How to Use Social Media to Up Your Maritime Recruitment Game

Mar 04, 2020 · 14 mins read ·

Maritime Recruitment
social media symbols

Does your maritime recruitment drive feel like it’s getting harder with every crew changeover date? Are you starting to struggle to fill your seafarer jobs in the maritime industry?

Is the dwindling talent pool and lack of seamen joining your candidate database getting you down? Or perhaps the amount of crew transitioning to shore-based jobs is taking its toll.

If so, it’s time to start taking a more proactive approach to your maritime recruitment and investigating some other candidate sources.

The maritime industry is niche and filling some positions always seems to be harder than others. Maybe you’re looking to fill chief engineer jobs and have the pick of plenty of skilled and qualified seamen but are struggling to find a junior electrician or someone with experience in LNG fuel and dual fuel engines.

This is where trying out some different hiring tactics can come in very useful.

How to use social media to up your maritime recruitment game

But when you set your sights a little wider and start looking in other more unexpected places for crew you might just find that you’re well on your way to solving your maritime recruitment woes!

You know how great it feels when you manage to find exactly the right person for one of your vacant seafarer jobs. Don’t you just wish it happened more often?!

Read more: This Martide Feature Helps Your Grow Your Candidate Database

To increase your chances of finding that superstar seaman or seawoman you need to start employing some new tactics such as nailing the way you write your job adverts or targeting crew members who might not be actively looking for a new contract - just yet.

Think how much easier life would be if you could find those skilled candidates as well as lining up seafarers that are currently at sea after their next period of shore leave.

a bistro with the word 'relax' in its window

The main issue you’ll have with seafarers currently under contract is that they might not be actively searching for their next position. It’s unlikely that you’ll find them at a maritime job fair for example.

In recruitment, these types of employees are referred to as “passive”. That means it will be harder to source them using traditional methods such as your maritime jobs board and you’ll need to reach out to them. But how? And where?

Try Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to fill your seafarer jobs

Social media is probably the most obvious place to start hunting for specialist and passive talent in the maritime industry.

If you already work with a maritime recruitment agency like Martide we’ll be posting and promoting your open shipping jobs on our Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter feeds.

This works well for us (and therefore for our shipowner clients!) - we see plenty of engagement and receive messages from interested seafarers who then create an account with us, upload their work experience and documents and become part of our candidate database.

Read more: Enjoy More Efficient Maritime Recruitment for FREE!

And while that’s great for getting your jobs in front of seafarers who are looking for their next contract, what about the others?

You could search for likely looking talent on LinkedIn and send them a private message. But it would be a mistake to limit yourself just to that one site purely because it’s more “professional” than some of the other social media channels.

Many LinkedIn users receive messages from recruiters that are borderline spam as it is. You know this only too well if you’ve received cold outreach emails too through the platform. Therefore these sorts of messages are more likely to be ignored.

a gold hashtag shaped ornament

Add to that the fact that the majority of people whether they’re job hunting or not are far more likely to check their Facebook messages than their LinkedIn ones and it makes sense to use other platforms for recruitment as well.

Read more: Why Your Company Needs a Social Media Presence

How Facebook & Twitter can help grow candidate databases

While Facebook Messenger and Facebook maritime and seafarer groups are a great way of reaching out to potential crew members, Twitter’s search function can also be an effective weapon in your maritime recruitment arsenal.

Use hashtags that are specific to the maritime industry to search for seafarers and then send any potential candidates a direct message about the seafarer jobs you’re trying to fill.

You can also increase your list of seafarers to connect with and grow your candidate database by looking to see who the followers of other relevant Twitter accounts are.

Facebook tip: When you post in other groups you can see who has liked your update by clicking on the little thumbs up icon under one of your posts. You’ll then see a list of the names of people who liked that post and whether or not they already like your Facebook page.

the Facebook log on a phone

If they haven't already 'liked' your page, the button next to their name will say “Invite”. Click that to invite them to like your actual page so you gain more followers - and so that they can see all of your updates.

Snapchat & Instagram in maritime recruitment

While they might seem to be unlikely places to recruit a ship’s Master or fill your Chief Engineer jobs,  Instagram and Snapchat can still be valuable resources for attracting younger seafarers and Cadets to your entry level cargo ship jobs.

Because of their visual nature you can create eye-catching job adverts but also use them to demonstrate why your shipping company is such a great organization to work for.

Use your posts to highlight your vessels, your employees or contractors, post news about the shipping sector, your company events and even entertaining maritime industry memes.

The whole point of utilizing a social media platform like Snapchat, Instagram, or even Pinterest, is to show off what a great employer you are and to highlight your company culture.

The more visible you are on social media, the more you’ll get your brand in front of the people that matter - in this case the global talent pool of seafarers you need to crew your ships.

How YouTube can help fill vacancies

If you want to get your company and your maritime jobs in front of the next generation of seafarers, you’re going to need to use tactics that appeal to this demographic. A really great way of capturing the interest of potential candidates is to create a “Day in the Life of a Fitter / Oiler / Able Seaman etc.…” video.

Not only will this be of real value to cadets and students at maritime colleges, but it’s an effective means of getting your logo and brand - and your vacant positions - in front of seafarers who are just starting out in their careers at sea.

YouTube open on a laptop

The great thing about videos, particularly in the maritime industry, is that the possibilities are almost endless. From a “A Day in the Life of a Deck Cadet” to “What to Expect Working in Chief Engineer Jobs” to a tour of one of your vessels to a “How to…” instructional video...the only limit is your imagination!

Martide helps drive your maritime recruitment efforts

Would your shipping company benefit from a more streamlined maritime recruitment or management process? Would an applicant tracking crewing system make your life easier?

Would you like to know how effective your recruitment drive really is through easy-to-understand reports and analysis? Perhaps you’d like to access a greater talent pool and candidate database of seafarers by working with our Approved Partner Network of manning agents?

If the answer to any of those questions is “yes!” get in touch with us now.

We’ll help you fill your empty maritime jobs, reduce your time to hire and remove the stress that comes with constantly battling to find qualified crew. Can you afford not to contact us?

Previous article in this series: Write Eye-Catching Seafarer Job Ads and Grow Your Candidate Database
Next article in this series: How Maritime Recruitment Fairs Can Boost Your Candidate Database

Eve Church

Eve Church

Eve is Martide's content writer, publishing regular posts on everything from our maritime recruitment and crew planning software to life at sea. Eve has been writing professionally for more than two decades, crafting everything from SEO-focused blog posts and website landing pages to magazine articles and corporate whitepapers.


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