Advanced Pre-Employment Screening of Seafarers ETC – 2014 – Odessa Henrik Jensen Danica Crewing Services
The Speaker • Henrik Jensen • Owner of Danica Crewing Services • Command experience • Studied organization and HR management at a business school in Denmark • Crewing Manager, Safety Director, Managing Director in ship management/owning companies, HR-Marine Group Director.
IMO’s homepage, human element, top text: The safety and security of life at sea, protection of the marine environment and over 90% of the world's trade depends on the professionalism and competence of seafarers
Regulatory Regime Causes for loss at sea STCW ISM-code ILO TMSA
Safety Management 1998: 80% human / 20% technical • ISM-Code implemented in 1998 -2002 • ISM – risk management approach added around 2010 • Most ISM Safety Manuals are 80% technical and reporting and 20% about human resources • The industry has spent huge resources on composing procedures, copying, updating, auditing and training 2012: 80% human / 20% technical.
A case 03:25 – The tanker Golden Hope went aground The vessel is fully ECDIS equipped and all systems fully functional Will the circular letter remove the root course? 08:30 – Meeting in the office: DPA/Safety Director: All bridge staff ignored the Minimum-Water-Under-Keel alarm Managing Director: How could this happen? Will training remove the root course? Yes. We have. I already sent a circular letter to the entire fleet underlining that they should follow that procedure It is impossible! We have procedures for minimum under keel clearance Crewing Manager: I have booked ECDIS refreshment courses for all our Masters Good! Well done. I am sorry that you again have to waste our time to cope with the idiots we have onboard No. To remove the root cause the crew onboard should be with a proper behaviour and personality.
Risk Management As we did not really achieve what we wanted with the ISM we added the magic words Risk management • New procedures • Risk assessments • Reporting, training, audits Oil Majors defined good practices (requirements) in the TMSA guidance. Again: most of the procedures are dealing with technical and operational risks. How many have a formal risk assessment of crewing risks in place?
Crewing Risk Management What do most shipping companies do: • Job descriptions: Every shipping company is very good at that – minimum 3 pages for the captain • Qualifications: STCW demands minimum required training/experience • Company requirements: Minimum years in rank – some ship specific equipment training • Cargo owners: Experience matrix • Medical fitness: – ILO and P&I clubs have requirements • Drug and alcohol policy.
Job descriptions All shipping companies have detailed lists of tasks each crew member is accountable for • We are good organized • … and we know who is to blame when something goes wrong.
Requirements Not many shipping companies define what • Personality and • Competences a crewmember should have to be able to successfully perform the task/accountabilities listed in the job description … and even less companies screen the candidates for their abilities…
Personality and Competences Elements • Behaviour is the will and ability to act, which is adjusted and tailored to a given situation and surroundings • Successful behaviour demands reflection • Skills represent the ability to perform an act in reality • Skills are the result of persistent training • Knowledge is information transferred to people via ears and eyes • Knowledge is of value when put into practice through effective skills and relevant behaviour • Behaviour • Competences • Possible to develop • Skills • Knowledge Personality or Individual foundation – Difficult to change • Personal • Characteristics • Talent It is how easy we can do something, pick-up new things. Intelligence, ability. • It is our attitudeand ability to understand a situation • Stress coping ability
Job Requirements The requirements should be define for each element for every (key) position: • Personal characteristics • Talent • Skills • Knowledge • Behaviour For top-positions: The requirements should also consider the company’s vision and mission.
Job Requirements - the easy ones Some of the job requirements are easy: Skills and knowledge: A fitter must be trained in welding, have passed a class approved welding course etc. Such “hard requirements” are easy to define and easy to check. Relative easy to define and check
Job Requirements – The difficult ones When we move to the “soft” requirements then it becomes a little more difficult: • Behaviour We want people with good social skills, team oriented persons, people who are not afraid of taking leadership • Talent We want people with a certain IQ and ability to understand problems and pick-up new ways of doing things • Personal Characteristics We want people with good situation awareness, able to make the right decisions when under stress and we do not want to employ psychopaths… Not always easy to define and check, but very important
Screening for suitability The purposes of the screening are • to collect as much information about the candidate as possible • To match the information with the job requirements The screening will result in a prediction of how the candidate will perform in job environment By using proper tools then the uncertainty of the prediction can be dramatically reduced.
Screening methods / tools • Covers all elements • Must be more than just a confirmation of employment • Need to ask the right questions to get information about behaviour, personality and talent • Recruiter/Caller must be trained/experienced • Low costs.
