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To the Seasoned Seasonaire, Which is the Best Chalet Company to Work For??

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Which chalet co. would you work for again in a heartbeat??

Not which company pays the most, or which one is gives the cushiest ride, but the company that values it's staff.

A well run, well managed company whom employees enjoy being a part of, does it exist??
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Not Inghams!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@karin,

OK, cheers for that. Very Happy

So Inghams start at the bottom of the list. Bad experience?

I have a suspicion that Crystal could do OK here.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Thu 23-04-15 14:55; edited 1 time in total
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Crystal, you're a number, it is a large company and can suffer from the associated 'head office says no' problems,

Skiworld, just no, run on a budget, with inadequate management, training and shoestring budgets

VIP ski, good company, no messing about and little tolerance for laziness or not fitting their standard staff norm, but good properties, good guests, and a clearly contactable and approachable management structure.

I unfortunately had the experience of working for the above in the reverse order than written, hence why I now self source accommodation and work, enjoy multiple days off and lie ins with little guest interaction. Its brilliant.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
It may help your quest if you say which country your thin king of doing the season in , various firms , some big some small, I find smaller firms value staff more and have a better can do , will do if you do attitude, compaired to the bigger ones

WFM
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@winterfunman,

The question is primarily to assist my daughter in narrowing her list of companies to apply to. She has just returned from her first season in France. She loved the experience and has been given the green light to repeat next season. So I guess, France will be first choice.

Also, as an insight into how the various companies are run from a staff perspective, should make interesting reading. Madeye-Smiley


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Tue 21-04-15 19:40; edited 1 time in total
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Ski Beat or Mountain Heaven. Not Ski Amis!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I found it depends a lot on the resort management in a given season. I spent one season with Crystal and that was more than enough, poor training and very disorganised and that wasn't just in the resort/country I was in eg a friend went out with his girlfriend to work in France as a couple and were allocated a room in staff accom that slept 4: them and two other lads...
I spent 5 seasons or so working for Hotelplan (Inghams/Esprit/Total) which included some summers and it was much better, I just got to the point where I was fed up of babysitting for the other staff and some of the management that year were pretty useless.
Smaller chalet companies on the whole tend to be much better, however as a seasoned seasonnaire, I'd say that working locally is the way to go. Get accom in resort and look for bar work/restaurant work/cleaning.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
My son worked for Inghams last winter (and there is a post somewhere about his woes). As @matteevan90, says, you're a number, and no-one really cares. Problems take an age to get fixed (if ever), there is little or no recognition of a job well done, and there is no leeway for changing anything that you think could be done better.
This winter he sourced accommodation and went out with a business idea for earning money over the season. It was a nice idea, but sadly it didn't work; however, he survived the season on weekend work, as did several of the other people in his chalet. The advantage was lots more skiing and a much more enjoyable winter; the downside is that you he needed his accommodation and lift pass money up front - approx. £2.5k in his case.
The difficulty with finding a smaller company to work for is that a lot of them seem to want you to be older than 19/20.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Basically avoid anyone with more than ten chalets. Some small companies can be terrible to staff if the owner is a megalomaniac etc, but nearly all large ones are definitely a disaster.

Some admittedly out of date* views on company salaries on the link in my signature below.

*wages never go up in this industry anyway so it's probably still valid.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I'd suggest working in Switzerland.

You might still end up with any of the management problems but you will be paid MUCH more.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Thanks for the replies, interesting.

It'll need to be a chalet co. She's too young to fly solo.

Still searching for that numero uno employer. Madeye-Smiley
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Mollerski, When son #2 did his season in Courchevel one or two people moved to work for Supertravel. They look high end. No idea what they are like to work for but might be a company 'you' had not considered.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

When son #2 did his season in Courchevel one or two people moved to work for Supertravel. They look high end. No idea what they are like to work for but might be a company 'you' had not considered.


I worked for Supertravel in Courchevel in ...er... 1993. Probably not too relevant that! They were pretty good though - a bit more human scale than the bigger operators, good chalets, good food budget. I have to say that a lot depends on the individual resort manager as to what the team spirit and general atmosphere is like
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Julietp - just out of interest - why not work for Skiamis?
My niece spent a season with them and was very happy?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Food hygiene standards mainly.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@cad99uk,

Thanks for that. I'll take a look at Supertravel.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Nixmap - Surely the best winter employer with his small chain of chalets ...
Toofy Grin
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Silver Ski - loved it.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I've been told powderWhite and Scott Dunn are good to work for. Apparently you do have to work hard for Scott Dunn, but the tips and 'free' chalet alcohol supposedly make up for it... Plus when they're not shuttling guests the transfer drivers drive you to/from the slopes.
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@Mollerski, how young is too young to fly solo? My son is 19, second winter season, sounds like the same situation that your daughter will be in.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
If care for you child is paramount then i heard of a seasonaire who was taken ill on the bus out to resort.

Now if all the horror stories we hear of uncaring TOs are true, when this lad was taken in to hospital with suspected appendix (removed) / twisted stomach (untwisted) all before the season had started and then told by the hospital "rest, light duties and no skiing for 6 weeks" then you'd expect the TO to pack the 18 year old home.... But not Skiworld actually didn't, they gave him just that as well as being really helpful with getting the parents out to resort and put them up in resort whilst their son was in hospital. The same seasonaire was also helicoptered off the mountain after easter with a broken back and again they were equally helpfull with parents and getting the lad repatriated!

I cant answer how well they pay or manage their staff but if these events are indicitave of how they see their responsiblity towards staff as a whole i think tey're worth considering.

