Sara Duncan, director of Shoreside

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Sara Duncan, director of Shoreside
Credit: Shoreside

Sara Duncan on challenges in the shoreside superyacht recruitment sector

19 October 2023 • Written by Hannah Rankine for Shoreside

In the ever-evolving world of recruitment, finding the right talent can be challenging. This rings especially true within the yachting industry, where niche roles and a growing demand for shoreside personnel have intensified the competition for top-tier talent. Leading the charge in addressing these challenges is Sara Duncan, director of Shoreside, a sister company of Crew & Concierge. Launched in early 2023, Shoreside has swiftly emerged as a full-service recruitment agency for the shore-based superyacht industry. Drawing from 16 years of experience in the recruitment industry, Duncan is well-prepared to support a range of businesses in all their recruitment endeavours.

Credit: Shoreside

Navigating shoreside recruitment challenges

Sara Duncan's journey with Shoreside was inspired by the pressing challenges that define the shoreside marine recruitment landscape. Duncan identified several pivotal challenges that shoreside employers face today.

Surge in demand: The superyacht industry is constantly expanding and shoreside companies are experiencing a surge in the demand for personnel, with Duncan highlighting a notable uptick in yacht management roles. Companies, both established and burgeoning, are expanding their shoreside teams to meet evolving industry demands.

Fierce competition: In this relatively small industry, employers often find themselves locked in fierce competition for the same pool of talented individuals. The result is a constant battle to secure the best candidates for crucial roles.

Experience is key: Many companies seek candidates with a wealth of experience, particularly in technical and operational roles. Finding individuals who meet these criteria can be a daunting task, given the specialised nature of the industry.

Credit: Shoreside

Shoreside’s solutions

Leveraging her extensive experience in the superyacht recruitment sector, Duncan shared her solutions that facilitate successful matches between employers and top-tier talent.

Building a strong employer brand: To attract top talent, companies must develop a compelling employer brand that showcases their unique culture, values and career growth opportunities. Competitive compensation packages, flexible work arrangements, health insurance, retirement plans and performance-based bonuses can make an organisation stand out.

Investing in employees: Creating a robust internal training and development program can upskill existing employees, reducing the need to compete for external talent and promoting from within.

Investing in new talent: By actively supporting and guiding those looking to make the transition from onboard roles to shoreside careers, we can not only ease the recruitment burden on filling vital shoreside roles but also infuse the industry with fresh perspectives and a new wave of expertise, ensuring its continued success and prosperity.

Effective job descriptions: Crafting clear and realistic job descriptions that align with the required skillset is crucial. Transparency in job postings helps in attracting candidates who genuinely match the role's requirements.

Building relationships with recruiters: Establishing trust and strong relationships with recruiters can be a game-changer. Early engagement with a recruiter who understands your growth plans and strategic goals can streamline the recruitment process significantly.

Thorough interview processes: Detailed and comprehensive interview processes help candidates understand the role's expectations and responsibilities. This is particularly important for crew seeking shoreside roles after many years of working on board. This clarity ensures that both employers and employees are on the same page from the start.

Credit: Shoreside

As Duncan puts it, "The challenges faced by superyacht sector companies looking to recruit for project management positions, operational roles, surveyors, technical teams and executive support can only be understood by someone who has overcome those challenges firsthand."

With an extensive database of industry professionals accumulated over the years, particularly in technical and yacht management, Shoreside provides access to a diverse talent pool. The company’s expertise spans a wide range of roles, including new build and refit, yacht management, designers, brokers and sales teams, PAs, EAs, administrative teams and executive positions.

However, Shoreside's true unique selling proposition lies in its commitment to building close relationships with clients. Offering honest and transparent advice throughout the recruitment process, Shoreside ensures employers find the best-fit candidates that align with clients’ business goals to help them grow strategically.

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