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  • Recruiter attitudes

    I’ve just seen this on LinkedIn:

    “If you have worked on one type of vessel you can work with any of them. A ships just a ship at the end of the day.

    I hear this constantly from candidates.

    The ship managers/owners I'm working with specifically ask for experience on the type of vessels they own/manage.

    If I were to introduce a candidate that doesn't have the vessel experience, the chances of them getting an interview are slim to none.

    Also my client will think I've lost the plot!

    That being said I have come across candidates that have cross trained on different vessels during their sailing career

    Similarly I have seen people make a switch during their shore based career, both internally within their current company and externally after making a move to another.

    Clearly it is possible, but maybe only between vessels with certain similarities or less complexities.

    It definitely seems that there are two different schools of thought on this one.

    What's your thoughts?”

    Considering this comes from a recruiter who appears to have no prior seafaring background, this sums up well one huge maritime issue (of many) when looking for a role.

    When people with no formal expertise at sea act as the gatekeepers to limited roles, pandering to companies over zealous requirements without fully understanding life at sea, we find ourselves in a catch 22 situation.

    Officer licenses are meant to be unlimited, in reality when above attitudes prevail seafarers are ultimately far more limited in their options. The basics of navigation, following international legislation and understanding lsa/ffe are universal as Deck Officers. The job market should be far more open than it is. Possibly the only exception being DP vessels.

    Thoughts?


  • #2
    I think a lot depends on what level we're talking about here...

    At a NQO level there should be no real difference - yes, it's reasonable to expect that someone who was a cadet on a certain type of vessel SHOULD have obtained some vessel specific knowledge as a result, but how much of that is required at 3rd mate level? - other than those caused by regulations / requirements (such as the tanker endorsements / DP requirements).

    For watch keeping based roles (3rd/2nd/1st/whatever the company calls the positions which they consider to be "non-management" levels) it shouldn't really have a major effect, as you state the navigation rules are the same, the legislation is the same and for deck LSA / FFE is the same - just more / different equipment on different vessel types - nothing you shouldn't be able to learn or be taught by your relief / manager onboard!

    As you move up ranks to "management level" - aka. Chief Mate / Master (or all the various cruise ones like Safety/Staff Captain) it makes some reasonable sense that you may wish candidates that have experience in that role, if you can't recruit internally, as once you do reach chief mate / master level it's reasonable to expect that if you've served on a particular vessel type you'll be aware of any specific requirements for that vessel type / ways things are generally done... ON this point though, most of the "better" companies to work for USUALLY recruit internally for these roles as they don't want unknown persons having that responsibility and also they want people that already know their companies procedures, etc.

    ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

    ? Mark Twain
    myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

    Comment


    • #3
      From what I can determine he was talking across all ranks, as I know the company he works for doesn’t exclusively recruit for senior positions.

      Comment


      • #4
        This is an interesting thread. How does this relate to engineering stream? is this less of an issue?

        Comment


        • #5
          I think it’s equally applied to engineering. Follow on comments to his thread had Engineers saying they had multiple years experience as Officers, but couldn’t get a foot in the door with a lot of recruiters as they hadn’t worked with a specific engine type before. Again, an EOOW ticket is meant to be unlimited.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Wiggles View Post
            I think it’s equally applied to engineering. Follow on comments to his thread had Engineers saying they had multiple years experience as Officers, but couldn’t get a foot in the door with a lot of recruiters as they hadn’t worked with a specific engine type before. Again, an EOOW ticket is meant to be unlimited.
            It probably won’t be down to engine types most of the time as that’s probably the more basic side of the job, it’ll be down to ship-specific equipment.

            Ferries are reluctant to hire junior engineers with zero experience on ferries unless they can prove extensive hydraulics experience and high intensity watch keeping experience with a lot of control room ops and paperwork writing. A lot of third engineers from cargo vessels have been highly focused on maintenance and are probably a lot better at “real engineering” but it just isn’t relevant in a ferry environment where you’ve got to be sh*t hot at paralleling new gennies to the board in a panic etc as a third engineer.

            They will however take on chief engineers from containerships etc as they’re almost certain to have had the correct exposure over the length of time they’ve been away, or will be quick and good learners.

            But yes, from experience there is a fair inability to move ship types for cargo engineers. Passenger guys (cruise, yacht and ferry) seem to move effortlessly between one another.

            Comment


            • #7
              Agibbs the follow on comments specifically mentioned engine type lack of experience being the cause.

              There needs to be a reconciliation between either the MCA with tickets not actually being unlimited, as they boldly claim, or companies/recruiters not pigeon-holing Officers. If not the whole UK system looks like a sham.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Wiggles View Post
                Agibbs the follow on comments specifically mentioned engine type lack of experience being the cause.

                There needs to be a reconciliation between either the MCA with tickets not actually being unlimited, as they boldly claim, or companies/recruiters not pigeon-holing Officers. If not the whole UK system looks like a sham.
                Sounds like they got palmed off then. I’ve not heard of fellow engineers struggling moving between slow speed, medium speed and even high speed engines. I’ve heard of plenty of other reasons though.

