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Balancing the maritime recruitment process

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Nicky Goldsbrough, Director of Corporate Services at Shoreham Port

Balancing the maritime recruitment process

Finding the right person to recruit is often made doubly difficult with some interview panels failing to understand the importance of gender equality and the benefits it offers in the initial recruitment process. Now there is a unique and productive way to aid recruitment and increase the diversity in the maritime workplace and it is the first initiative of its kind in the world.

From the start of the recruitment process there are barriers that can alienate and put off women from even making applications for jobs and all-male panels are often seen as a barrier to comprehensive recruitment. Now the Maritime UK Women in Maritime Taskforce has created a unique interview pool to assist recruiters in creating a gender-balanced interview process, a positive move according to Nicky Goldsbrough, Director of Corporate Services at Shoreham Port, who is taking the lead in this initiative for the Taskforce.

“We understand that creating gender balanced interview panels can be challenging, particularly when the focus is on experience. The creation of the Women in Maritime Interview Pool offers recruiters experienced and knowledgeable female participation in the recruitment process to open up the field to an even wider range of applicants. The UK is showing how important diversity in the workplace is. One of the criticisms of recruitment in the maritime world is that female applicants feel ignored in what is often perceived to be a male dominated industry. The Interview Pool offers both sides an opportunity to be transparent about the recruitment process as well as offering employers a stronger focus on the best candidates regardless of gender. After all, if you are not recruiting from 100% of the applicants then how do you know you’re getting the best person for the role?”.

Sue Terpilowski, Chair of the Women in Maritime Taskforce, sees the Interview Pool as an ideal solution to organisations that may not have a female employee or panel member available for interviews.

“We realise that not every maritime business has a female employee so using the volunteers from the Interview Pool can be a great help to those looking to broaden their recruitment processes. The female volunteers come from the industry sectors we believe people are recruiting for and it is the perfect first step opportunity to say we are a diverse and gender neutral business. After all, how do you know if you are selecting the right person from a panel that has not had a diverse and gender open pool of applicants to choose from?”

The Interview Pool, the brainchild of Nicky Goldsbrough, has already proved to be worthwhile in its operation and was recently praised by Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive, The British Ports Association. He commented, “It was invaluable to have an external pair of eyes and view feeding into our advertising and recruitment decisions. It was also a great help in terms of running a process which, because of our organisation’s size, is something we rarely undertake. We would really encourage others to consider utilising the concept.”

The Women in Maritime Interview Pool is now available for recruitment panels and Nicky Goldsbrough believes it will prove to be the missing link in the gender equality provisions for the maritime industry in the future.

“The Interview Pool is a resource that opens up that large pool of female talent and gives recruiters a chance to make their choice of candidate work for them by giving the recruitment process a more diverse and equal balance.”

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