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Crewing departments - is it time for a pay review?

04 September 2018

As we move into the last quarter of the year you are probably starting to focus attention towards undertaking the annual pay review of your crew. Do you know your company’s current crew costs? Are you paying them at the right level? I am sure that the answer to all this is of course “yes”, but how do you know for sure?

Have you checked what your competitors are paying their Chief Officers? Do you know what you need to pay a 2nd Engineer in order to retain him / her within your company? Are you experiencing difficulty recruiting a particular nationality? Or, are you simply looking to get sign off for a pay increase for a particular rank, but need further information to support such a request. In order to make the right strategic decisions for your company, you need to be armed with the right information.

In a world where we are all highly competitive it is difficult to imagine that you might pick up the phone to your competitors to discuss such matters. Furthermore, how can you guarantee the information you receive is accurate - “I know XYZ company pays their Masters $x per day - lets match that!” Perhaps a little extreme, but you get the importance of needing accurate, reliable information.

Well this is where HR Consulting can help. We are the maritime HR experts who are in our second year of sea-based benchmarking, as well as having 12 years’ experience of shore based salary benchmarking.

Having recently published our latest Seafarer Daily Wage Cost Report to members of the Seafarer Employers’ Association, we were delighted that we have been able to produce accurate detailed wage cost reports containing data for ranks of different nationalities on all major vessel types (Bulk, Container, General Cargo, Chemical Tanker, Crude Tanker, Product Tanker, Cruise, LNG and LPG) to help members make informed decisions about what to pay their crew in order to remain competitive. By providing wage cost percentiles the reader can look at the cost of a seafarer of a specific nationality / rank and position their pay structures accordingly.

One member also intended to use the information to demonstrate to their crew that they were being paid fairly!

Illustrated right is an extract for three Filipino ranks operating on a bulk carrier (click the image to expand). Our full reports are much more comprehensive than this, being tailored specifically to your company, so that you can see exactly how your costs compare with other shipowners in your market.

Our data is growing rapidly, having recently reviewed pay structures covering over 80 different nationalities and 50 different seafaring rank, albeit not all can be reported as we abide by strict confidentiality guidelines to ensure specific members’ data is not identifiable to other members.

How do we obtain our data? We ask members to submit their pay data, which we review and incorporate in our wage cost model. This amalgamates all data relating to a specific vessel type, nationality and rank, producing percentile scales for the cost ranges on a daily basis. Pay data can be updated every six months, so you can be assured that you are getting the most up to date information on the market.

If you think that your company could benefit from receiving this information, or you would just like to talk to us to understand how we might be able to provide information to support payroll decisions for either sea based or shore based roles, please get in touch.

Email us at seafarers@spinnaker-global.com

Sandra Briegoos, Compensation & Benefits Consultant, HR Consulting from Spinnaker Global


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Spinnaker Global - recruiting for the shipping, marine and maritime industries since 1997
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Spinnaker Global - recruiting for the shipping, marine and maritime industries since 1997
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Spinnaker Global - recruiting for the shipping, marine and maritime industries since 1997