Marine Recruitment: The bridge between employer and candidate
Dale Fisher, Head of the Marine Division at VHR, talks about bridging technical recruitment between employee and employer.
The employment world is becoming ever complex due to the fast growing and continually changing nature of industry. When it comes to filling an open position or hiring the right candidate there are many pieces of the puzzle to consider. Employers can struggle under pressure to find employees with the right skills – often without having experience of the recruitment process. Conversely, we see candidates searching for extended periods for the elusive ‘right position’. In both cases someone who can be the bridge between the both sides helping an employer can find the right skills and people and employees find the right position which fits their skills can save time, money and help the business and person grow.
That bridge is the recruitment consultant, someone who can fit the pieces into the puzzle.
REPORTER: “Dale, what’s involved with technical marine recruitment at VHR?”
Dale Fisher: “I’m basically responsible for ensuring that our clients’ needs are fully looked after.
Our clients range from superyacht builders and designers, refit yards, grand prix race teams together with companies that work in and supply these sectors such as mast builders, interiors specialists, painting companies, riggers, and engineering companies. VHR’s role is to work across these sectors providing clients with the skills they need, when and where they need them.
Understanding clients’ needs is also important. There is a lot of travel, meeting and talking with new clients about their needs, visiting teams whilst on projects – it’s about getting under the skin of their business. Only then do you get a feel for how they work and recognize what is important for them?
None of the above is possible without the operational team at VHR. A big advantage to working for VHR is working with a great team, the operation supports all clients from legal and compliance to marketing and accounts, this makes sure we always maintain the highest quality when it comes to providing our partners.
Reporter: “How can a marine recruitment agency ensure its attracting the best talent?”
Dale Fisher: “I don’t think all of them do!
VHR’s big advantage in this area, and the reason we are so good, is the experience and expertise we have within the company. For every core sector, Motorsport, Aerospace, Defence or Marine, each is served by seasoned industry professionals, they have a real understanding of how the sector works and what it takes to succeed. When working with clients, we know exactly what type of person they’re searching for and hone our search providing a selection of the best people for the job without wasting time searching for the wrong ones.
Last May, we were talking to a potential client about recruiting boat builders and interior fit out specialists for 6 to 9 months. Previous results yielded 25 CV’s with only one suitable – I told them we could do better and provided just 6 candidates. 5 were hired. To get those 6 candidates VHR spoke in excess of 100 people, but that is what we are here to do. That is the difference between understanding your industry or not. Ultimately I think that’s why our partners trust us and are happy with our service, a lot of people know me from my time in the industry and this gives them security. They know I understand what they need, without the explanation. It’s all about the quality we are able to provide.
Reporter: “According to the American Staffing Association, to finding the right employee can take a company up to 45 days. When a company lands a new project this is a huge amount of time to fall behind. Finding the right people, and quickly could make the difference between delivering the project on time or not. How do you ensure that you source the right candidates and in good time?
Dale Fisher: “Because that’s what we specialize in – it’s our business, it’s what we do. Our partner’s design, engineer, build, refit and supply some of the most amazing, complex, high-tech projects being built anywhere in the world today. That is what they do best, and we just try to allow them to stay focused on that.
Our role is to support them by focusing on finding the right people for them in the most efficient way possible. As I mentioned before, this is possible thanks to my team here at VHR including a huge resource team, which can react immediately to any requirements of our clients. If we talk about the 45 days you say it could take a company to find the right candidate. I totally agree because finding the right candidate takes time, but the process begins at VHR before we receive any requirements as we constantly work on to build and maintain our database of professionals including almost every necessary role of the industry.
So when the client tells us who he is looking for we already have sorted from thousands possible professionals and can directly start with a more detailed round of qualification. This allows us to provide in a very fast time and allowing our partners to save time and resources and also giving them the possibility to focus on their business.
We distinguish from other recruitment agencies due to our huge network which is based on our personal experiences. I worked in the marine industry for over 20 years and my colleges have as well hands on experience in the marine industry which allows us to have a great understanding of the needs of our partners, this saves time and guarantees the quality we provide.
Recently a client required 10 professionals which they need within a week, almost impossible for a company doing it by themselves, thanks to our business model we were able to provide in the requested time and make sure that our partner could go on with the building process without any delays.
For example, when I get a new requirement from a client, my first step is to sit down with the resource team and brief them in as much detail as possible, not only about the role we are trying to fill but also about the company and the and work with the team on scouting and finding the candidates. Our resource team then go out and start talking to candidates in the first round of qualification and with all clients we really like we do the second round of qualification before sending any candidates to our clients. This complex process is mandatory to guarantee an efficient service to our partners and works only thanks to a professional and good together working for team.”
Reporter: “What candidate demand do you see for jobs in the marine industry and in which countries are you seeing the most necessity?”
Dale Fisher: “The whole marine industry is in a growth phase right now so we are seeing an increase in demand in lots of areas. Everything from Naval architects, Project Managers, Yacht Design Engineers, Boat Builders, Welders. One of the other factors driving the demand for skills is the perpetual advances in technology and materials. If you are going to use and incorporate new materials then you need people that can design with and work with those materials.
As an international technical recruitment company we have partners all over the world but of course countries like Germany, The Netherlands, and Italy are probably ahead in the size and quantity of boats being built but then you look at the amount of yacht service and superyacht refit happening in France and Spain and that’s another factor, then the sheer quantity of yacht designers and management companies based in the UK is staggering.”
Reporter: “The requirements of companies for specific persons for a job in a very fast time are high and part of the job as a recruiter is to handle the search process and match up an employee with the job in question and lining up potential candidates who interview with the company. How would you measure the quality of hire?”
Dale Fisher: First of all, there is the customer’s satisfaction as an important value. If we can provide a client with 6 CV’s and the client can hire 5 of them than you doing your job right as you qualifying the right people and fitting them not only with the job but also with the values of the company. And as a good recruiter that’s also something you have to wear in mind and have the right feeling if a candidate’s personality is fitting to the company or not.