Maritime Recruitment Strategies for Employers

Recruitment in the maritime industry is a long-term marathon, not a sprint. In our experience, the average shipyard staffing employee changes their job every three years or so. Just like in almost every other field these days, maritime workers seek out new opportunities. But because they are so specialized, it’s hard to replace skilled workers when they leave.

That’s why shipyard staffing agencies like the CTR Group specialize in specific strategies to attract and retain maritime talent. What strategies do maritime recruitment agencies recommend to attract top talent? In this article, we’ll share answers to this question taken from our extensive experience working in shipyard staffing in Virginia and the surrounding areas.

Why is Adequate Shipyard Staffing Important?

The obvious answer to this question is related to the time spent on a particular project and the client’s expectations for completion. In this area, shipyard staffing strategies in Virginia don’t differ from the approaches in any other port. You’ve promised the client a repair, a build, or some other service, and you need an experienced workforce to deliver on time and within your budget. You need an experienced and functioning crew out of port, too. There’s nothing like trying to fill a vacant job at sea.

But that isn’t the only reason having maritime recruitment strategies are important.

Safety is the number one concern of maritime businesses. You must have the right staff on hand whose attention to detail keeps the entire project and crew safe. You also must have the right staffing levels to ensure no one is cutting corners or being overworked in any area. If you run short-handed, the shortcuts taken often include skipping critical safety standards to keep you and your team safe.

If you’re looking at the best ways to find a good maritime crew, we have three tips in this next section that will help you find more talent.

3 Tips to Recruit Top Maritime Talent in the Shipyard Industry

Here’s where the rudder meets the harbor. Your maritime recruitment strategy will get stuck on a sandbar if you miss the critical recruitment strategies to build up your maritime talent pipeline. Here are three you can implement immediately with powerful results:

  • Write better job descriptions.
  • Hold or attend a job fair.
  • Set up an employee referral program.

Create Attractive Job Descriptions

Words matter. Think of your maritime job description as a way to shine a bright light on why a candidate should consider working for your company. Given that skilled candidates these days have plenty of job opportunities to choose from, it’s important that you take the time to make your job description, which is ultimately shared as a job ad, stand out. How can you do that?

First, write the ad from the perspective of what’s in it for the candidate. Candidates today are interested in engaging, steady work with great benefits. Great pay is important, but if the job offers perks and work/life balance, even better.

Next, get the job out there. Use social media. Ask your employees to share the job with their networks. One technique that shipyard staffing agencies use is proactively sourcing passive candidates from LinkedIn or other job boards. This effort can double a candidate pipeline quickly; although it is time-consuming, it does pay off.

Attend a Maritime Recruitment Job Fair

Now is a great time if you haven’t attended a job fair in the past. Job fairs attract a wide variety of talent all in one place. The benefits include:

  • Job fairs allow you to build a database of candidates quickly.
  • They save you time; you can interview candidates on the spot.
  • They’re good for brand building.
  • You can pick up on what your competition is doing to recruit candidates.

You can even do virtual job fairs now. Virtual job fairs eliminate the hassle of carrying materials and staffing a table. Note that you will need to experiment with job fairs to determine which ones yield the best benefits for your particular maritime business. But job fairs are an excellent recruitment strategy to reach more candidates, quickly.

Implement an Employee Referral Program

The best shipyard candidates come from your current employees. When current employees refer people from their network, they send people they know will fit your culture. The chances are higher that the referred candidate will be a reliable addition to your team.

The data tells us:

  • 45% of referral hires stick around for more than four years. Only 25% of job board hires do the same.
  • The hiring costs for an employee referral are $1,000 lower on average than other hiring sources.
  • 88% of employers say employee referrals are the best applicant source.
  • Referred candidates are up to 6% more likely to accept the job.

Building an employee referral program is a great maritime resource strategy. It helps engage your existing employees, too, because it brings in friends and family for a tighter-knit company. It also helps maintain and build company culture even as you bring in new blood over time.

These three strategies all work well to help you build your shipyard and maritime teams. But there is one strategy guaranteed to provide a steady stream of experienced talent to your business. The number one recruiting strategy for most maritime companies these days is to hire a shipyard staffing agency like CTR Group. What are the benefits of maritime recruitment agencies? Can shipyard temp services give you the talent you need? We have answers.

Benefits of Working with a Shipyard Staffing Agency

Shipyard staffing in Virginia starts with maritime recruitment agencies. Experienced shipyard staffing agencies like CTR Group can help you with:

  • Finding talent, whether through passive search tactics on LinkedIn or via extensive existing networks of maritime talent.
  • Interviewing and hiring candidates.
  • Handling shipyard temp services.
  • Training and background checks.
  • Employee benefits, if needed.

There are three key benefits of working with maritime recruitment agencies. They include:

  • Faster time to hire numbers.
  • Offering skilled workers who have been thoroughly vetted by the agency.
  • Saving you time and money.

Recruit Maritime Candidates Faster

Hiring maritime talent today is a full-time job. You need the extra hands and expertise that comes with a shipyard staffing agency. These firms can work in parallel to complement the efforts of your HR team struggling to find enough time in the day to source, screen, and hire the talent you need. You know the talent is out there. But in this competitive market, finding the experienced talent you need takes a lot of work.

Shipyard staffing agencies help recruit maritime candidates faster by doubling your search efforts. This can cut your time to hire considerably. Today’s talent shortages require an all-hands-on deck-approach. That’s why you need a maritime recruitment agency.

Access Pre-Screened Shipyard Talent

Some of the most time-consuming parts of the hiring process is reviewing resumes, setting up interviews, interviewing, and generally screening talent. It’s laborious, and you need the right technologies to help automate as much of this process possible can to speed up your efforts.

Shipyard staffing agencies have the best tools to make some of this busywork go away. Then they spend the time working with potential candidates, carefully paring down a massive pile of applicants into the most qualified few that you really should meet. Would you rather have your HR team struggling to reach out to candidates or is it better to outsource these tasks to a third-party vendor. How much time could you save if you only had to focus on the pre-qualified talent that really fit the job requirements?

Reduce Costs

Job vacancies can hamper your business plans, frustrate your customers, and even cause your existing staff to leave. The longer the job stays open, the more it costs you. But maritime recruitment agencies actually reduce your hiring costs by hiring candidates faster than you can. The cost savings these firms offer you is considerable; shipyard staffing agencies can:

  • Handle the upfront costs of posting jobs on job boards.
  • Offer you the use of their expensive applicant tracking systems (ATS) that automate candidate contacts and improve their experience.
  • Help cut employee turnover by prescreening applicants.
  • Provide shipyard temp services to supplement your existing staff, cutting the money you would spend on benefits for these workers.
  • Free up your HR teams to work on other initiatives, saving them time and your money.
  • Improve your time to hire.

Whether it is shipyard temp services or permanent hire, maritime recruitment agencies offer real value to the clients they serve. Isn’t it about time you took a look at shipyard staffing agencies as a potential resource for your maritime business?

Work with the Top Shipyard Staffing & Maritime Recruitment Agency in Virginia

CTR Group is hands down the top shipyard staffing firm in Virginia. Our extensive experience helps maritime companies find the temp and permanent talent they need to reach their hiring goals. Over the years, we have built a database of thousands of candidates with the qualifications you’re seeking. Isn’t it time you implemented the most successful maritime recruitment strategy that your competitors already use? Contact CTR Group. We can help your business.


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