With the fluid nature of the superyacht industry, and with the ever-improving capabilities of internet technologies at sea, it is no surprise that more and more captains are turning to online crew recruitment services to fill positions aboard the world’s finest superyachts.
Yachting Pages spoke to Vanya Chubatarova of DockJobCrew.com, an online job community that is seeking to change the way that crew agencies work. Read on to find out about changing trends within the crew recruitment sector, and the reasons why the industry is turning to such online services.
How would you describe DockJobCrew.com? How did it all start?
DockJobCrew.com is an online yachting job community with the primary aim of facilitating online recruiters in meeting their chosen candidates face-to-face before hire. No third party is involved in our service, and so all crewmembers send their CVs directly to the decision-makers on board; captains, chief mates, chief stews, etc..
All DockJobCrew employers have the opportunity to recruit crew by themselves and to meet the candidates before they hire them, although, we can of course assist in this matter if the captains do not have the time.
What are the biggest challenges that you face in your industry and sector?
A big challenge for the yachting industry currently is crew visas as many candidates do not always approach yachts with a valid visa in place. We would therefore like to find a reputable company that can work with us and our growing candidate database to help us overcome the issue.
I would say that the biggest challenge in the crew recruitment sector itself is finding professional English and Russian-speaking crew. Many Russian boats are looking for experienced crewmembers that are not only qualified to work aboard, but also speak fluent English and/or Russian. We are always therefore hoping to expand our crew database with these candidates.
What trends do you see emerging in the crew recruitment sector at the moment?
By its very nature, the yachting industry is fluid; land-based crew agencies are always very helpful, but bear in mind that the industry is not based in one port – the boats are moving all of the time and it’s therefore easier to look to the internet for recruitment solutions; available 24/7, you can handpick candidates yourself.
Some recruiters may argue that this move to online recruitment is more time consuming for them, but the service offers captains the opportunity to pick their own crew. If, shortly after hiring, they realise that the candidate is not the right fit for the yacht, at least they have not wasted money that can then be spent in recruiting another candidate for the job keeping the boss happy.
In the long-term, I would therefore argue that online crew recruitment makes hiring easier – a trend that is becoming more and more noticeable within the industry.
Which crew jobs are you currently seeing the biggest demand for? Are you seeing a shortage or surplus of applicants for any position within the sector?
Currently, I would say the most-wanted crew are stewardesses and deckhands – these are the two positions that crew can make very good money in with the least qualifications.
Of course, the more qualifications required for a position, the harder it becomes to find appropriate crew. There is usually therefore a shortage of quality captains, chief engineers, bosuns, etc., so, for these positions, it’s worth remembering that personality and qualification go hand-in-hand, giving you the edge over the competition at interview stage.
What is new with Dock Job Crew? Are you working on any new developments at the moment?
DockJobCrew.com is currently working on an app for iOS and Android to make it easier for recruiters and crew to check up on their application progress while on the move. The app is still in the development stage at the moment, but we hope it will be released to the market very soon.
DockJobCrew is also focusing on growth. With networking a great way for crew to find a yacht job, we are trying to attract crew training schools, captains, yachting communities, uniform suppliers, yacht service companies and crew agencies as partners, sharing crew data and available positions with them. We would also like to begin a partnership with ex-yachties that are looking to develop land-based services for yachts and boats.
What are your top tips for recruiters using online recruitment services?
My number one tip for recruiters turning to online recruitment services is, give a full description of your boat – current location, whether it is private or charter, motor or sailing yacht, overall size, etc. Add good descriptions of what the candidate will be responsible for, what is expected of him/her, and what the salary is. All of these are very important details that can attract very highly qualified crew.
Looking to the other side of the service, what are your top tips for crew using online recruitment services?
For crew using online recruitment services, it is very important to add a current CV. In our experience, most crew working with the industry do not keep their CVs up-to-date. When using DockJobCrew.com, crew can also update their status, make friends and add files and photographs to attract more captains to view their profile.
Applying for the yacht job is just the beginning; it is also really important to hang around in the yachting community; online so that captains can contact you directly – as with DockJobCrew.com, which is just like Facebook for yachties, and to network on shore at marinas and popular crew spots.
For more information, visit DockJobCrew.com.