It’s Time to Revolutionize Maritime Recruitment
By Mimi Schuppler, Director of Engagement & Human Sustainability
With 90% of global goods transported by sea, commercial shipping remains the clear leader in trade transportation. Yachting and cruising are also experiencing unprecedented demand, with the yachting industry doubling and cruise passengers increasing by 90% over the past two decades.
Amidst the rising demand, the challenge of securing a sustainable workforce has intensified. For the maritime industry to thrive long-term, innovating to address crew recruitment and retention challenges is crucial.
Reshaping Perceptions for Progress
The future of maritime labour depends, in part, on improving the industry’s public image. Many seafarers continue to call for shorter deployments, longer shore leave, improved communication access onboard, more competitive wages and transparent promotion practices. Other concerns voiced include outdated recruitment methods and exploitation by crewing agencies.
As insiders, we know that the maritime industry offers exciting and unique career possibilities, such as travel, leadership growth, collaboration with diverse talent, higher earnings, and even pathways to shoreside work. We also know there’s never been a more exciting time to work in the industry, as maritime companies make unprecedented strides in environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) practices.
To overcome reputational challenges, we can counter negative narratives by showcasing satisfied and thriving seafarers in their maritime careers, offering prospective recruits a more holistic perspective of life at sea.
It’s Time to Invest in Solutions
For maritime operators to attract enough talent to sustain the industry, we must offer a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. This begins with improved living and working conditions, a greater focus on physical and mental wellness, better crew facilities, access to physical and mental healthcare, reduced stress, and a more secure work environment with shorter deployments and a clear path for advancement.
Much of this can be achieved by investing in a Total Healthcare Solution. VIKAND offers physical and mental health care, telehealth services, and high-tech partnerships that support a healthier, happier, more connected experience for maritime professionals.
Recruitment efforts need to evolve
Some maritime operators already prioritize crew welfare, offering connectivity, programs to improve mental and physical health, training, and an inclusive work environment. These companies should be highlighted recruitment efforts. And while the rest of the industry works toward this, the next step is to modernise recruitment. We must make efforts to:
- Increase awareness of maritime careers and their benefits.
- Leveraging social media to reach new talent and increase engagement.
- Boost recruitment in non-maritime schools and colleges for technical positions.
- Expand training programs with maritime schools to build talent.
- Implement measures to retain cadets and ensure a positive and safe experience.
- Increase access to job opportunities and promotions for historically underrepresented groups, including women.
If our industry can unite around this vision, then a promising future awaits maritime workers. In this edition of Pulse, read about VIKAND’s efforts to keep guests and crew members happy, healthy and connected, including guest medical screenings, VIKAND’s new partnership with Adora Cruises and our partner profile on Navarino, a leading provider of satellite communications.