                I get what you’re saying, but is it the UK system that’s a sham or is it the worldwide system that’s a sham? I’m sure your ticket is unlimited wherever you study, and you’d run into the same “not experienced with this type of vessel” issue regardless of where your ticket came from.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well seen as Brits are limited to only a few sectors these days, but the MCA still insist on calling the ticket unlimited.

                  Coupled with the fact that in the UK recruiters can seem to work in any employment sector, even without any prior experience (not something I have seen to such a large extent in other countries) I’d say the UK is most definitely leading the way in terms of looking very shoddy.

                  I find it fairly ironic and hypocritical that recruiters often won’t consider you if you don’t have vessel specific experience in our industry, but then in their profession they often switch to totally unrelated industries as recruiters (I know more than a few who have done this).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Wiggles View Post
                    Well seen as Brits are limited to only a few sectors these days, but the MCA still insist on calling the ticket unlimited.

                    Coupled with the fact that in the UK recruiters can seem to work in any employment sector, even without any prior experience (not something I have seen to such a large extent in other countries) I’d say the UK is most definitely leading the way in terms of looking very shoddy.

                    I find it fairly ironic and hypocritical that recruiters often won’t consider you if you don’t have vessel specific experience in our industry, but then in their profession they often switch to totally unrelated industries as recruiters (I know more than a few who have done this).
                    I think you’ll find the recruiter issue in any industry and probably worldwide too. Now I’m ashore one of the biggest depressing things about life is that recruitment is never done by engineers, always done by idiots with titles like “Talent Hunters” that haven’t got a clue. So that we agree on, but sadly we’re not unique as I know American and NZ recruitment is like this having dealt with both. My Royal Caribbean selection and initial interview was with an ex-hotel director, KiwiRail (Interislander ferries) first interview was with a lady that is in charge of their rail division…

                    It’s also not so unique that we find ourselves as Brits limited to certain ships, especially as officers. You’ll almost never find Indian deck/engine officers onboard any passenger vessels run by western companies.

                    I basically don’t think the system is broken, I think we all need to be properly educated on the limitations we may discover later on in our careers post-cadetship. If we could all see through the BS before we joined a lot of us would have made better life choices, either avoiding the career or going for a different department or sponsor. But it doesn’t change the fact that like most seafarers worldwide, our ticket is unlimited.






                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I do have a bit of a laugh when I see adverts that insist that they want a 4th Engineer who MUST have 2 years experience on LNG vessels... Not steam, nothing special, no cargo equipment roles - but must know about LNG...

                      I do however understand that often Deck Officers need experience on a certain vessel type. They will typically be expected to jump in and take over cargo operations within a few hours of joining. Good? No. By the book? Probably not. What I've experienced on almost every ship I've joined? Yes.

                      Exception being cruise, they seem to have extra Deckies everywhere.

                      I'm not saying this is ideal, but they could say they want only 'applicants that can hit the ground running' and we probably wouldn't look twice. Maritime recruiters are just a little more explicit...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'll also stick the oar in a little and say that recruiters in all industries (in my experience) can be a little out of touch with what is actually required, and what the candidates skills actually are. Recruiting recruiters that have been seafarers could do companies wonders I would think...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Not defending it, but just to shed a little light on the matter. Some terminals and Charterers have minimum experience requirements for Officers onboard and it is ship-type specific. Usually this only applies to the Master and Chief Mate but other ranks can be used to offset it, e.g. if the Chief Mate doesn't have the required 5 years experience, the ship might still be able to clear if the Chief Mate and the Second Mate have a combined experience of more than 7 years etc.

                          If the ship doesn't clear then the ship can't be employed. Again, not saying it's right, but offers an explanation as to why some recruiters/companies are so strict on experience on specific vessel types.
                          Last edited by perksy121; 17 September 2021, 06:55 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by agibbs98 View Post

                            I think you’ll find the recruiter issue in any industry and probably worldwide too. Now I’m ashore one of the biggest depressing things about life is that recruitment is never done by engineers, always done by idiots with titles like “Talent Hunters” that haven’t got a clue. So that we agree on, but sadly we’re not unique as I know American and NZ recruitment is like this having dealt with both. My Royal Caribbean selection and initial interview was with an ex-hotel director, KiwiRail (Interislander ferries) first interview was with a lady that is in charge of their rail division…

                            It’s also not so unique that we find ourselves as Brits limited to certain ships, especially as officers. You’ll almost never find Indian deck/engine officers onboard any passenger vessels run by western companies.

                            I basically don’t think the system is broken, I think we all need to be properly educated on the limitations we may discover later on in our careers post-cadetship. If we could all see through the BS before we joined a lot of us would have made better life choices, either avoiding the career or going for a different department or sponsor. But it doesn’t change the fact that like most seafarers worldwide, our ticket is unlimited.





                            The difference with Indians though is that they are being trained on the ship types where Indians are employed. So they qualify with 12 months relevant experience unlike a brt with 12 months container/bulk experience which is no use to anyone!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Wiggles View Post
                              From what I can determine he was talking across all ranks, as I know the company he works for doesn’t exclusively recruit for senior positions.
                              Which recruiter was this? I'm interested because I missed this and I thought I was connected with most recruiters in the maritime industry!

                              Comment

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