prior warning or cancellation, be it face to face or through the power of skype, then we are not going to employ you.

If you turn up unsuitably dressed and scruffy your chances of employment have just decreased rapidly.

If you do a skype interview in your pyjamas or from your car, or on the bus then the chances of being offered a job are also getting slimmer and slimmer.

If you cant prepare or provide references, like any normal job would require, don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from us.

If you cant commit or reply to contract offers, then don’t expect the offer to stay around for too long, it is in our best interests to be recruited as quickly as possible.

So a few important points to note when applying for a ski season job with anyone.

* Plan and prepare and tailor your application to the company and its job description. DO NOT use a generic application letter and leave the name of the last company you applied for on there.

* Be prepared and do your homework on the company

* Know a bit about the chalets, know the company

* If you have never done a season before, ask around, apply for companies that suit you and your personality. The better the fit, the more you will get out of a season

* Prepare your questions, we like questions, it shows you are interested and have done some research

* Don’t be shy, say what you want out of a season and explain why you would be good at it

* Dress accordingly for an interview, as you would for any interview for any job, this says a lot about yourself

* Be polite and punctual. If, for whatever reason you cant make a skype date or an interview date, then give enough warning and ask for an alternative time.

* If you are keen for a job with us, then show how keen you are, express an interest and chase up where necessary.

* Treat this interview as you would any other professional interview. If you have the attitude like “this is just another seasonal job” or “I’m just going to be a chalet host” then you won’t get very far in the process

Kaluma Travel recruit every year for Chefs, Managers and Hosts. It is never too early to apply for a company you want to work for, send in your CV, ask to be kept on record for when the recruiting process starts and ask when you should send in a reminder/chaser e mail.

Don’t be despondent or feel let down if at first you don’t get the job you wanted. There is such a high volume of people applying for winter work, that smaller companies with less staff can be a bit picky on who they choose and people with previous exeperience may get a preference, but in this world, everything changes very quickly and you may well get a second chance because someone pulled out, took another job, got ill or injured, changed their mind on doing a season etc….so make sure your application and your interview stands out from the crowd. be remembered for the right reasons, for being professional, polite and punctual  and offering up a memorable CV and interview.

Although we are almost fully recruited now, just looking for fine dining chefs for our chalets, we look forward to hearing from you in the future for a job with Kaluma Travel.

Kaluma Travel Recruitment

  • Philippa Smith
    Posted at 18:01h, 02 October Reply

    Fantastic blog….please all job hunters take note!! It will only help you in securing your dream role. We have very similar views when it comes to your approach to job hunting and interviewing. Take your time, do it properly and you’ll reap the rewards with being offered a fantastic position with a a fantastic company.

    Good Luck All x

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