Whether you are lucky enough to live close to the mountains, have been on many Ski Holidays or want to make the jump to experiencing life in a Ski Resort for the first time, finding a job isn’t exactly a straightforward process. Never fear, The Rise Guide is here to help you on your way to your mountain adventures. Here are some ways that you can find work as well as some tips for the process.
Here are a couple of sites to get you started. They tend to be used more by the bigger Ski Holiday companies and not so much by smaller businesses like Bars.
You’ll find a lot of the same jobs repeated across these kinds of websites. You’ll also probably not be assigned to or able to apply for a specific resort. You can request it in your interview but they usually do the entire recruitment process and then split everyone out after that.
I applied for my first season job through Season Workers. It was as a Chalet Host for Crystal Ski but it was already part way through the season so it was for a Standby role. The whole application and interview process happened in a few days. The big companies normally have a base in London and one further north in the UK for holiday their recruitment days so you have to travel to your nearest one. Someone in St Anton broke their leg so I got flown out to replace them a few days later. This proves that it’s never too early or late to apply!
Each Ski Resort will have its own Facebook Group for the workers past, present & future and sometimes multiple ones for different languages. For example, in Val d’Isere there’s ‘Val d’Isere Seasonaires with the Echo’ (English, 12k+ Members) as well as a number of other pages & groups in English & French. Quite often they are groups rather than pages and you’ll have to ask to join. In these groups I quite often see people popping up & writing a short bit of info about themselves, adding a picture and asking if there are any jobs around. Post a pic of yourself looking professional and maybe doing something related to the type of job that you’re looking for (e.g. working behind a bar, driving a van). Be prepared for a bit of banter in the comments but this technique works surprisingly often! It shows confidence and as the saying goes, ‘those who dare, win’.
There are also Facebook Pages and Groups for Ski Season jobs. That’s where the smaller businesses that don’t really have a recruitment budget post their vacancies. You can try the same technique as for the resort specific groups in these ones too- just double check the rules of the group before you do so or you might get kicked out.
Contact Tour Operators
Go to Google and search for ‘Ski Holidays in [Resort Name]’ (you can pick any resort in a country that you can work in) and you’ll get a list of highly optimised Search results from big Ski Holiday companies, followed by results from mid-sized and then smaller businesses. You can then go to the websites of these companies and scroll down to the bottom of the page where there will be a link to a page called something like ‘Careers’ or ‘Jobs’. Websites of some of the smaller businesses might not have exactly this page and you might have to just go to the Contact page to fill out a form or grab their details.
Think about it: Ski Holiday businesses want to make money (and get most of their traffic) from selling holidays/services, so this is what they are going to invest in for Search Engine Optimisation. Hiring staff does the exact opposite- costs them money- so the internet search results won’t be as organised for people searching for work. You get a very different experience working for a big company (e.g. Crystal Ski, Ski World) compared to a smaller one (think family vibes) so think about what kind of place would be the right fit for you and then start sending out those emails!
Ask friends & family
Think about who you know in your network who goes skiing, has property in the mountains or has done seasons. A personal recommendation from a family member or friend can make the hiring process much easier. Business owners are busy people and recruitment takes a lot of time. Don’t be shy to ask people if they would mind recommending your or putting you in contact with someone and, at the very least, they could tell you the names of some businesses that you could try to contact- and some to avoid! This is also a good one if you’re struggling to decide the resort or country that you would like to work in. Have your CV ready to pass on to them so they can send it over to their contact/s straight away and they’ll be less likely to think twice or forget to do it!
If all else fails… go to the resort
This option takes some preparation, cash saving and is a bit of a risk but can definitely pay off! I know many Seasonnaires who have gone down this route to find employment for the winter. It allows you to figure out the resort as well as see and meet the business owners face to face so that you can make an impression and potentially avoid applying somewhere that you know you wouldn’t want to go to.
Print off some copies of your CV and walk around asking if there are any vacancies or the staff know of anyone hiring. You definitely have to be presentable for this- don’t show up looking scruffy and stinking of stale Apres Ski. If you plan on applying to bars, the best time to hit them up is the early evening when it’s still quiet and definitely not in the middle of the night when everyone is busy. Also don’t be drunk. It sounds so obvious, but my Manager friends have experienced this more often than you’d think.
You’ll need to have your Accommodation sorted out for yourself and that’s also a bit of a mission. I will do a separate Blog post on this!
The best time to head out to give this a try is before the lifts open when the business owners are setting up for the season and training their staff. There will always be a few people who drop out at the last minute for different reasons, or positions that they didn’t manage to fill during the recruitment process. Keep your conversations short as people will be busy but you’re likely to nail the ‘right place, right time’ situation by having the balls to get yourself out there.
Sometimes the Tourism Office or Association for Season Workers (in Val d’Isere it’s called Vie Val d’Is (https://www.vievaldis.com/valdisere/en/home/)) will have a list of jobs in the Resort so check them out too!
Don’t buy a Season Lift Pass until you have a job! Many ski resorts offer workers prices but you need a contract to prove this, so you could save yourself hundreds by holding off.
There are other options, such as doing a Cookery Course or going to a specialist recruitment agency, but I’ve chosen to list options here that are suitable and accessible for the majority of people.
Unfortunately, with the Brexit situation, it’s still not clear whether Brits will be able to (legally) go and do Ski Seasons. There’s currently no word on the Visa situation and at the time of writing this, Covid-19 and the Presidential situation in the US are taking up all headline space so the media haven’t yet jumped on the story. I haven’t been able to find any information about Visas, but hopefully a solution arises soon. I’ll be doing future posts about the admin side of working a season (Insurance, Accommodation, What to Pack) in future blog posts!