Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines has a large, highly specialized IT team that includes more than 400 dedicated staff that use the newest technologies for its business intelligence, data warehouse and ecommerce initiatives. This tech team isn’t the company’s only one: Its other brands – such as Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Costa Cruises – all have staffs of their own.
How to Reach Out
Social networking has taken the lead for marketing Carnival’s job opportunities and for sourcing candidates. LinkedIn has become a tool for sourcing passive candidates and it uses job boards, like Dice, as well. The company also employs social media to meet customer demands.
“Our IT recruitment manager spends quite a bit of time attending technical user group meetings and is associated with several organizations, such as NAF’s Academy of Information Technology, and the South Florida Technology Alliance,” Warner says. “Community networking is important for branding the culture of Carnival’s IT environment from a technical as well as a cultural perspective.”
Navigating Its Job Postings
Before applying, review the entire job description to see if your expertise and career objectives match the skillset the position requires. The company’s project initiatives are driving technology needs in business intelligence, ecommerce, data warehousing, project management, and IT engineering. “We’re looking for top IT talent in diverse skill stacks,” Warner notes, adding, “[If] we stated precisely the technology we’re using today, we may be implementing newer versions in a few months.”
The Interview Process
Once you get your foot in the door, there are several ways you can prepare for an interview. Besides being honest and forthcoming, the most important thing is to research the company, which you can easily do online. Get familiar with Carnival’s financial statements, press releases and, most importantly, get to know more about the person with whom you’ll be interviewing. “Google and LinkedIn are great for this,” Warner observes.
What Makes a Good Fit?
Says Warner: “We seek individuals with a passion for learning and development. We strive for employee engagement and work hard at it. There is great opportunity for advancement here. We have a learning resource center and a talent management office for soft skills and technical skill development and training. Candidates need to know that we align from the top down and are committed to being on the same page to meet key organizational objectives.”
Advice for Seasoned Professionals
Carnival focuses on aligning its requirements with talent, whether that talent sits within the company or externally. “Given how quickly technology changes, we oftentimes are creating job roles that didn’t exist six months ago,” Warner says.
In addition to core tech skills, Warner’s interested in experienced professionals who can communicate and present. “More resource managers and staff are now tasked with running meetings and preparing presentations with our business sponsors,” he says. “An emphasis on communication in the past was mostly at the director and vice president level, but now it’s important to be aware that we’re focusing on communication skills at all levels.”
Advice for New Graduates
As they become available, internship opportunities are posted on Carnival’s job board. Those programs help the company identify strong local talent it can groom for full-time positions later. The approach has worked well, Warner says. “After all, if we’re not educating and developing IT talent in the U.S., then our other choices are to import talent or export jobs. We have a corporate responsibility to our community and country to educate and develop students and bring them into the workforce.”
Also, Carnival’s IT team works through the Academy of Information Technology to host a five-week summer internship program for high school juniors at the company’s headquarters. “We will be hiring one of the students from a couple of years ago into a full-time position in Technical Support,” Warner tells us, “which we’re very proud to be doing.”