If you’re a small to medium sized shipping company, the complex nature of maritime recruitment means you’re not only hiring full time people for your shore based maritime jobs, but also seafarers on contracts.
It’s not surprising some days, then, that it can feel like your HR department is chasing its own tail half the time!
In this post we’re going to take a look at some of the ways you can streamline your maritime recruitment efforts and make life in your Human Resources Department a little less stressful.
3 ways to streamline HR & maritime recruitment
If you work in HR it can sometimes feel like you’re the most put upon team within your organization. You have so many different duties to perform, tasks to deal with, problems to solve, salaries to negotiate, interview invitation emails to write, fires to put out, and vacancies to fill.
And that’s not even mentioning creating that awesome company culture that Human Resource people are also responsible for these days!
While the managers and owners of your shipping company are busy dealing with running and growing the business, your job is to keep both shore based employees and your seafarers on contracts happy to increase the chances of you retaining them.
It’s fair to say that you are a very crucial cog in the machinery of your organization, and it is therefore vital that you have a solid HR strategy in place, backed up by a crewing system that can help you run a more efficient department.
But could your maritime recruitment process actually be losing you candidates?
The dangers of not having an HR strategy
Strategies are an integral part of any business or organization. From talent strategies that help you line up the best people to crew retention strategies that aim to stop employees (and contractors) from jumping ship, to employee referral strategies to, yes, your Human Resources strategy.
So what could happen to your shipping company if your HR and maritime recruitment strategies just aren’t robust enough?
- A higher turnover of staff and crew
- Greater difficulty in meeting crew change dates
- A poor company image
- Low candidate engagement - leading to ghosting during the hiring process
- Wasted time and money as you have to start the recruitment process over
Put simply, you don’t want any of the above making your, already stressful, job any harder.
At Martide we understand the challenges that modern HR departments face - and they can seem especially tough in smaller companies, and within the very unique sphere of maritime recruitment.
That said, let’s take a look at a couple of the key areas of your role that you could consider upgrading to make your life easier, your job less stressful, and your bosses love you even more than we’re sure they already do!
3 tips for simplifying HR and maritime recruitment
Streamlining is essential for anyone looking to save time and money, and who wants their processes to be more efficient and economical.
1. Manage employee and contractor documents more efficiently
No doubt your small to medium sized company holds a lot of data about a lot of people. If you’re still storing this physically - i.e. you’re keeping everything in filing cabinets - you might want to take a look at automating the way you process and store documents.
Your entire maritime recruitment process typically sees a lot of paperwork - both physical and electronic: application forms, seafarer resumes, interview notes, seafarer documents and copies of other forms, interview invitation emails, offer letters, forms detailing a seafarer's size and measurements for work gear, and contracts to name just a few.
There are a lot of plates to spin and a lot of pieces of paper, photocopies and printouts floating around. You are likely spending a massive amount of time making sure that everything is organized and all the boxes are checked when it comes to ensuring you have everything you need filed away.
In addition to this, how are you keeping track of what documents you hold for what seafarer?
If you’re still using an Excel spreadsheet, you are not getting the most out of your precious time. It’s also worth noting that, while filing cabinets do lock, they’re not a patch on the security offered by a cloud-based computerized storage solution.
The benefits of automating your data and document storage:
- It will free up your time leaving you to focus on maritime recruitment, not paperwork
- It will also free up a lot of physical space in your office - say goodbye to bulky filing cabinets
- It is far more secure - documents can’t get lost or fall into the wrong hands
So how do you go about automating your document storage?
With a crewing system like Martide’s.
Our maritime recruitment and crew management software solution helps busy shipowners, ship managers, and HR departments store all information pertaining to a seafarer in one centralized place.
This is how it works: seamen register an account with Martide, create a seafarer profile which includes their personal details, education and work history (think of it like an online seafarer resume), and upload their documents and certificates.
That then gives you access to all of their data, with just a few clicks of your mouse. Safe, secure, easy access storage.
2. Streamline your maritime recruitment process with an ATS
Applicant Tracking Systems are a must for any busy recruiter. Let’s face it, in the shipping industry you’re not advertising the occasional job for a marketing assistant or a shoe store manager. You are constantly looking for a flow of candidates to fill your never ending cycle of seafarer jobs.
You need to have a talent pool of candidates at your disposal - but the more seafarers you have in your database, the harder it is to keep track of everyone who may be suitable for a position. Especially if you’re still doing so manually using our old friend the Excel spreadsheet.
An ATS is one of the easiest ways to make your maritime recruitment process a lot more efficient. And not only is that a bonus for you - it’s a bonus for your candidates too as it speeds up the entire hiring process.
The benefits of implementing an Applicant Tracking System
- It will provide a better candidate experience by streamlining the process
- This lowers the likelihood that candidates will ‘ghost’ you - i.e. drop out of the process halfway through
- It will also increase crew or employee retention rates as your new hires will be impressed from the start
- It will help you pinpoint the seafarers you want to hire quickly and easily
Using an ATS doesn’t have to be intimidating or only for the technically minded. For example, Martide’s Applicant Tracking System uses filters that have been created using keywords.
This user-friendly method allows you to search for certain skills so you don’t have to spend hours trawling through the seafarer profiles of candidates who are unsuitable or unqualified for the position you’re looking to fill.
Then, once an applicant is in the system and has entered your maritime recruitment process, you’ll be able to easily track their journey using our highly visual pipeline.
This lets you see at a glance where they are in the process; from the moment they’re selected as a potential hire to managing their interview, to the time it comes to negotiating and signing a contract with them.
3. Power your maritime recruitment drive with reports and analytics
So how do you know if your processes and strategies are successful? Quite simply, if you’re using traditional methods, you probably don’t.
As we’ve seen, the big bonus of automating your data and document storage, and implementing an ATS and crewing system is that your data is now all stored in once place, organized, and accessible.
And that makes running reports faster and way easier. And that makes it far simpler to pull out valuable insights and make more informed decisions when it comes to forward planning and your maritime recruitment strategy.
Martide’s crewing system gives you access to analytics and flexible reports that are both insightful and easy to understand.
The data is there: all you need to do is extract it and use it to your advantage.
Talk to Martide about streamlining maritime recruitment
If you have the sneaking suspicion that your daily workload could be lifted, lightened, improved upon and streamlined, let’s talk.
We’d love to schedule a free no strings attached demo with you to show you how our secure and scalable crewing system can help your small to medium sized shipping company.