Outsourcing Maritime Recruitment to a Manning Agent: Pros & Cons

Outsourcing Maritime Recruitment to a Manning Agent: Pros & Cons

As well as maritime recruitment, part of what we do here at Martide is to find out what makes the shipowners and ship managers of the shipping companies we work with tick. And over the course of several meetings we held with our clients, we realized that the majority of them were still outsourcing their crewing operations.

In addition to that, some of them weren't considering the additional cost of doing so.

We know very well that maritime recruitment, applicant tracking, managing expenses, and planning crew rotation can come with a very unique set of challenges. And this is precisely why some shipowners take the decision to hand these aspects of running their shipping companies over to specialized providers of crew.

container ship being pulled into port by a tugboat

The pros and cons of outsourcing your maritime recruitment and crewing operations

Like everything in life, and especially when it comes to business, there are pros and cons that need to be carefully weighed up before you make any kind of decision.

Budgeting for your crewing operations

We found that the budgets for in-house crewing activities were rarely discussed, even if the shipping company's fleet was experiencing a period of sustainable growth.

Reasons for this varied, including the classic “We've just always done it like this” as well as the project never having caught a manager's attention so had remained low key and flying under the radar.

One thing we would suggest is to weigh up if outsourcing is going to save you money. If you'd like to free up time or capital to allow your shipping company to then be able to pursue other in-house projects, why not run the numbers and perform a potential cost calculation?

diary, post it note, calculator and orange on a wooden table

We're sure your maritime recruitment and crewing providers are doing a great job in ensuring quality on board, however crewing can always be set up ship by ship.‌‌

Con: it can be hard to find the right manning agency

The fact is, that the majority of manning agents who supply crew are not located in the same city as the shipping company or owners. This means that a huge amount of time, money and effort is needed to be able to identify the right agent.

Related: Grow Your Candidate Database with Manning Agents & Crewing Systems

The correct crewing procedure needs to be defined and legal requirements need to be checked and audited. To be perfectly honest, this can all become a huge headache.

In addition, there is a certain risk in using an agency you've only just discovered even if you're only using them for two or three deck cadets at first.‌‌ So how can these issues be alleviated?

aerial view of 3 container ships at sea

Con: using multiple manning agents creates admin

If you're using a number of different manning agents to help you fill your empty seafarer jobs, there are no two ways about it: it's going to result in a significant amount of administrative work to be tackled by the crewing manager.

Not only that but using multiple manning agents also means learning and using all of their different processes which they use for onboarding seafarers.

And as mentioned, equally important, these agencies have to be audited on a regular basis to ensure their service quality, which overall is immensely time-consuming for a shipping company's crew manager.

Pro: Martide can help your shipping company

Working with Martide gives your shipping company access to a multinational pool of audited manning agents within our Approved Partner Network.

All you need to do is register an account with Martide and you can then standardize your crewing process with our custom tools, select manning agents on a global scale, and recruit seafarers within minutes.

the arms of two men in business attire shaking hands across a desk

With no fixed costs, access to the platform can be charged per seafarer per month. And to reduce your workload to a minimum we make sure to include your expectations into our yearly audits.

Ultimately this means you have access to a talent pool of multinational crew, filtered to your specifications, and audited by the Martide office.

Focus on growing your shipping company, not on administration!

If you'd like to have a chat about potential cooperation and are interested in setting up your own crewing department, let's talk. Get in touch with Martide today and we'll be happy to set up a demo at a time that's convenient for you.