Maritime Recruiters

Anyone heard of Southern Maritime Services, a national maritime recruiting agency out of Mobile,AL? Is this a reputable company for recruiting?
I am leery of such recruiting services, and “head-hunters”.

Reputable or not, i wouldn’t use a recruiter unless all other means have failed. If they charge, it can be expensive…let alone its not legal and somehow they get away with it.
I may venture to say its a job seekers market right now if you have all the right credentials and/or aren’t too picky.


May depend on how the fee is structured. If it’s directly paid from wages to the recruiter, it’s probably not legal. Other arrangements may slide by. See 46 U.S.C. 10314( c).

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Virtually no one needs to pay any recruiter to find a job in this market.

Anyone that does need to pay a recruiter has something seriously wrong with him and should not be hired.

No one should be working for any company that hires through recruiters that are paid for by the Mariner (often with a kickback of part of the fee to the HR guy).

This is a good time to stamp out these scum by simply not using them or working for them.


In the US???
I was of the impression that such thing only happened in 3rd World “Sh*thole” countries.:frowning_face:

Most those companies have your pay check go directly to them and they skim their fee off the to and send you check. So yea its illegal, but who in the federal prosecutors office cares about mariners unless they are sending one of us to jail.

Just hop in your car and take a drive to Louisiana and pick the company you want to work for. Everyone is hiring all position, except maybe Oto Candies, you have to know someone and then wait for somebody on the boats to die to get on with them. Even saw an add from Odeysea willing to hire 1600/3000 master and mates without DP cert, that unheard of for as long as I can remember.


It’s interesting that most of recruiters that charge Mariners a fee are on the Gulf coast. The same states with the lowest vaccination rates.


One of the biggest head hunter recruiters is in the Pacific Northwest. Also a shit hole.

I actually reached out to them 8 months ago and they sent me their contract. Yes they get your paycheck and skim off of the top. I told them I would not sign on to an agreement so one sided. I will try to find it and post it

SMS Application.pdf (441.5 KB)

Its actually pretty standard fee. Most recruiters will get 20-30% of your total gross income for the year. This company in essence wants basically one months pay (14 days - based on even time I suppose). The only difference is that the candidate is responsible for paying it, and not the company who you are hired too. I guess that is the difference between a recruiter and an agency.

What nonsense.

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Who are you talking about?

Most of the Seattle based recruiters are employer paid. They are a small slice of the maritime lob market.

In past years, I have had Mariners onboard that were placed by Gulf Coast recruiters. There were significant crew problems when crewmen, and/or their wives, realized how much was being taken out of their pay and how fast.

Some desperate Seattle employers do occasionally use the Mariner pays Gulf Coast recruiters. There are a bunch of these scumbag recruiters. In my experience, the Mariners that the Mariner pays recruiters send up from the Gulf Coast usually have something wrong with them: batshit crazy, drunks, poor skills, or simply White Trash. There is a reason why they have to pay a recruiter to get them a job.


If someone needs a licensed chief or master at short notice for a week or so there’s nothing wrong with using a recruiter. It’s just a smart division of labor. Such jobs can be profitable and give you the benefit of flexibility.

Some quality recruiters are legit, most are not. HR at the more situated outfits generally pay the recruiters, not to be taken out of hired employee pay. in a perfect world, they don’t send junk sailors. But, how do you know?

Ive done some work like this with a legit outfit and it was fun.

Good money, none of the drama that comes from having to work for a company directly. Just not steady enough for me right now. Maybe when I’m ready to slow down and work just a few weeks every now and then.

There is nothing wrong with an employer using a good recruiter or a good temp agency, so long as they pay the placement fee. In fact, it’s smart business.

Similarly, there is nothing wrong with a Mariner using a recruiter or working for a temp manning agency. It’s also smart business.

The are good temporary manning and recruiting agencies with no fee to the Mariner, such as Oceanwide, WRS, Faststream, Flagship, Core Group, etc.

There are also bad recruiters that illegally, or improperly charge Mariners a fee. Many of these agencies engage in very sharp practices and take advantage of bulnerable people.

I enjoy doing temp work. It’s less hassle to get it through temp agencies and there is more variety. Next time, the owners call me directly and pay a bit more.

100% agreed. Like TUGSAILOR said, no one should have to PAY to find a job. Lots of good employers are hiring directly and ensuring you have the right credentials is just a personal responsibility.

I use an app called 10ure Maritime one of the creators to manage my licenses and credentials so I know exactly what I have and when it is to expire. I’ve been shoreside for awhile in insurance but i still keep my license tracked and i found this to be the best and easiest thing for me.

Tell more about this app? Security? Etc? I assume you are one of the founders.