A Greek startup application is about to help the Philippine seafaring industry select the right workforce that fits the requirements of foreign ship owners.
Seafair, a tech startup, was created to solve such problem and a host of other worker-related concerns efficiently and cost-effectively by serving as the platform linking shipping companies, shipowners and operators of commercial vessels, with seafarers from reliable sources worldwide.
Established just a year ago in Greece, the veritable superpower global shipping, Seafair is equipped with the technology to resolve the issues besetting both the principals and the seafarers from recruitment to crew management.
Founder Agapitos Diakogiannis realized some inefficiencies in the hiring process as seafarers have trouble finding jobs even though their seamanship skills are in high demand in the industry that continues to grow in spite of the pandemic.
Diakogiannis said that through the app, which already has offices in New York, Athens and Berlin, recruitment is always based only on seafarers’ merits, thus, fairness is assured in the recruitment process.
Add to this the fact that recruitment including interviews is done virtually at the comfort of their homes, hence, it offers seafarers utmost convenience, noting that there is no need to report to the office during the entire process.
Seafair also takes pride in its distinct advantage over some of the traditional manning companies that rely on hiring commissions to make money. In this setup, there is a greater chance they might not always provide the best fits for openings.
The platform reduces the chances by vetting seafarers and matching them with shipping companies’ needs based on their background, experience, skills and performance. It employs algorithms to make the process of filling vacancies more efficient.
“It also provides a digitized and more transparent version of traditional agencies. First, seafarers upload their CVs [curriculum vitae] online, then Seafair runs a series of background checks and online assessments. If it decides someone is a good fit for a vessel, the platform schedules interviews. If they are hired, Seafair starts the deployment process, including digital contracts,” said Diakogiannis.
The platform also provides ship owners and operators with human resources software that helps them consolidate data, but only after Seafair has verified employers and the vessels under their management before they can start using the platform.
Seafair software includes tools to manage payments, insurance, schedules and rest hours.
Software-as-a-service allows shipping companies to manage practically all seafarer operations onboard, including performance evaluations. Some of its customized features include alerts when a seafarer’s certifications are going to expire and salary recommendations to help increase retention rates which are useful to the maritime industry.
Seafair is the only tech solution that allows shipping companies to manage seafarers in their E2E (education to employment) journey, from the moment they hire them while they are on board.
It also offers employers a scalable solution and access to a global pool of competent and qualified seagoing personnel, and is thus able to generate strong network effects for both sides of the marketplace.
It recently earned its license to operate in the Philippines, the world’s biggest supplier of ratings and second-biggest provider of officers for the global fleet, through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.
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