There is no question that today we are privy to readily available information, but it is the crew’s reciprocation to this intelligence within an increasingly competitive recruitment market that is changing the map of recruitment. We are reminded of the old adage ‘knowledge is power’, which in the past was a philosophy largely attributed to the recruitment agents. Now crew have the power, too. “Crew agents are an essential cog in the wheel which drives the yachting industry, however as the internet delves deeper into our personal lives, the people making the decisions are faced with a double-edged sword: more free information on a candidate versus a market which has become more competitive as crew looking for work know more about what they’re getting,” explains Captain David Slee of motoryacht Seaflower, who, though a supporter of social media in recruitment, believes there is a parallel downside. “Candidates also have access to online information. If they want to find out about a job they can research a captain before an interview or a yacht and its owners, as it’s all there for them in cyberspace. In the trade of money for service, which is basically what we all do when we sign on to a crew, the candidate is in a better position to negotiate, which drives up the price for the best of the best.”
More information is at the fingertips of crew than ever before. But is it really such a problem? Crew are hungry for information and with so many visiting the websites of recruitment agencies on an hourly basis, the agencies, like this magazine, are in a rare and privileged position to be a top provider of information to crew. It is this philosophy that recruitment agency Super Yacht Crew jumped on as it entered the industry just last year – to ignore the increasing role of the internet and social media in 2013 was not an option.
Crew must also be careful about what personal details they are providing, to whom and where these details are ending up.
“The first step is showing the crew that you’ve got stuff they find compelling, and the web is a fantastic way of doing that because it’s up to them to interact with us. I can put all the stuff out there that I want, but it’s up to the crew to say, ‘I find this interesting. I’m going to follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook. I want to see more of what they’ve got to say,’” explains Super Yacht Crew’s head of marketing, Chris Warde.
But crew must be also be wary of the increasing online presence of recruitment opportunities, with new websites popping up every day, and be careful about what personal details they are providing, to whom and where these details are ending up. “Some agencies are requesting personally identifiable information that is not required to our job,” warns Rupert Connor, president of Luxury Yacht Group. “ Is it something that someone is going to go out tomorrow and do identity theft with and cost you a lot of money? Possibly.
“What surprises me is how many agencies crewmembers register with,” Connor adds. “‘Tell me your social security number’. ‘You’re going to get me a job? Sure, here you go.’ It’s very easy to get a crewmember to give you far more information than they should be, so it’s worthwhile saying to crew: what information do you need to tell them?”
Find the full article in issue 68 of The Crew Report – click here to download.