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Due diligence on maritime recruitment companies

The recruitment industry in general has a bleak reputation. Especially for the global maritime recruitment market, we have experienced many examples of lack of business ethics and recruitment companies operating without an ethical codex.

As a candidate, have you ever been approached by an international recruiter asking you to forward a CV by email, because the recruiter claims to have an interesting position to offer – or want to add you to the database, to inform you if a relevant opportunity arises? Do they usually ask you to forward the CV by email – with no option of accepting a Privacy Policy?

As a company representative, have you ever been contacted by a recruitment company offering you the perfect candidate for a position that you are currently looking to fill, enclosing  an interesting CV?

Have you noted that many recruitment companies never display the company name and logo of the company that they claim to work on behalf of?

There is a large probability, that in the first example, the recruiter does not have a mandate, but will forward a received CV to a number of companies, without your permission. It is not illegal to forward a CV by email – but anyone with insight into the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will know, that handling CV´s in emails is very difficult, with reference to “The right to be forgotten”.

In the second example, there is a high probability that the potential candidate you see, has no knowledge that they are being presented to you, nor do they know that the CV is presented even the recruiter has no official mandate from the company.

In the third example, the recruitment company is operating on no cure, no pay terms and has no exclusive agreement with the company they claim to work for and many recruitment companies are chasing the same profile. The consequence of this, is that your chances to get the job is much less, compared to recruiters working on an official, exclusive mandate.

Investing enough time in Search and Contact is crucial 

As a company, you should not expect that the recruitment company working under these principles, will invest a lot of time on identifying the right candidates for you. On the other hand, if the recruitment company is lucky and you hire a person they have suggested, you could be looking into fees equal to 2-3 months salary.

Both candidates and companies can benefit from a quick Due Diligence of a recruitment company, before they enter into any co-operation.

As a candidate, check if;

  • the recruitment company advertise the name of the company they work for?
  • it is a real job ad, or just a quick description of the role?
  • the job ad circulated by various recruitment companies?
  • the recruiter just has a quick telephone conversation with you or is it a proper interview?
  • the recruiter has a real references displayed at their website?
  • you apply by email, without accepting a privacy policy?
  • you have to accept a Privacy Policy in order to submit your data online?
  • you receive confirmation when you apply and a rejection if you are rejected?
  • the company has a proper website and the recruitment consultant is mentioned with his/hers contact information?

As a company representative, check if the recruitment company;

  • forward unsolicited CV´s or description of candidates to your inbox?
  • offer to work non-exclusive?
  • produce a contract for co-operation?
  • presents a full description of the process, including a timeline?
  • confirm receival of applications
  • reject candidates in a polite and constructive way?
  • produce a proper report with a selection of min. 3 relevant candidates for the position you are looking to fill, including the recruitment company assessment of the candidate?
  • have recruiters with a solid background from the business


Jacob le FevreMARPRO’s blog of the week is shared by courtesy of Jakob le Fevre, managing director at MARPRO. MARPRO is a maritime company specialist in maritime & shipping recruitment. Learn about MARPRO. 


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