Updated: May 31
I conducted a little experiment early this morning. I started to go through a series of Facebook pages that allow people to post their messages, CVs etc. when they are looking for work in the yachting sector.
Some of what I found shocked me. Two main issues really, the first which I will save for another time, was the number of completely inappropriate photographs that people are using on these pages, but as I said I'll save that one for another day.
What I want to talk about here is the number of people who do not put an email address in their postings on these pages. Surely the whole objective of posting in these pages is to try to find a job on a yacht? To my mind having an email address in the post thing is absolutely essential because this is the first method that I'm going to use to contact any potential candidate for a job.
So my experiment was to see how long it would take me to find 50 people that I would NOT employ. The answer was a surprisingly short amount of time because I very quickly had clocked up 50 postings from people actively looking for work in the yachting industry that did not have their email address in their post.
Some of them had their telephone number which is of some use, but some of the people that did not have email addresses had left messages saying “PM me”.
Are you serious ? I’m not your friend, I am a potential employer !!!
The criteria that I used was every single person that did not put an email address in their post would have been automatically excluded from being considered for employment. You may think this is a bit harsh but the reason behind it is any person that has not included the simplest most direct way of me or any potential employer contacting them have deliberately put an unnecessary barrier between themselves and me as the potential employer.
Why on earth would anybody choose to do that when you're looking for a job? it shows a critical lack of understanding of looking at things through the recruiters eyes.
Recruiters, Captains managers Heads of Department can be very busy, and these days most people are very impatient so they're going to be asking themselves why when you have put some of the information I need to know on this page have you not put the most important piece of information that being how I'm going to contact you in an appropriate and professional manner through email.
You're effectively making me jump through another hoop which I personally will simply not do by having to contact you by means of a message asking you to send me your more professional contact details.
Just think about it. It's absolutely crazy. I have to contact you to find out how to contact you in a more professional manner.
Lots of employers are just going to be asking themselves, why have you done this? What kind of person is this that has not made it as simple as possible for me to contact them in the most appropriate manner, as email is usually a first point of contact when recruiting .
It's absolutely astonishing to me that anybody using these pages to look for a job would think that not putting your email address in the posting is a smart thing to do. This is very much a generational thing I believe the vast majority of people using these pages are of a younger generation who are very used to doing everything on Facebook.
Many potential employers however will not see this as a way of professional communicating, and rightly so, because it's not. Sure they are obviously looking at you on Facebook to try to find potential new crew but a great deal of them will not want to use the messaging service within Facebook to communicate with prospective candidates.
For many employers myself included, it's wholly inappropriate and entirely unprofessional to be contacting people through a messaging service on a platform like Facebook. Yes these pages can be a good resource to go to find people that you want to contact but then you reasonably expect to find a proper email address within the persons information that they posted on the page so that you can contact them by a more appropriate .
To not have your email address in a posting that you put on any of these pages whilst actively looking for work is extremely foolish.
I really am entirely serious when I say that any person that does not include an email address in any of these postings is absolutely 100% excluded themselves from me making any effort to contact them about perspective job because it just tells me something pretty negative about that person.
So if you're going to use these pages to promote yourselves as being available for work you absolutely must put your email address on the posting because this is the first thing that most employers are going to be looking for and if it's not there they'll simply scroll down the page to find the next person who is potentially suitably qualified for the position they've got available but has actually put an email address on that they can contact you directly on.
Never make it any harder than it needs to be for any potential employer to find the critical information that they need to know about you and to contact you. You are going to be the one that loses out if you don't make all of this information clearly visible on any platform that you're going to use to promote yourself.
Putting any kind of barrier between you and your prospective employer is really not a clever thing to do and you should always avoid doing anything that represents a barrier because it sends a very bad message the prospective employer.
I'm very curious to get some feedback from anybody that can shed some light on why when a person is advertising themselves as available for work they would deliberately not put their email address on a posting.
About the author
Iain Flockhart, MD, Saor Alba Holdings Ltd, is a highly experienced yacht captain with over 265,000 nautical miles in the role of master since 1996. He bought and completely refitted his first yacht at the age of 20 and went on to buy a larger ocean going yacht a few years later and set sail across the oceans, often with novice crews.
As well as being a Master, Iain provides professional mentoring services to yacht crew and advises on issues relating to hiring, managing and retaining the right crew. He’s an ambassador for the exceptional Rafnar brand of RIBs. through his brand SA Marine. He enjoys simple pleasures such as using his 7m RIB to go exploring and wild camping in the natural beauty of his native Scotland.
Captain Iain Flockhart, The Yacht Crew Mentor.
+44 7958 301 111