Is crew retention an issue in your small to medium sized shipping company? Do you face a constant struggle to fill your seafarer job vacancies and then hold on to those seamen once their contract is over? If the crew you hire are failing to stick around and defecting to your competitors, you have a problem.

And one way of solving that problem is by implementing a crewing software solution that helps you work smarter, instead of harder.

Whether you’re one of the first to adopt the latest tech among your friends and coworkers, or you struggle to use a smartphone, let alone marine technology, the fact is, becoming more streamlined in the workplace will help your company on so many different levels.

man using laptop and looking stressed

And implementing software that really works might just be your secret weapon in the fight to win the battle of crew retention. In particular when it comes to attracting, engaging with, and retaining younger seafarers.

Why is this? Read on and we’ll explain.

How crewing software can increase your crew retention rates


As someone working in or connected with maritime recruitment within your shipping company, you know full well how arduous the sourcing and hiring process can be. And surprise, surprise, it’s not only you that feels this way: your candidates do too.

If you’re using old fashioned techniques to attract applicants to your maritime jobs, you’re missing out on a whole demographic of younger seafarers that are raring to get out there and find work in the maritime industry.

male athletes on the starting line of a race

Why is this? It’s because Millennials and Generations Y and Z expect different things from you as an employer to the seafarers that have gone before them. They want you to not only recruit them using technology, but also use it to engage with them during the hiring and interview process.

If you’re not using modern techniques and streamlined strategies when recruiting for vacancies, these newly licensed seafarers will look elsewhere for work in the first place, or if you do receive an application from them, chances are they’ll get fed up at some point during the hiring process and ghost you.

Let’s face it - this is a generation who have grown up connected since they were old enough to hold an iPad. They can’t imagine a life without technology and they simply can’t understand why, as an employer, you wouldn’t be harnessing technology to make your life easier and your company more attractive to work for.

two babies looking at an iPad

So that explains a little more about why you need to use technology in maritime recruitment to attract top talent - but how can you use it as part of your crew retention strategy too?

How important is technology though really?


Research released in an executive summary by the company review and job listing website Glassdoor showed that 58 percent of their users used their cell phones to look for jobs.

Furthermore, the report also found that blue-collar workers seeking opportunities are more likely to use their smartphones to look for employment. To quote Glassdoor:

"Another common mistaken stereotype is that mobile users tend to be workers employed in technical or high-income occupations—such as software engineers…or financial professionals...In fact, data from Glassdoor shows that the users who rely most on mobile devices for their job search are from industries, occupations and regions where the nature of their work requires time away from a computer. These types of jobs tend to be blue-collar jobs."
smartphone showing Martide seafaring jobs app

Crewing systems and their role in the fight for crew retention


The younger seamen on your seafarer database will also expect you to be using crewing software to manage them and your vessels on an ongoing basis. In fact the idea that you might still be using manual systems is very likely to be mind-boggling to them!

And if you’re using a crewing system to effectively manage your seafarers while they’re onboard your vessels, you’ll be more likely to retain their services, leading to greater stability of personnel.

That’s because when you use crewing software that’s been created to deal with the very specific demands of maritime recruitment and the shipping industry, you’ll be able to more efficiently:

  • Line seafarers up for their next contract
  • Stay in contact with seafarers so they know what’s happening
  • Manage your crew change days
  • Replace crew that need to leave a vessel due to personal reasons or injury
black and white calendar above a desk with computer monitor and plant

All of the above reasons (and more) will let your seafarers know that you’re on the ball, have their best interests at heart, and are proactively working to line them up for their next contract.

What that also means for you is your time-to-hire is shorter, your jobs are filled, and you’re increasing your crew retention rates. As well as removing the headache of dealing with sluggish systems and procedures.

It’s a win for you and your shipping company and it’s a big plus for the seamen on your seafarer database too!

Other crew retention strategies for the shipping industry


If you really want to get serious about the stability of personnel, whether they’re working in seafarer jobs or shore based maritime jobs, you need a fully rounded crew retention strategy that attacks the issue from all angles.

playing pieces on a board with strategic lines drawn on it

Using crewing software to manage the people on your vessels is just one part of this but there are other things you can do too to try and stop your seafarers from jumping ship, so to speak!

We’ve covered using technology such as crewing software in this article, but you could also try:

  1. Asking your crew and employees for feedback
  2. Making sure your communication is on point
  3. Fostering a culture of diversity and tolerance

So to return to technology, where can you find a crewing system that will boost your crew retention rates and make maritime recruitment and crew management a breeze?

Let Martide help you increase your stability of personnel


At Martide we’re serious about the benefits that integrated recruitment can bring to small and medium sized shipping companies like yours.

colorful cogs

Using crewing software to attract candidates in the first place will give them greater confidence in your shipping company and your brand. At Martide we advertise your shipping job vacancies on our website and also on our mobile app which we’ve created especially for seafarers who are looking for jobs.

The app makes it easier for them to find and apply for your open positions, streamlines the maritime recruitment process, and makes it easier for you to stay in touch with them while their application is being considered and then while they’re under contract.

When you work with Martide you’ll be harnessing the power of technology and using it to make your seafarers' lives more efficient and more secure. You’re demonstrating to your crew that once they’re on board your vessel, they’re not “out of sight, out of mind” but that you care about them and are actively working to find them their next job at sea.

cargo ship in background with smartphone showing Martide's job app

Best of all you can be as hands on or as hands off as you like - if you prefer to, just leave the day to day work to Martide and/or any of your designated manning agents.

Are you ready to see how our crewing system can solve your maritime recruitment, crew management and crew retention issues? Get in touch with us today!