Of course a lot of your suggestions are a factor with a lot of hiring, absolutely.
However ‘willing to pay extra’…it’s been a common theme is that industry wide wages have stagnated, if not regressed and not just in the OSV world.
I’m more referring to the smaller outfits, not towing oil, no steady contracts, etc…
There are a lot of small rag tag outfits with old boats being held together by splashzone that won’t let someone step foot on the boat without the ‘security awareness’ endorsement, for example. The days of being able to stand up and have a pulse being the main requirements for a job are gone now, even with the smaller companies. It’s almost to the point that you need to be a seasoned veteran to get an entry level position.