Misguided expectations, salary-focused, bad attitude – these are just some of the complaints we hear of crew bandied about the crew industry. Adhering to The Crew Report’s ethos of responding to problems with solutions, we offered crew the chance to take a survey on TheCrewReport.com and tell us exactly what they think of the current state of the crew industry and what needs to change to get us closer towards having a pool of candidates well suited to needs of captains and expectations of owners.
An overwhelming 91 per cent of captains who took the survey said attitude was the most important factor when hiring new crew.
We believed crew, as the backbone of this industry, should not be limited to solely yes/no answers, so we asked crew to describe their perfect crewmember. Answers ranged from the amusing (“Myself”) to the serious (“Help without being asked; if you walk past a garbage bag that needs to be thrown out, carry it out even if you are not on watch”) to the somewhat more concerning (“23 and blonde”). We can hope that the latter response was entered light-heartedly, but it does raise the much-discussed issue of the attitude of crewmembers today – an area of the survey that provided some unexpected responses. While the industry is in general agreement that a crewmember’s ethos is important when it comes to recruitment and longevity, an overwhelming 91 per cent of captains who took the survey said attitude was the most important factor when hiring new crew, with just nine per cent choosing experience and none choosing qualifications. When asked to rate the importance of attitude on a scale of one to 10 when hiring new crew (one meaning not important, 10 meaning very), 75 per cent of crew rated attitude 10 out of 10, while a staggering 93 per cent rated it between eight and 10.
The importance of attitude over both qualifications and experience was aligned with the unrealistic expectations of new crew – particularly when it comes to salary. One 80m-plus captain clarified this when describing their perfect crewmember: “Sometimes too much knowledge is a hindrance, especially if the candidate thinks he knows it all; a candidate with enthusiasm will learn and is easier to teach than one who is only looking for a well-paid adventure”; while another added, “Attitude is critical. ‘Zero to hero’ types who ‘vessel hop’ to advance themselves and their bank balance are no good for the industry.”
Full survey results and extended industry comment will appear in issue 70 of The Crew Report - click here to download.