Keep the party going without missing a beat

With its nickname “The Fun Ships” Carnival Cruise line offers a boatload of entertainment for their guests. Carnival is the number one cruise operator in the world boasting 24 ships with a total passenger capacity of more than 200,000 and nearly 14,000 employees. Carnival serves passengers around the globe, dedicated to providing a memorable and fun experience to their guests.

At the heart of a memorable guest experience is the onboard entertainment. A conga line with hundreds of umbrella-drink-toting dancers or a rock concert with guests singing their favorite songs with complete strangers wouldn’t be possible without Carnival’s talented music and entertainment staff.

How does the biggest cruise line go about building its team of onboard entertainers? With year round staffing needs and a unique work environment, Carnival found that going digital provided them with the ability to keep the party going without missing a beat.

Reliance on Agencies to Build Teams Proves Expensive

David Brady is a Casting Supervisor with Carnival, responsible for sourcing and securing onboard music talent for Carnival’s fleet. These roles, including vocalists, musicians and disc jockeys, are essential to creating a fun and memorable guest experience. Brady and his team work diligently to build a team of over 1,000 musicians each year.

“Staffing a Carnival ship comes with unique challenges. Our music department has to be staffed 365 days a year. When you accept one of our talent positions, you sign on to work several months throughout the year,” explains Brady. “We have to find the best talent, who are prepared for life on a ship.”

A large dependency on staffing agencies led to a costly and reactive recruiting process.

“Prior to HireVue, we had a heavy reliance on agencies for sourcing, auditioning, and hiring for our talent. There was no talent pool that allowed us to be selective to find the best entertainer possible. We relied completely on the agency’s discretion.”

Not only did the process lack a strategic approach, but candidate information was not stored or tracked efficiently.

“There was candidate information, links and notes bouncing around through various sources,” explains Brady. “Applications were received from our website, schools, agencies, and internal emails and there was no central way to store the information.”

Carnival turned to HireVue's Team Acceleration technology to proactively source and build talent pools so Brady and his team could easily view auditions and musical ability, anywhere, anytime.

Carnival Embraces Team Acceleration Technology: Allowing Entertainers to Showcase their Abilities through Digital Video

Carnival looks for entertainers that can both provide a memorable guest experience and develop a rapport with guests.

“Before HireVue, we’d have links to watch a performance, but we didn’t have a lot of insight on who they were or how they might interact with our guests,” says Brady. “Now we have a full picture of who a candidate truly is as well as their musical talents – making much more informed hiring decisions. I recently saw an interview where the candidate threw on a sailor hat and we loved it. We loved seeing them show their personality.”

The entertainers on Carnival ships need to have a large repertoire, especially since guests tend to make many song requests. With HireVue, Brady and his team can see how candidates respond to the vide questions with little preparation, quickly finding out how wide their musical range is.

“We have candidates record their performances using HireVue and it’s been so beneficial for testing their abilities. We can ask a drummer for example, to play a particular song and we can see their abilities with no preparation. If they stopped the interview and then came back to complete it, we could easily tell that they weren’t prepared or didn’t have the skills we needed,” Brady explains.

Carnival's talent team also leverages HireVue to make live audition events seamless.

"Before going onsite for live auditions, we invite all candidates to first complete an On Demand Interview ahead of time so we are introduced to them immediately through video and not a static application," explains Brady. "We have a fully validated candidate pool that we have on hand for when we need to fill vacancies or if we have a sudden emergency shift open up."


Results with HireVue

Team Acceleration Replaces 70% of Agency Expenses

“One of the biggest benefits we’ve seen since implementing HireVue is the drop in our reliance on agencies to find talent,” Brady explains. “We were able to cut agency commissions by 70% in just one year! The ROI that we achieved so quickly has been a tremendous benefit. Now our Casting Team is deciding how to reinvest our savings on further enhancing our guest experience.”

Quality of Hire Improves; Retention Increases over 60%

Brady’s team tracks the quality of the entertainment hires by an initial hiring rating and a retention rate for returning team members.

“Our new hires receive an evaluation rating based on their overall abilities, energy, and experience. That rating has steadily increased over a 12-month period since we started using HireVue,” Brady says.

“Our retention rate quantifies those hires which we invite back for a second contract,” he explains. “In just six months since implementing HireVue, our retention rate went from 25% to 41% - an increase in over 60%. This has been a tremendous benefit resulting in time and cost savings to not have to source new talent and ultimately a better experience for our guests.”


Onboard Talent Teams Built 80% Faster

“With HireVue's Team Acceleration technology we immediately saw a decrease in our screening time,” Brady explains. “We’re now able to provide candidate feedback much faster - and all within HireVue. From when we first receive an application to the time we make a decision is an average of 12 days; a process that could have taken months prior to HireVue.”

Carnival began leveraging HireVue as the information hub for all candidate information.

“HireVue is now also the primary source for housing all audition materials,” says Brady. “It's great to have all information, regardless of the source of the application, in one central location. The application, resume, and recorded video audition are all in one system. We immediately saw an improvement in our workflow and the process is much more streamlined.”

Ability to Verify Language Fluency

Having Carnival’s entertainment staff be able to communicate with guests is crucial. With Carnival hiring around the globe, Brady’s team needed a way to verify their fluency.

“Another way in which we’re using HireVue is to test language fluency. We hire many candidates from non-English speaking countries and we need to know how fluent they are in English. With HireVue, it’s so easy to see their communication and language skills,” Brady explains.

Candidates Love to Show What They’re Made Of

"We hire artists; and artists like to share and express themselves and HireVue allows them to do so in a very non-threatening way. We want the Carnival candidate experience to be less corporate, more fun and more personal and a true reflection of our organization and HireVue has enabled us to do that.” comments Brady.

Advice From Carnival

“For us, the proof is in the pudding. Our bottom line has been significantly impacted by HireVue and the ROI has proven itself. With HireVue you’re showcasing your organization as an innovative, personal and fun place to work. Aside from that, you’re offering your candidate an opportunity to share who they are and tell their story. It’s become integral to us and no other technology that I’ve seen has had the effect that this has,” Brady concludes.