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Cash-strapped shipping losing the war on talent

Cash-strapped shipping losing the war on talent
Sam Chambers April 10th, 2019

Results from an HR survey aimed at senior maritime executives show the contradictory nature of recruitment for the hard-pressed shipping industry. UK HR firm Faststream surveyed 2,000 people in January this year and the results clearly show the envy many in senior positions have of other industries such as tech and finance.

76% of those polled said more talent should come from outside maritime, citing sectors such as finance, energy, oil and gas, aviation, technology and engineering. However, 67% of respondents reckoned maritime does not pay enough to compete for talent from other sectors. Moreover, 68% of respondents said they think that pay in maritime will be static for the next two years.

The tough financial climate shipping has faced in recent years was evident in many of the responses to the 35 questions posed by Faststream. For instance, 50% said over the last two years they had been worried about their own job security, while two-thirds of respondents said they are planning or considering changing jobs in the next two years with, perhaps most alarmingly, more than one in five senior maritime official polled saying they would leave the sector if they could.

Presenting the results at a breakfast on the sidelines of Sea Asia in Singapore this morning, Mark Charman, Faststream’s CEO and founder, said that those thinking they might be better remunerated by switching to a different industry all toghether might be in for a disappointment.

“It’s a perception thing. If I work in aviation or oil and gas I’ll earn a lot more. The reality of that I’m not so sure. The gap with the other sectors is actually quite narrow,” Charman said.

Other key findings from the poll, of whom one in two surveyed had been at sea, found that 76% of respondents felt that mariners do not make the best leaders with Charman then presenting a slide (see below) of the different charactertistics needed for those at sea and in the office.

“We can see there are some big differences between being a senior officer to being a senior executive,” Charman said.