As a result of the rapid rise of digitalization and with automation gaining momentum within shipping, job requirements change. Regarding the maritime employment, during the second virtual CAREER4SEA Talk, speakers focused on the new skills required for young professionals aiming to join the industry.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and due to the fact that employees can’t physically get onboard the ships, it is observed an increase of remote surveys. In consequence, technology-related and digital roles are coming forward.
As Heidi Heseltine, CEO, Halcyon Recruitment Limited explained, more and more organizations are focusing on how to improve digitalization in order to enhance efficiency in their customer service.
One of the things that we can’t ignore at the moment is the growing requirement of greater inclusion and diversity. So, we are seeing an increase in people requiring hiring to tie in with a DNI (Diversity and Inclusion) strategy.
Another trend within the maritime workplace is the teleworking. Namely, Constantinos Galanakis, CEO, Elvictor Group noted that the coronavirus outbreak brought an alternative job landscape.
All of us, we have experienced that home becomes our office. Thus, we need a home in office integration.
According to Dr. Luiza Shahbazyan, Co-Founder, The Pivot Company, the last couple of years there is a trend of hiring people for their soft skills and potential. In fact, a lot of companies are assessing their officers for their leadership skills, empathy, critical thinking and the presence of growth mindset.
We also have resilience, which is the buzzword of the year 2020, as we all have first-hand experienced its importance.
What is more, a hot issue is the shortage of qualified seafarers. Dr. Luiza Shahbazyan stated that maritime professionals are sharing their concerns about the negative effects of the pandemic on the willingness of people to go and work at sea.
Following the crew change crisis and since many nations did not recognize the seafarers as key workers during this sudden outbreak, Bill Truelove, Managing Director, CSMART Training Center urged that shipping industry is now facing a challenge of credibility.
Recruiters are approaching crew saying come and be part of the family, but there is a credibility communication matter. Therefore, we have to remind to seafarers their importance and the career enhancing opportunity to be a mariner at sea.
Among others, speakers all agreed that diversity, gender balance, soft skills and communication remain key elements as the industry moves forward.
The biggest change is the soft skills. We are looking to really develop people to be inclusive leaders of the future and shipping isn’t so used to having inclusive leadership in that way.
In terms of transforming the workforce of the future through upskilling, Dr. Luiza Shahbazyan said that maritime industry must put people first and create a culture of passion for learning and motivation.
We have to take a good look at how we structure the training, as we have this obsession with certificates. Shipping has to focus on the skills that future employees develop. In several cases, the most beneficial way is the informal learning and what you’re learning on the job, which is very difficult to be tackled, measured and recognized.
In light of the recruitment and retention shore executives and seafarers, Constantinos Galanakis marked:
We must make seafarers and employees to feel safe and secure within business and avoid a blame culture in our way of thinking. We have to investigate everything, while strictly follow and improve the procedures of our companies and make them less bureaucratic.
In addition, Mr. Galanakis noted that the industry should pay attention to each employee and not go by the book, since each person has its own needs, career paths and experiences.
Overall, if giving an advice to an 18-year-old who is seeking a career within shipping, Bill Truelove adviced:
I would say what I did say to my son before entering the industry: Just go for it. At the end of the day, working at sea is hard, but is an industry that is evolving and critical to the global economy. Whether you are in the world, you can be part of it.
You may see the whole talk herebelow: