- The maritime sector needs new leadership with new ways of thinking.
- Seafaring jobs need to attract a younger generation.
- 76% of executives feel maritime would benefit from an influx of talent from outside the sector.
- Organisations want to bring in talent from outside the sector, still many remain with very safe hiring practices.
- Young employees have very different attitudes and expectations to their seniors.
It is that just 4% of seafarers are female and they are at least at the executive level.
According to a recruitment agency, the maritime sector needs new leadership with new ways of thinking and that talent will not come from the maritime sector via the traditional routes, writes Ed Martin for an article published in Riviera Maritime Media.
New ideas to attract younger generation
Candidates from outside maritime are needed to spearhead high-level change, while seafaring jobs need to attract a younger generation.
Now that the organisations are adjusting to digitalisation, candidates with expertise in this area are in high demand at both executive and managerial levels.
At London International Shipping Week this year, an update on the current and future state of maritime recruitment was presented by Faststream Recruitment founder and chief executive Mark Charman.
Survey by Faststream
A Faststream survey this year found –
- 76% of executives surveyed felt maritime would benefit from an influx of talent from outside the sector.
- IT and technology were identified as desirable backgrounds for new hires, along with the traditional alternatives including finance, energy, aviation and engineering.
Mr Charman said that the maritime sector currently looks for new leadership with new ways of thinking.
Mr Charman added this talent will not come from the maritime sector via the traditional routes of talent.
Safe hiring practise
Mr Charman noted that while organisations claim to want to bring in talent from outside the sector, many remain very safe in their hiring practices.
He said it is rare to see executives being recruited who do not have the specific vessel type or exact industry experience specified at the beginning of the search. He added that organisations are still focused on people who they perceive can make a quick impact.
According to Mr Charman , the demographics of the seafaring workforce shows:
- the declining number of European seafarers is a trend that could be replicated globally, and
- future maritime leaders are unlikely to come from a seafaring background.
Expectations and generation gap
As traditional seafarer rich countries become more developed, a noticeable decrease can be seen in people moving into seafarer careers with other opportunities increasing, especially in IT, technology and telecommunications jobs ashore.
The generation gap is another key issue.
- Employees at the lower end of the age spectrum have very different attitudes and expectations to their seniors.
- They want to know how a senior is going to develop them and help them move forward in their career.
Mr Charman said the attitude of new workforce is “What can you do for me?”, and not “what can I do for you?”.
Employers are now changing their expectations with ‘soft skills’ such as :
- a collaborative attitude, and
- cultural and generational awareness all in demand from potential candidates alongside professional experience and knowledge.
The issue of gender diversity is that just 4% of seafarers are female. That 4% is also at least at the executive level. Faststream saw an increasing requirement for female leaders in the past year.
Mr Charman said the industry is addressing gender diversity problems and are starting at the top ranks. This would help to attract more female talent into lower ranks too.
Reactive recruitment strategy
Mr Charman also noted that owners and operators tend toward a reactive recruitment strategy, looking to take on new staff in response to things that have already happened.
OEMs proactive approach
Conversely, the wider industry including OEMs and service organisations, is taking a more proactive approach, taking on candidates based on what may give a competitive advantage for what is perceived to be on the horizon.
He added that the maritime industry is not stagnant and is evolving and changing very quickly, and everyone must do their part to keep up with this new journey.
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Source: Riviera Maritime Media