The maritime sector is experiencing a time of transformation. As the talent market continues to transition and become increasingly complex, maritime businesses will need to understand candidate trends and recognise and deliver against the drivers and career aspirations of their people.
The Singapore Maritime Foundation and Faststream Recruitment created the Singapore Maritime Employee and Employer Surveys to establish key trends across important topics including hiring, retention, attraction, culture, well-being, career development, reward, and leadership.
These surveys highlighted some uniformity between employees and employers, but more significantly emphasised some great disparities.
Employers shared their feelings about their projected struggles to recruit the right people in 2023. In turn, 60% of employees said they were planning to seek a new job in this period. With better salary and benefits, career progression and work-life balance featuring as the key motivators of job seekers, employers acknowledged this too.
When employees shared their reasons to stay with their employer, they highlighted salary and benefits, relationships with the team, job security, work-life balance and company culture and values. Employers were misaligned with their employees’ motivations to stay and rated company culture and values, relationships with the team and work-life balance as the top retention tools.
Employers will be faced with an even tougher problem as over half of their experienced maritime hires made in the last 12 months will be planning to change jobs again this year.
Over 50% of employees did not feel valued by their employer and 79% of this talent is already planning to leave. 81% of employers on the other hand felt they made great efforts to make their employees feel valued.
Loyalty bonuses to motivate talent retention was limited in the market with 36% of employers offering them, yet 78% of employees agreeing it was an attractive incentive to stay.
Two-thirds of maritime employers said they would take new hires with experience from outside of the sector, but 87% still agreed it would be their preference to hire talent that had previously worked in maritime. Desirable soft skills in new hires included communication, initiative, problem-solving, adaptability and resilience.
Singapore continued its dominance as the most attractive maritime hub, with both most employees and employers rating it at the number one spot. Dubai, Copenhagen, and London also featured in the top four.
With Gen Z set to make up 27% of the global workforce by 2025, 79% of employers acknowledged they would need new attraction strategies for new generations, but over half of the employers had no plan in place to make this achievable. Both employers and employees highlighted that maritime was not digitally/technologically advanced enough to attract new talent into the sector and employees also highlighted that it did not pay enough.
Employees cared about their employer’s purpose and values. 77% would turn down a job with an employer who misaligned with their values. But employers also cared about attracting and retaining talent that matched their company values too.
Improving flexibility for employee well-being was highlighted with employees rating flexible workplace options, more vacation days and flexible work start and end times as the top contributors. Employers saw these as important too. Employees valued work-life balance over salary and benefits, but just 38% of employers recognised this. Three-quarters of employers also stated they expected employees to work overtime to ensure the job gets done.
Both employers and employees said it was stressful working in maritime, selecting workload, deadlines, and lack of work-life balance as the key contributors.
Employees said that they expected their employer to provide training to keep their skills up to date, yet over a third said they had not received any training from their current employer. Two-thirds of employers said they offered training to all of their employees including sector-specific training, technology/software/digital tools training and leadership/management training.
9 in 10 employees cared about progression reviews yet only half agreed that they received them. 90% of employers said they offered them. This thread continued with two-thirds of employees saying they did not feel invested in by their employer but 71% of employers saw themselves investing in their whole team.
When faced with what traits employees wanted to see in their leadership teams, they emphasised integrity, decisiveness, empathy, and trust. Employers recognised traits including strategy, decisiveness, integrity and motivation in their leadership teams, signalling a potential lack of empathy.
It paid to change jobs when looking at pay rises, with higher increases available when employees changed jobs. Employees felt their employers should be doing more to improve their employee benefits, but employers recognised this too and over half were actively working to enhance their offering. There were similarities in what employees rated as the top benefits, but there were also differences between different ages and gender. Employers failed to recognise what employees wanted in their employee benefits packages.
To discuss the findings in more detail, please contact Mark Charman, CEO & Founder of Faststream Recruitment.
For media enquiries, please contact Nic Jones, Group Marketing Director.