A lack of top digital and technical talent is a cause for worry in many sectors, and that includes the shipping industry with its wealth of shore based maritime jobs and jobs at sea. Many companies are struggling to attract tech savvy employees and contractors for a number of reasons.
One of which is that candidates with technical skills are often millennials - and these workers are prone to demanding a different relationship with their potential employers.
So with the maritime industry often being seen as less than cutting edge, how can we start changing the future to tempt a newer wave of recruits through its doors?
How to attract digital talent in the maritime industry
The problem is that not only are shipping companies facing issues when it comes to competing with other industries in recruiting digitally clued up talent, they’re also having problems retaining any that they do manage to employ. So how can technology recruitment in the maritime industry evolve?
Does the maritime industry even need techie people?
Frankly it does - just look at the statistics which state that over the last 12 months and in the majority of the main maritime sectors 24% of new hires (as tracked by LinkedIn) were classified as 'technical recruits'.
But take a closer look at that data and it shows that the shipping industry is only attracting a tiny percentage of the top technical talent of other industries for vacant jobs at sea.
And digitization is set to be a huge part of shipping, moving forwards. Safety at sea, improved logistics processes, more streamlined maritime recruitment and crew management, tracking shipments in real time, and being able to predict maintenance will all benefit the industry massively.
But who is going to be there to develop, code, implement, operate and troubleshoot the systems that make all of that possible?
Attracting Generation Z in the maritime industry
It all boils down to the fact that millennials and Generation Z have higher expectations when it comes to the merging of technology with their working lives. They expect things to be made easier by technology - and therefore their time and jobs at sea. Fair enough: this is the generation that has grown up with computers, smartphones, anywhere-anytime-connectivity and social media. And the shipping industry is notorious for being somewhat traditionalist.
Say what you like about these two demographics but if the shipping industry wants to attract these ambitious and demanding candidates, it’s going to need to learn how to engage with them.
This wave of new recruits is more inclined to embrace new trends and they’re more likely to look for a new position online or by using a maritime recruitment app than previous generations. The shipping industry needs to keep up if it is to attract younger and more forward thinking people.
For example, Martide's mobile app for seafarers is easy to use, free to download from Google Play or the App Store and helps seafarers and shipping companies connect to fill vacant jobs at sea anytime, anywhere.
Changing the future of recruitment: Is it all about image?
These are image conscious times we’re living in and insiders in the industry have suggested that the maritime industry needs to work on its sex appeal for new, digital-savvy recruits by making it look less steeped in tradition and more high-tech.
For that to happen it would seem that attitudes need to shift if we're to start changing the future. Another key factor in making this happen, and increasing the amount of technically skilled contractors and employees in the workforce is for ship owners and managers to start thinking about up-skilling their existing shore-based or senior people through training and education.
Are you a ship owner looking for a better, easier way to hire new recruits, manage interviews and collaborate with your teams? Talk to Martide today and gain instant access to our global talent pool of qualified seafarers.
Or maybe you're a seafarer searching for jobs at sea. Our maritime jobs board has listings for all our current requirements and we'd love to help you find your next contract. Register today and let Martide find your next career move for you.