Bringing Qualified Tech Talent On Board

Leading cruise line adds valuable IT expertise to its team on an accelerated timeline


One of the largest cruise lines in the world operated a global fleet of 40+ ships and carried more than six million passengers in 2019. Continuous growth of the business means new and expanding demand behind the scenes, especially for a company that relies so heavily on technology to provide its celebrated world-class customer experience.

To continue to grow its IT capabilities, the company was in need of qualified talent, sometimes on a moment’s notice. Specifically, it needed contractors across a wide variety of technical roles who require specialty training and are willing to travel globally. As with most enterprises of this size, IT managers were stretched thin and challenged to support the candidate vetting and hiring process via the company’s existing vendor management system (VMS) staffing process.


The cruise line went out for competitive bid and selected CAI as a strategic partner. Using its Flexible Contract Staffing Model, CAI worked closely with IT hiring managers to fill open contractor roles and manage recruiting and onsite engagement. CAI designed ambitious SLAs for response time and retention, committing to a five-day turn around for qualified candidates and ensuring the company’s IT managers could hire from the selected group at least 80 percent of the time.

Using a pre-negotiated competitive rate card, qualified IT personnel at CAI quickly began to handle the full lifecycle of candidate screening, testing and reference checks. Today, CAI manages onboarding and initial training of selected candidates, as well as ongoing talent support with 90-day performance assessments and contractor talent review across all teams. Due to the unique global travel requirements of this engagement, CAI also provided concierge service to contract staff while traveling on extended assignments to help ensure their travel and personal matters were handled while away working long hours in a different time zone.


With CAI’s help, the company filled 50 positions with qualified IT personnel in just one year, living up to the five-day agreed-upon SLA and filling urgent requests within three days. CAI’s work has reduced the overhead for its hiring managers by an average of 44 hours per month. The cruise line is seeing an 85 percent retention rate for its contractors. And because the company can convert select candidates to full-time employees at no extra cost, it has access to a pool of proven, qualified talent within its organization to tap for full-time employee openings.

The added visibility of all contractors and their performance/skills across the organization has increased flexibility and enabled the company to take advantage of available capacity across teams that was previously not known. The time it takes between posting a new job to a contractor start date, which used to be three to six weeks, is now just two to three weeks.


50 IT positions filled in one year
85% Contractor retention rate
40–45 Hours saved for IT hiring managers per month

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