8 Ways to Stop Ghosting Seafarers in Maritime Recruitment

Jan 30, 2024 · 8 mins read ·

Maritime Recruitment
3 Halloween ghost ornaments in a garden

If you work in maritime recruitment  you’re probably focused on finding the right seafarer to fill your jobs at sea - and quickly and in time for the crew change or embarkation date. What might not be top of your priorities is avoiding ghosting your candidates. 

But what is candidate ghosting and why do you need to make sure you’re not doing it? In this blog post we take a closer look at the phenomenon of candidate ghosting and offer you some tips to make sure you’re not guilty of it.

What is ghosting and why shouldn’t you do it in maritime recruitment? 

First of all, what is ghosting? More commonly associated with the dating scene, ghosting is when you suddenly stop communicating with someone - whether that’s a romantic partner or, in a maritime recruitment sense, a seafarer job applicant.

But what’s the harm in ghosting someone in a professional capacity? After all, we know it can be hurtful in a dating scenario, but why should YOU care about cutting contact with your candidates? 

Put simply, ghosting candidates can damage your reputation, thereby making it harder to attract qualified seafarers in the future. 

Read more: 3 Ways to Stop Candidates Ghosting You

No one likes to be ignored and seafarers are often under pressure to find their next contract and schedule in their embarkation dates and travel arrangements. If the recruiter or manning agent they’re talking to about a possible position onboard suddenly disappears like a puff of smoke, this is likely going to leave them stressed and uncertain about their next job offer.

And that means they’ll be highly unlikely to use your company again when they’re next looking for work in a few months’ time.

And that makes your job harder as your pool of seafarers will eventually start to shrink.

How to avoid ghosting your seafarer job candidates

So now we know what ghosting a candidate is, how do you make sure you’re not doing it and losing out on great seafarers who will now be forced to apply for jobs with other agencies or companies - i.e. your competitors?

Set expectations early

When you first make contact with a seafarer, let them know how you will be communicating with them throughout the hiring process. This could include timelines for when they can expect to hear back from you, the format of communication (email, phone, text), and the name of the recruitment officer they will be interacting with.

Be prompt in your responses 

Don't leave seafarers hanging for days or weeks without an update. Aim to respond to all inquiries within 24 hours, even if it's just to let them know you're still considering them. After all, that crew change date isn’t going anywhere!

Provide regular updates

Even if you don't have a decision yet, keep your seafarers informed of the progress of the hiring process. This will help them feel valued and appreciated and more likely to return to you when they’re lining up their next job at sea.

Give timely feedback

If you decide not to hire a seafarer, be sure to let them know why and give them timely and constructive feedback. This will help them improve their job search skills and avoid making assumptions that could lead to them ghosting future employers.

Use automated communication tools

If you have a lot of seafarer job vacancies, it’s likely that you're handling a large number of applications. Consider using automated email or SMS notifications to keep candidates updated on the status of their application. Or opt for an easy messaging system like Martide’s inbuilt mail feature which lets you communicate with one or more seafarers without having to leave the platform. 

Read more: Why Ghosting Candidates Harms Your Maritime Recruitment Ops

Be transparent

If you're not sure when you'll have a decision, be honest with the candidate. Don't make promises you can't keep. Keep them updated and informed throughout your maritime recruitment process.

Close the role promptly

Once you've filled the position, make sure to update your seafarer job postings and remove any reference to the open position. This will help avoid confusion and potential frustration among candidates who have applied. It will also be helpful to your recruitment team who might not be overly concerned about replying to seafarers who have applied to a job that is already filled.

Use maritime recruitment software 

To avoid ghosting seafarers and good potential candidates, you need to be organized and on top of your recruitment process. Recruitment software for the maritime industry helps you map out your progress as you move along the hiring process and ensure that you tick off all the things you need to do, as you complete them. 

Read more: Enjoy More Efficient Maritime Recruitment for FREE!

What is maritime recruitment software?

A maritime recruitment and crewing system such as Martide helps recruitment officers, crew planners and manning agents take control of their entire process from job advert to crew change.

We help you find and hire seafarers and then deploy them so that your entire crew operations run smoothly and without the stress that you’re used to.

Here’s how it works

  • Post a seafarer job advert for free on Martide
  • Easily view the profiles of seafarers who’ve applied to your jobs
  • Use our customizable software to check documents, arrange interviews and sign contracts
  • Let port agents know who your on- and off-signers are
  • Book your seafarers’ travel arrangements and sync info and tickets with Martide to send directly to your seafarers’ cell phone via the Martide app
  • Plan your upcoming crew changes using our highly visual calendar

Maritime recruitment and crewing software makes life easier for everyone in your teams - and it streamlines your hiring process and crew change ops so that seafarers don’t get fed up and drop out of the running - in effect ghosting YOU.

If you’d like to know more about how Martide can help you run your recruitment and crew planning processes, book a no-strings attached demo today and we’ll be happy to show you how we can help YOUR small to medium-sized shipping company or manning agency.

Eve Church

Eve Church

Eve is Martide's content writer, publishing regular posts on everything from our maritime recruitment and crew planning software to life at sea. Eve has been writing professionally for more than two decades, crafting everything from SEO-focused blog posts and website landing pages to magazine articles and corporate whitepapers.


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