This is one of our most frequently asked questions, or even more common is ‘How is the Captain job market?’ It has been active, however currently it is the most competitive I’ve known it in my ten+ year recruiting history. At the moment it is not uncommon to see 200+ applicants on a jobsite posting within 24 hours.
Is COVID To Blame?
It can shoulder some of the blame, many yachts cut costs and rotations during 2020 but yachts were in operation again a few months after the world went into lockdown. We have never seen this much activity with the brokerage market and newbuilds although delayed, are still being delivered.
Ultimately, it’s a simple maths problem
The number of qualified Captains outnumbers the total amount of yachts in the world. My numbers are based on our place in the market and from Boat International. Records show there are 5000 yachts between 24m and 50m, with nearly 800 over 50m. Some Captain careers with span over 30 years, the number of Captains available evidently surpasses the number of yachts. When you get to that career point looking to be over 50m you are looking at less than 1500 Captains jobs if most were rotational, in reality it would be more like 1000/1200 jobs worldwide.
As a recruiter, the finger is often pointed at us for advertising positions below the average salary, (what is an average yacht salary anyway?) or because we’ve advertised a position that asks for a specific language skill. This is no different from when we get asked by Captains for crew members for who can speak a certain language and ultimately it comes down to the owner’s request. When and where possible I will always ask what they can be flexible on. If they want a Captain with 60m experience and we have someone who we really feel is the right fit but has 50m experience, we will do what we can to make the owner / manager look past this sticking point and at least see if we can get them to interview the candidate.
So How Is The Market For Captains?
It is honestly tough at this moment in time; you must be active in the market but avoid saturation of your CV – speak to only 2-3 recruiters who you trust and may have access to otherwise unknown positions. On the plus side, builds are busier than ever and we do continue to see movement within the market – keep in regular contact, make sure your CV is as good as it can be and feel free to call us any time for further advice and guidance on this topic.