07 December 2022

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The commercial shipping sector is booming, particularly in the world of shipbroking. As a result, we have witnessed the demand for shipbroking professionals reach an exponential high. So, the question is what do shipbroking professionals want from their careers? And how do the objectives of shipbroking businesses align with this?

We have put the commercial broking sector under the microscope and have delved into the hiring trends that are impacting the people and businesses working in the sector.

We bring you the top trends in shipbroking for 2023 and beyond.

1. Relocations are on the horizon

Many European shipbrokers have relocated to the larger trading hubs of the world, such as Dubai and Geneva. Offering better prospects, both Dubai and Geneva continue to be the most sought-after hot spots for the larger broking houses to operate out of.

With high growth in job opportunities in these locations, along with the prospect of a better lifestyle, and higher tax-free salaries, it is unsurprising that we are seeing increased demand from European job seekers wanting to relocate to these hubs.

It isn’t just job seekers that have relocation in their sights. Much of the sector is seeking change, especially the European broking houses. Many of them are planning to open operations in these locations (if they haven’t already done so) to focus on the wave of brokers moving there.

However, the job market could shift as we see more brokers open to opportunities overseas once they receive their bonuses in the spring of 2023.

2. Bonuses will be a driving factor in attracting talent

In a highly commission-driven sector, bonuses are also one of the most common tools for retaining and incentivising broking professionals. Traditionally, bonuses in the ship broking sector are awarded annually, in turn retaining employees who want to ensure they don’t miss out.

Yet, with the competition for talent at an all-time high, we predict that we will start to see more businesses offering sign-on bonuses and hefty relocation packages in a bid to win over in-demand candidates.

3. Incentives to move jobs

Bonuses will remain a priority, but financial reward is no longer the only viable way to incentivise brokers into new opportunities. We are witnessing a new type of broker looking for the freedom to progress in their careers. Internal competition amongst shipbrokers can be rife, and countless professionals, mainly those working in the larger broking houses, are seeking opportunities to manage their own client accounts.

With this, both passive and active candidates are more curious about opportunities in the smaller broking houses, where there is less competition for them to manage key client accounts.

For smaller broking businesses, now is the time to attract talent. They have a lot to offer when it comes to career growth, more lucrative bonuses, and commission structures due to the minimal overhead. To retain talent, the larger operators will need to provide employees with progression to grow, develop their own client accounts and offer more rewards.

4. Proactive hiring over reactive hiring

In a sector that is heavily influenced by economic trends, reactive hiring is commonplace. Until now, if good talent became readily available, they were hired based on the business needs at the time. However, more hiring managers are becoming committed to building long-term growth strategies that safeguard their businesses for years to come.

Additional focus is being placed on having the right people, in the right places and achieving financial growth. Countless businesses have already started hiring initiatives that will lead them through the next financial year.

5. A divide in working styles

With two types of specialist teams working in the broking houses, a divide in what was once a traditionally office-centric sector is occurring. For the shipbrokers, office-based working is still greatly favoured. These professionals thrive on a vibrant workplace culture and the fast-paced reactive team collaboration that comes with the nature of the job.

However, those working in post-fixture operations and operational roles are craving more flexibility, including both hybrid working and flexible hours. In a new era of working styles, businesses will need to meet the demands of their employees if they want to remain an employer of choice.

Shipbroking businesses now have two types of workplace cultures and working styles to accommodate. For now, employers will need to remain open-minded about working styles and offer flexibility where it is needed. It will be interesting to see how this divide in priorities influences internal cultures.

6. Analysts are in high demand

The demand for analytics specialists has increased exponentially across all sectors in recent years, but this is particularly the case for broking businesses. With analysts being a specialist skilled role, more businesses are competing to attract these experts. What’s more, they do not need them to come from a shipping background. It is simply the unique and hard to find skill set that is in high demand.

The increased demand for analysts has risen over the past year and we anticipate this trend to continue. These individuals can offer tremendous value to employers. Be that through economic forecasting or their ability to strategically gather crucial information about the market so that brokers can make more informed decisions with their fixtures.

Additionally, to provide clients with high-value services, more broking businesses are starting to offer market reports. The role of an analyst is invaluable in ensuring these services can be provided and generate business revenue.

7. Junior Brokers are back in hiring plans

Over the last couple of years, the demand for Junior Brokers was limited as businesses needed senior and more experienced talent in place to diminish risk and keep their teams navigating through uncertain economic times.

However, through the latter end of 2022 and heading into 2023, hiring managers are keen to expand their teams with fresh talent. Growth plans mean that businesses are investing in training employees and recruiting junior brokers and operations staff.

We are already working with numerous businesses to source junior talent, and we anticipate this to continue.

If you currently need help and support with your hiring efforts, please contact our team.

If you are currently seeking a new role, you can view all our current vacancies online, or you can register yourself with a Faststream account so that we can help seek new positions on your behalf.

View all our current vacancies

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