(btw none of this came to me from anyone within skiworld)
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I worked 3 seasons with Ski Beat and enjoyed all 3 so would say them.

I also set up a website to answer this question with reviews from previous staff! www.seasonnaireweb.com which I hope will be of use!
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Interesting. Apparently Ingham/Ski Total policy is to ship them back home if they are off work for more than 10 days.
Last season my son's girlfriend damaged her neck while skiing and was off work for 2 weeks. They umm-ed and ah-ed about sending her home, but in the end didn't. Probably because the customer feedback they were getting from the chalet she and my son were running was consistently very good, and if she had gone home they would probably have lost my son too.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
I think they take a view based on both feedback and recruitment. If they can get by for 2 weeks then finding someone, flying them out and training them isn't worth it financially.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
"Chalet Gatwick" is allocated to staff arbitrarily depending on lots of things including popularity with management but mainly is the injured person's role essential and is there someone already in resort who can cover? There may also be issues with the cheap company insurance policies that might not want to pay out for expensive foreign medical care and so prefer to cover the easyJet back to the NHS.

Anyway the big TOs run reserve lists just for this eventuality and work their way down it as the season goes on. The [usually smaller] ones who invest some time and proper training in their staff see that person as an asset rather than a walking mop. In return though, the better ones tend to demand some very good cooking skills or other experience.

Like dheason, I too once worked for SkiBeat and as a car-owner in a resort without company transport, found myself on runs to pick up staff from hospitals or ferry them from accommodation to chalets when ankles were broken etc (this was reimbursed by Skibeat at a rate roughly half my petrol costs, but still, was good for the chalet staff who didn't get sacked). An experience with a large operator in a hotel saw three staff replaced by new arrivals in as many weeks.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
My son and daughter both worked for Inghams, and my son is returning for his 3rd season with Inghams next season, they're both happy with Inghams/ski total/workaseason all the same company.
Having stayed with crystal a few times, the staff seem to get a raw deal in comparison.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
dheason wrote:
I worked 3 seasons with Ski Beat and enjoyed all 3 so would say them.

I also set up a website to answer this question with reviews from previous staff! www.seasonnaireweb.com which I hope will be of use!


Agreed with Ski Beat.

I also worked for SkiBeat, at the same time as Dave above but not in the same resort. Lots of staff do repeat seasons with Ski Beat which in my eyes, is an excellent indicator of how good the company are in treating their staff.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
albinomountainbadger wrote:
Basically avoid anyone with more than ten chalets.


This is one of the more ridiculous generalisations I have heard in some time.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
karin wrote:
Interesting. Apparently Ingham/Ski Total policy is to ship them back home if they are off work for more than 10 days.
Last season my son's girlfriend damaged her neck while skiing and was off work for 2 weeks. They umm-ed and ah-ed about sending her home, but in the end didn't. Probably because the customer feedback they were getting from the chalet she and my son were running was consistently very good, and if she had gone home they would probably have lost my son too.


Standard clause in the contract for most companies, they just don't always use it, which goes back to my earlier comment that a lot depends on the management in resort in a given year.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Dav wrote:
albinomountainbadger wrote:
Basically avoid anyone with more than ten chalets.


This is one of the more ridiculous generalisations I have heard in some time.


I agree especially where Ski Beat are concerned who are great to work for. I have had friends work for one man bands where it has not been a walk in the park to say the least.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
IIR mountainsun had a good rep in Tignes re treatment of staff
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
julietp wrote:
Dav wrote:
albinomountainbadger wrote:
Basically avoid anyone with more than ten chalets.


This is one of the more ridiculous generalisations I have heard in some time.


I agree especially where Ski Beat are concerned who are great to work for. I have had friends work for one man bands where it has not been a walk in the park to say the least.


Aren't all generalisations ridiculous? They do offer easy yardsticks though, and identifying one - still very small - tour operator such as Ski Beat as an exception doesn't invalidate what I'm saying about the medium/big boys who are renowned for treating staff with next to no respect.

I did make the caveat that one-man-bands can also be a nightmare, but *generally* speaking the big ones are worse in so many more ways: Making Scottish recruits get to Gatwick for the easyJet to resort (and making them pay for their baggage 'cos HO are too cheap to add a suitcase to their booking), docking staff pay for uniforms, with-holding deposits in the hope staff will just forget, and making staff sleep in windowless boiler-rooms, to name a few...

When I did work for SB there was plenty of frustration with head office over various things and that will always happen when eg one side wants a new cooker and the other side is looking at budget spreadsheets, but overall the staff were well-lodged and well-treated.

Size is also a question of making your season run easily though, and in my experience, the more distance or management layers between the owner and the guests can only result in problems and inefficiency. If your owner walks in and sees the plumbing isn't working he will get it sorted asap before the guests knife him, but if the host has to tell a rep who tells a manager who asks an area manager who e-mails a regional desk who has to get the job authorised by accounts before despatching an approved plumber from over 100kms away, you'd be better just buying some gaffa tape and bodging it yourself.

Anyway, interview practice here (not hilarious, but pretty valid):

http://youtube.com/v/KBNpg31febY
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From the point of view of a punter, rather than a worker, Mark Warner and Ski Olympic often seem to have staff at all levels who have worked repeat seasons. Ski Olympic have chalet hotels as well as chalets, MW all chalet hotels.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quite a few (smaller) companies already looking to recruit for next season - checkout the obvious facebook groups for a headsup e.g. jobs in 3 valleys, seasonnaires in x resort etc.
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