Crew retention can be an issue in small to medium sized shipping companies with many facing a constant struggle to fill certain seafarer vacancies – and then having difficulty holding on to seamen once the contract is over. One way of solving that problem is by implementing a crewing software solution that helps companies work smarter, instead of harder. The fact is,  becoming more streamlined in the workplace will help shipping companies on so many different levels.

And implementing software that really works might just be the 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 help attract a new generation of seafarers

The sourcing and hiring process can be arduous. And surprise, surprise, it’s not only recruiters and managers that feel this way: so do candidates.

Using old fashioned techniques to attract applicants means recruiters miss out on a whole demographic of younger seafarers that are raring to find work in the maritime industry.

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

Not using modern techniques and streamlined strategies when recruiting for vacancies means these newly licensed seafarers will look elsewhere for work in the first place – or if they do apply, chances are they’ll get fed up and drop out at some point during the hiring process.

After all, this is a generation that has grown up connected since they were old enough to hold an iPad. They can’t imagine a life without technology and they can’t understand why an employer wouldn’t harness technology to make life easier and their company more attractive to work for.

So that explains a little more about why technology in maritime recruitment can help to attract top talent – but how can it be used as part of a crew retention strategy too?

How important is technology in recruitment?

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.” 

Crewing systems and their role in the battle for crew retention

Younger seamen will also expect to be managed using crewing software to manage them on an ongoing basis. In fact the idea that a company might still be using manual systems is likely to be mind-boggling to them!

And anyone using a crewing system to effectively manage seafarers while they’re onboard a vessel will be more likely to retain their services, leading to greater stability of personnel.

That’s because using crewing software that’s been created to deal with the very specific demands of maritime recruitment and the shipping industry, means more efficiency in:

  • Lining seafarers up for their next contract
  • Staying in contact with seafarers so they know what’s happening
  • Managing crew change over dates
  • Replacing crew that need to leave a vessel due to personal reasons or injury

All of the above reasons (and more) will let seafarers know a shipping company is on the ball, has their best interests at heart, and are proactively working to line them up for their next contract.

What that also means for the employer is that their time-to-hire is shorter, jobs are filled more efficiently, and crew retention rates are increased. And the headache of dealing with sluggish systems and procedures is removed.

It’s a win for shipping companies and it’s a big plus for seamen too!

If you’re a small to medium sized shipping company and you’d like to find out more about crewing software solutions and how they can solve your maritime recruitment, crew management and crew retention issues, Martide can help. Our software as a service was built with companies like yours in mind and is packed with a wealth of features. Get in touch today and we’d be more than happy to tell you more about us!

Eve Jones for Marine Startups