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EVERYONE hopes they’ll be one of the lucky ones to be headhunted and welcomed with a golden hello by their generous new employer. It does happen, even in shipping.

And in 2007 or thereabouts there was quite a lot of it going on. Freight rates were so high they had snow on them, chartering and broking staff were becoming accustomed to some quite spectacular bonuses and employers were doing all they could to lock in their precious human talent with multi-year long term incentive plans. Those heady days eh?!

Three years on and a lot of those multi-year schemes are coming to an end. And as – for most anyway – bonuses are down, a number of our clients, including one who’s just lost three staff in one week, have been asking what’s going on out there. 

It’s hard to say of course, but we certainly think there are signs that the giant’s awakening. If 2009 was the year of “keep your head down, at least you have a job,” 2010 so far at least seems to have ushered in a new impatience. So, who’s looking? Those who might have taken the plunge last year, those who are now freed from their golden handcuffs and those who are just plain fed up being nice to the boss they don’t like.

Don’t get us wrong. We don’t think this says anything at all about the state of the shipping market itself. Some people have just got bored, have nothing to lose and are thinking ‘what the heck?’ 

We’ll see!

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