Carnival Corporation HR: Workforce Planning Strategy

Bettina Deynes

Carnival Corporation brands need to recruit more than 30,000 seafarers annually, according to Bettina Deynes, global chief human resources officer.

“With bigger ships we need more seafarers,” she added. “So, as you can imagine, our workforce planning strategy is quite significant. And we have to constantly adapt to the challenges we face, which are quite different today than they were just a few years back.”

Deynes is overseeing more than 152,000 seaboard crew members across Carnival’s global fleet. She transitioned to the corporation from Carnival Cruise Line, which she joined in 2019 after holding a variety of executive HR positions in the public sector and private industry.

“My global role is to create and set strategy and do the long-term planning in all that we do in HR. So, we work collectively and collaboratively with all the brands,” she told Cruise Industry News in an exclusive interview.

“Every brand is unique, not just in terms of their market segment and guests, but also in terms of where they are located and the national laws that may apply.”

The pillars of the organization are its culture and efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion, Deynes said. That means, she explained, that they are going about the recruitment on a more global scale, not as traditional as the industry has been in terms of having certain nationalities in typical roles onboard.

She said the company has worked hard to put policies in place for an inclusive culture and hopes that those changes will lead to not only a female captain, but captains and chief engineers from other nationalities.

“We are doing the same on the hotel side,” she added

“Everyone should have opportunities. So, we are doing a lot in terms of promotions, learning and development, getting employees and crew members ready for the next level.”

It is as much about retaining as attracting seafarers, according to Deynes. The process starts with apps whereby employees learn what to expect before joining their ship.

“We call it the journey and it starts weeks before coming aboard. It continues with us providing an experience where they know they have our support. We have done a lot of work in terms of wellness programs, emotional support and career guidance.

“One initiative we launched is called Better Together, where we promote a supportive, inclusive culture, basically creating a safe haven for everyone, especially for those individuals who may be in the minority in terms of numbers aboard.”

Always planning ahead, Deynes said: “My main goal is to ensure that we can continue to enhance the entire lifecycle for our crew members, not just in terms of how we hire them, but their entire experience, basically their entire journey until they retire.

“I understand that what has brought us to where we are today is not what is going to deliver us into the future,” she continued. “As with everything else, we have to evolve. We have to learn from the past while preparing for the future. Our workforce is our number one strategy in securing that success.”

Excerpt from the Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine Spring 2023

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