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Put Yourself In Your Candidates' Shoes & Improve Maritime Recruitment

Put Yourself In Your Candidates' Shoes & Improve Maritime Recruitment

Eve Jones

Checking in periodically with your maritime recruitment processes is one of the best ways to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to attract top seafaring talent, fill your vacant jobs at sea as quickly as possible, engage with and therefore retain great candidates, and show your shipping company in the best light possible.

And one way of doing that is to take a step back and look at your maritime recruitment process from the point of view of your seafarer candidates.

When you put yourself in your candidates’ shoes you’ll be able to gain a more objective view of your hiring process. You need to go through your current system step by step - from the job adverts that you post, to your candidate sourcing and selection process to your interview techniques to your hiring and onboarding process and even to the way you follow up with unsuccessful applicants.

telescope aimed at a port with boats and the ocean in the background

Put yourself in your candidates’ shoes and improve maritime recruitment

Let’s take a look at some of the steps along the way. First up, your job descriptions.

  1. Are your job descriptions attracting the right candidates?

Your job descriptions say a lot about you as a company. Are they catchy and attractive or are they dull and uninspiring? Would YOU want to apply to a company who advertises your seafarer jobs the way you do? If the answer is no, ask yourself why not. What needs to change? Are you giving enough details about the job? Too many details?

Read more: How to Write Eye-Catching Seafarer Job Ads

A ship fitter, chief marine engineer, oiler, able seaman and master all know what their job duties entail, but are you telling them enough about the vessel, contract and equipment onboard to let them know whether or not the position will be suitable for them?

old fashioned vintage sign saying men wanted  to work in shipbuilding

2. What is your response time like?

Take a look at the way in which you respond to seafarer candidates. Be honest with yourself: could you be getting back to interested applicants more quickly? Do emails and applications languish in your inbox for days before you get round to replying to them?

Read more: Is Your Current Maritime Recruitment Agency Responsive Enough?

There are other shipping companies out there that offer similar jobs at sea to yours: a seafarer looking for his or her next contract isn’t going to only apply to one company or manning agency - they’re going to cast their net wider. And if you’re not getting back to them within a reasonable timeframe, you’re going to be consistently missing out on the best candidates.

red warning sign on a mountain road saying Slow Now

3. What is your actual maritime recruitment process like?

Are you still using manual systems to source and hire seafarers? Do you have the sneaking suspicion that the software you use is outdated or just not that good? Is your time to hire a long and drawn out process or is it short, snappy and dynamic? Are the maritime recruitment agencies you work with finding you the best seafarers or do they consistently ply you with under qualified candidates or seamen who cause issues once onboard your vessels?

Read more: Is Your Maritime Recruitment Agency Finding You the Best Seafarers?

Sit down and go through your recruitment process - and really look at all of its different aspects. Look at it from different angles and viewpoints. Consider asking one of your coworkers to apply for a mock job and see what it looks like from their standpoint. Compare notes and then make any necessary adjustments.

two women sitting at a desk looking at a laptop

4. How do you follow up with unsuccessful candidates?

Consider the language you use with applicants who you’re not currently interested in hiring. And think about the correlation between the way you treat them and your candidate pool or database. For example, a fail-safe expression to use is often “We’ll keep your seafarer resume on file.” But what possible knock on effect could this have on your database?

Read more: The Unexpected Way You Can Grow Your Candidate Database

First of all - do you really keep resumes on file? Or are you just using that as an easy way to tell a candidate you’re not hiring them? And if you do keep them, are they stashed away in a filing cabinet drawer somewhere in a dusty corner, or do you store them electronically in a Applicant Tracking System ATS?

The thing is, seafarer resumes are usually filed for one of two reasons: you liked that seafarer and they were qualified, but you just so happened to like another one more. Or you thought that seafarer was great - but they just weren’t suitable for the rank or position they applied for.

filing cabinet with the drawer open showing numerous filed documents

So put yourself in your candidate’s shoes once again and consider how you would feel if you applied for a job and were told “sorry you’re unsuccessful but we’ll keep you on file.” Chances are you think you’re ever going to hear from them again and they probably won’t apply to one of your jobs at sea again.

And that would be a real shame if they’re an awesome candidate who just happened not to be the right seafarer for that particular job. That’s why you need to consider how you speak to unsuccessful candidates - and it’s also why you should genuinely be keeping resumes on file.

That’s because if you’re using an ATS you’ll be able to keep track of your candidates and reach out to them when you’re next looking to fill certain seafarer ranks and positions. Once implemented it makes searching resumes, seafarers, ranks, work experience and qualifications much easier.

pink neon sign on green foliage saying 'and breathe'

How can Martide help you improve your maritime recruitment processes

Once you’ve taken a look at your processes from your seafaring candidates’ perspective, if you’ve found that you’re falling short in some, or even many, areas, we can help.

Using Martide’s maritime recruitment and crew management platform can help you address all of the above points - and many more. Let’s break it down.

  1. If your seafarer job ads aren’t inspiring. Martide’s clean and eye-catching adverts clearly state all relevant information and are presented to seafarers in a simple, easy to search format, both on our website and through our mobile app for seafarers.
  2. If your response time isn’t quick enough. Whether you’re at fault or your current maritime recruitment agency is, Martide’s automated system will allow you to get back to applicants in a much more timely fashion. Plus our simple yet functional user dashboard will let you see exactly what’s going on with your vacant jobs at sea and applicants as soon as you log in.
black speedometer with orange neon display

3. If your whole maritime recruitment process could use an overhaul. Martide’s Software as a Service has been designed to look after your process every step of the way. From the minute you create a job vacancy to being able to search our global talent pool of seafarers to managing your interviews to creating evaluations and offers to running reports and analytics, our system really knows how to take care of you.

4. Your candidate follow up isn’t great and you’re not tracking good seafarers. Martide’s platform has the answer. You can add seafarers to our system but as well as being able to search for them and track them, you can also search the profiles of candidates who have been added by manning agents and by seafarers themselves. This gives you far greater access to many more people than you would have had originally - all without having to file and store numerous paper seafarer resumes!

So, if you’ve walked a mile in your candidates’ shoes, as the old saying goes, and you’ve found certain facets of your maritime recruitment process that could use some help, get in touch with us today and find out more about how we can help you.