Crew are the nuts and bolts of the superyachting operation, and thus, recruitment is an integral procedure to ameliorate. So, why has the take-up of technology that can add value, streamline this operation and reduce costs, for both recruiters and crew applicants, been so slow?
For three years now, TUV Consulting, which offers crew recruitment consultancy, has been developing a video interviewing platform. The programme allows recruiters to gauge whether candidates have the right personality and experience to join a crew.
“We originally developed the software more for land-based companies because the original bandwidth required to stream the videos was very high,” says Titta Uoti-Väisänen, owner of TUV Consulting.
“We needed to find another solution for yachting,” she continues. “The system we use now only requires a 0.3-megabyte upload speed – normal speed on land is around 0.5 to 0.7-megabytes – and for those based on yachts, the system is cloud-based, so a captain will only need access to the cloud to see videos.”
What the company is offering, essentially, is a tool to simplify the recruitment process for recruitment agencies and management companies. “I’m not trying to steal business, or create a crew database, or anything like that,” she adds.
With the video interviews being recorded, a big perk of the procedure is the opportunity for additional reviews of the applicants. As Uoti-Väisänen says, “the final verdict is not simply based on the captain’s word.
“Another major benefit we see is catering for time differences. You don’t have to set aside time for a conference call, which benefits the candidate and the captain, who will have a very busy schedule.”
This is not mind-blowing technology, and it needn’t be if it can add value and is practical. Dock walking remains one of the most fruitful job application processes, but it’s old-fashioned. And it's an unprofessional approach to recruitment for an industry trying to professionalise.
There are many strong candidates who can’t afford to go dock walking in Antibes or Palma for weeks, so this also helps the candidates, and ultimately, the yachts.