28 January 2020

2019 has been an interesting year in Maritime. The impact of the year on recruitment trends has been significant. To highlight some of the trends developed from the last year and how they will impact your recruitment in 2020, Mark Charman, Faststream Recruitment, CEO and Founder has put together his top 10 Maritime Recruitment Trends for 2020:

1. The continued rise of the digital candidate

Digitalisation and A.I continue to dominate Maritime discussions. They have already had a huge impact on the market, and we will continue to see a changing Maritime industry as these areas accelerate in their influence on everything that we do. In 2019 we saw an uptick in requests for digital candidates and we foresee a continued demand in 2020, particularly at both Executive and managerial levels. Organisations are under pressure to hire new talent who will lead their organisation successfully into digitalisation in the Maritime industry in 2020 and beyond.

2. New leaders, new ways of thinking

In 2020 organisations will need to start thinking and acting differently, to ensure they can survive in this turbulent time of change. This changing Maritime landscape is putting pressure on organisations to consider hiring talent who have innovative approaches and styles of leadership. This talent is not going to come from the Maritime sector via traditional routes, rather organisations will need to look for talent from additional industries to ensure competitive advantage.

3. Candidate experience will be key to successful hiring

In 2020 a standard candidate experience will not be enough to entice and recruit top talent. The organisations that want to hire really exceptional candidates will need to demonstrate an experience that leaves a powerful impression and demonstrates that your organisation is really different.

Creating memorable processes from the outset of the recruitment process will really make you stand out for the right reasons in the industry as an employer of choice.

4. The returning Offshore sector will put pressure on retaining and recruiting seafarers

As the Offshore sector recovers, the competition will be fierce for the top Seafarer talent. With the Offshore sector traditionally offering better pay and more attractive rotation patterns, employers outside of this sector will need to work hard to ‘bear hug’ their current Seafarers to ensure they don’t lose them. They will also find it increasingly difficult to attract new employees when they are competing against new Offshore roles.

5. Candidates will be leaving their safe ports

We have seen in previous years that many candidates were less active and simply finding their safe port in a storm. They wanted a safe, secure option to ride out the tough times. But the market is recovering and you can’t stay in port forever. We are now seeing that candidates who may not be entirely happy or are not fulfilling their ambitions in their current role are now making decisions to make a change in their careers.

The second half of 2019 saw an increase in active candidates and we foresee this will only continue as 2020 progresses.

6. Female talent still in high demand

In our Executive Search business in 2019, we saw a step-change in requirements for female leaders. We believe this trend will continue into 2020 and increasingly more organisations will want to bring in top female talent into Senior Executive positions. Organisations are addressing that gender diversity is a problem, and they want to do something about it. By starting at the top, this, in turn, could prove wise and help to attract more female talent into lower ranks too.  

7. Increasing pressure to raise wages

The last five years have been tough for candidates in terms of pay. With most of the pay rises, we have been seeing only providing for the basic cost of living pay rises; small percentages based on inflation in the places these people are living and working

In 2020 we will see increasing pressure to raise wages due to the competition for talent. Ship Management organisations are going to have it tough as they have traditionally hired ex-Seafarers and brought them into shore-side positions.

The increasing choice in opportunities inside and outside the Maritime sector for candidates will force inflation of wages to try and attract the diminishing talent pool. We must be able to attract more people to Maritime as well as be able to retain them.  

8. Seafarers won’t be your future Maritime leaders

In the UK and Europe, we see a diminishing pool of Seafarers. As more traditional seafaring candidate rich countries become more developed, we expect to see a noticeable decrease in people moving into Seafarer careers when other opportunities are increasing, especially in IT, Technology and Telecommunication jobs ashore.

In addition to this, we see Seafarers coming ashore much younger and this is creating a problem. The future pool of Seafarers is becoming a puddle and the Maritime sector will have to look at different talent pools in order to future proof their hiring needs.  

9. Attitudes and behaviours will trump skills and knowledge

If you won’t be able to hire for skills and knowledge because you can’t hire Seafarers, we will see organisations having to start putting greater emphasis on attitude and behaviours. Organisations will have to start thinking differently about the people they need to hire and what they could bring to the party. Attitudes and behaviours will be what it is about. ‘Can we train and teach them?’ ‘Are they bright enough?’ ‘Are they curious?’ ‘Are they able to understand the Maritime sector having never been to sea?’ These are the types of questions you will need to be prepared to answer when interviewing new talent.

10. Employees will be like your worst party guests

The final trend is based around the new generations of talent that we see entering the Maritime workforce. These employees will be like your worst party guests. It will be very difficult to get them to the party in the first place, they probably won’t RSVP, and they might not even reply at all. When they turn up, they will turn up late, they will drink all your best wine, and eat all your food and they are going to leave early.

We see this new workforce bringing an attitude of “What can you do for me?" Not "What can I do for you?” They want to know how you are going to develop them and help them move forward in their career.

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