4 Misconceptions You Might Have About Crewing Systems
Are your maritime recruitment and crew planning teams still running on manual processes? If your recruitment officers or crew planners are spending their days frantically sorting through paper contracts, photocopies of seaman’s books and passports, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and printed-out seafarer resumes, it’s definitely time you took a look at investing in a crewing system software solution.
We’ve talked before about what crewing systems are, what they do, and how they can help busy recruiters and planners in the maritime industry either take back control of their department - or gain control in the first place!
So for this blog post we thought we’d take a look at some of the most regularly heard misconceptions people have when they first consider implementing a crew planning system.
Because while it is certainly true that implementing a maritime recruitment and crew management system will result in your teams - and your entire company - running like a well oiled machine, there are a few things to think about beforehand to make sure you’re choosing the right software for your organization's specific needs.
4 misconceptions you might have about crewing systems
Misconception #1: Thinking that your business can’t afford a crewing system
Whether you’re interested in implementing crew planning software for the first time, or you want to replace software that you’ve outgrown, if you’re worried about talking about your plans to your company’s owners or C-suite managers, keep in mind that crew planning systems can, in fact, be surprisingly reasonably priced to run.
For example, here at Martide it is actually FREE to post your maritime job vacancies on our website while the entire software solution is priced at various fees depending on the features you want to use.
This means you can customize the system so it works best for your needs and your budget.
We believe that every shipowner and manning agency should have access to affordable and user-friendly maritime software which is why we keep our cost per user low - even whilst offering everything you need to manage your candidates, interviews, documents and crew changes more efficiently and effectively.
Misconception #2: Thinking your business is too small for a crew planning system
Life in even a small shipping company or manning agency can be hectic and if your people are spending too much time on tedious admin and tasks that they can do with their eyes closed, it’s time to look at a different way of doing things.
After all, no matter how big or small your company is, freeing up your time to focus on filling vacancies and having crew ready in good time for your change over dates just makes sense.
Furthermore, crew retention is an issue for a lot of small to medium-sized shipowners and manning agencies but by ensuring that your hiring department has the systems in place to offer an efficient and engaging recruitment process, it is a lot more likely that you will see seafarers returning to you when they’re looking for their next contract.
Misconception #3: Thinking that every crewing system is the same
Not all maritime recruitment and crew management systems are born equal and what works for your small shipping company may not necessarily work for a large manning agency.
So even if your friend who works in maritime recruitment or crew planning in a different company has only good things to say about the crewing software that they use, don’t simply go and sign up with that company before doing any research.
Crucially, you need to ask the people who will actually be using the system what their current issues are. For example, do they always seem to struggle to find a certain rank? Is the current recruitment process long and painful for both them and their candidates?
Is trying to find contracts and other seafarer documents messy and time-consuming? Do they not have enough seafarers in their database?
Then ask your team what it is that would solve their specific problems For instance, would centralizing and storing your contracts and documents digitally all in one place make it easier? It would certainly make it safer and more secure!
Would having access to a large database of seafarers and approved manning agents make recruitment quicker? Would being able to see exactly which seafarers are on your vessels and when they are due to disembark make it simpler to plan crew?
You’ll probably find the answer to all of those things is yes!
Misconception #4: Thinking everything will be smooth sailing from the start
No matter how great your brand new crewing system software is, or how keen your recruitment officers and crew planners are to start using it, as with any new software implementation you may need to expect a few small issues as you roll out the new system.
You’ll also need to prepare yourself for any resistance from one or two employees who are upset that you’re changing the way they’ve ‘always done something.’
The good news is, these two concerns can be overcome with time, a little patience, training, and some good old fashioned PR!
Training: Anyone who will be using the crewing system will need to be fully trained on all of its functions and features.
PR: Explain to employees what the benefits of the new system are and how it can help them in their daily work and make their lives easier.
It is also a good idea to make sure the company who provides the crewing and recruitment software has a reliable support system in place in case you have any questions or need technical support.
(For example, at Martide we have a support email which is monitored by our team as well as handy step-by-step guides to all aspects of our maritime recruitment and crew planning system.)
Find out more about Martide’s crewing and recruitment software
We believe that a good crewing system is essential if you want to simplify seafarer recruitment and planning. That’s why we designed and built our very own software solution from scratch.
Aimed at small to medium sized shipowners and manning agencies, Martide helps you find seafarers for your vacancies more quickly and easily and allows you to customize your hiring and interview process.
Once your seafarers are onboard you can then easily see which ranks are due to change over and ensure that you have crew lined up ready to replace them.
Still have misgivings about crewing system software? Why not schedule a time that’s convenient for you for us to run through a demo with you so you can see what we’re all about and how we can help your maritime recruitment and crew planning teams.
Eve is Martide's content writer and publishes regular posts on everything from our maritime recruitment and crew planning software to life at sea.