Screening methods / tools • Easy to check – administrative task • Maps skills and knowledge and also to some degree the candidate’s talent • Can be done by less-experienced recruitment staff.
Screening methods / tools • Most companies do interviews but the interview is only about checking the candidate’s knowledge • Done in the right way the interview can reveal important information about behaviour and personality • It is about being an observer • Need to be done by trained recruiters who are sufficient mature.
Interview Techniques • It is about observing • Standard set of “hidden questions” to reveal the candidates profile – behaviour and personality • Checklist right after the interview to capture the impressions • Nervousness vs Calmness • Organization vs Disorganization • Self-reliance or dependence • Objectivity vs Subjectivity • Humbleness vs Fear • Self confidence vs lack of self confidence • Approachable and open vs. taciturn and withdrawn.
Sobriety Drinking habits are difficult to reveal, ask: • "Do you use alcohol?", • "How often?", • "How much each time?", • "What do you mostly drink?", • "In what situations do you drink?", "Alone?", "To socialize?", • "When was the last time?“ • "What do you think constitutes a proper limit for a weekly consumption?“ • An alcoholic or “high consumer” will never admit his real consumption as he is aware that it is a no-go.
Screening methods / tools • Easy standardized way of mapping a candidate profile • Results are presented in a uniformed way • The correlation of tests used need to be proper documented • Tests used should be relevant to the position • Recruiters must understand how to read the tests.
Knowledge Tests • Normally multi-choice tests are easy to handle/evaluate • Most common one Seagull’s “CES-Test” and “Marlins” English test • Multi-choice test are to be used carefully: • 4 choices = 25 % / 5 choices = 20% chance to select the right answer • The questions have to be relevant • The question/case has to be presented properly • Wrong answers have to be plausible • A group of test persons without maritime knowledge scored 50% in knowledge test used for examinations of mariners in the UK • If the test is not in the candidate’s native language then the result will show a combination of the candidate’s knowledge of English and his professional knowledge…. This might be ok. • Candidates who are familiar with computers (computer games etc.) might get a better score • The candidates abilities to see and hear • Noise, light etc. might disturb the candidate • Should always be followed-up with a discussion.
IQ-Tests • Questions to be answered within a short period of time • Purpose of the test is to check the candidates ability to solve problems by combining his reading skills and visual understanding capabilities and his knowledge and skills when under stress. • Examples: • The word, "mineral," can be spelled using only the letters found in the word, "parliament." • If Richard looks into a mirror and touches his left ear with his right hand, Richard's image seems touch its right ear with its left hand. • What is the next number? 2, 4, 8, 16? • What is the next number? 2, 4, 8, 32, 40, 64, 128, 256, 1024? (1280) • Which one of the five choices makes the best comparison? PEACH is to HCAEP as 46251 is to: 25641 26451 12654 51462 15264 • Which larger shape would be made if the two sections are fitted together
IQ-Tests • A lot of tests around • Should not be multi-choice (yes/no – 50%) • Many test favours candidates with good mathematical skills but questions should include text and images • Should only be done using the candidates native language • Candidate not to be disturbed during the test.
Psychometric Tests Map the candidate’s: • Behaviour, talent and personal characteristics • Potential for development • Ability to adopt to changes • Leadership • Most tests are available online • Test must be in the candidate’s native language or language neutral
Test Requirements • Test must be intended for the general level of the position • Test must be documented: • What does the result mean? • How should it be understood • Correlation: What is the probability that the candidate in real life performs as the test results indicate?
Simulator tests • The candidate’s skills and knowledge are tested in various scenarios created in a simulator: Bridge, engine room, cargo simulator etc. • Behaviour, Talent and Personal characteristics? • Requires the simulator operators are experienced in looking for such elements • Selection is not the same as training • With proper scenarios, proper operators and trained observations = valuable selection tool.
Psychometric Assessment Centre • A full day session including • IQ-test • Leadership and personality test • Situation awareness test • Stress coping test • “Simulators” are used • Interviews with a psychologist • Detailed reporting • Can also be used as a tool for development of leadership etc. • Company specializing in this Marine-Profile • Used for cruise ships • Some oil majors accept this type of screening as an alternative to the crew matrix requirements.
Some conclusions • Crewing risk management could be better • Structured approach: • Proper screening • Use tests to support the evaluation of the candidate • Off-the-shelves tests are cost-efficient but have shortcomings • Simulator tests – used in the right way – are efficient but expensive and sometimes involve travel • Psychometric Assessment gives a high degree of screening but expensive and also not always available and involves travel. • When the candidate's profile is know then pre-joining training (and later training) can be “tailor-made”, more efficient and less expensive