Brokerage Recruitment Report

The Superyacht Industry is booming. The lead times are long, the shipyards are at capacity, and the brokerage figures are phenomenal. This growth presents a wealth of dynamic opportunities for internal and external recruitment into the industry. The best practice recruitment model, especially within the brokerage sector, has been the ‘who you know’ referral system, with an overflow into other sectors should the demand be there, is antiquated at best and negligent at worst.

Ed Ewer and the team at Superyacht Recruiter feel strongly that there is a high level of missed opportunity for prospective employees and employers to strengthen and diversify the workforce and support the industry’s many transformations. And it all starts with data – As Ewer begins – “The way we approach things as a company is very analytical. We have spent a long time canvassing the entire industry and engaging with hundreds of candidates.”

 Ed Ewer, managing director Superyacht Recruiter

An example that Ewer highlights demonstrates how the industry may be too inward-facing; “Of the major brokerage houses, the top 20, only one said that they would consider hiring somebody green to the industry. Everyone expects three to four years experience to ‘hit the ground running and to bring their own little black book.” In a seller’s market, that may work, but it does not demonstrate the foresight that may be needed to see us through the next downturn and meet the expectations of a demanding, evolving market; as Ewer points out to me, “it is great that the industry is busy, but we must not get complacent.”

“There are many key stakeholders who very much operate the way they always have, and most likely always will. Alternatively, you have some very forward-looking companies who are thinking about how to capitalise on a new breed of owner and charterer.” Ewer continues, “There are only so many 50, 60, 70-year-old billionaires that want to buy from a 50, 60, 70-year-old broker. That sector market will be there, but we are also looking for the next generation brokers to serve the next generation of owners.”

In a booming market, the temptation is there not to innovate, but it is not the time to rely on traditional practices. When I asked Ewer who he could highlight as a superyacht company challenging these norms, he was clear: “I would take a company like Pelorus as an example. They are now verging on being conservation-minded more than superyachting in any traditional sense. They are a fascinating product and concept that is one of many companies that pushing the boundaries.”

“How many opportunities are out there with companies like this (Pelorus) that are being underserved because the industry remains to set in its ways?” Continues Ewer. “Sales and charter need a re-energised and diverse inflow of human capital to keep up with an evolving market.” Selling and servicing experiences such as that offered by the boundary-pushing stakeholders will require drivers hiring and engagement across many disparate sectors that fall outside the traditional hiring pool.

 “The sales and charter market is running out of referrals. Simple as that.” Says Ewer

Opening the lens and upping the transparency runs both ways also. An example that Ewer poses is provocative; “Are broker salaries and commissions in line with comparable high-value transaction industries?” The black box of brokerage commissions data all too often relies on hearsay and whispers that channel the focus on a few high-level transactions from a small number of high profile brokers. But it bellies a more complex system that may not be an accurate representation of comparable sales roles.

The potential talent pool is broad, and it will need be to facilitate the industry’s transformative growth. Ewer and the team at Superyacht Recruiter are actively seeking the right people and have a large number of vacancies to fill across all market sectors. They have the correct information and network to help drive the changes that the superyacht industry needs, and they and are willing to use data, outreach and engagement to achieve this. See their profile below for more information.

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