"WE pay competitively.We pay market."
The number of times we still hear people say this but – when challenged, admit that they either have no idea what market levels are or that they "just know" – is remarkable.
As an industry, shipping has long struggled with the concept of sharing information, especially around things like salaries. Family controlled companies in particular have always guarded their privacy jealously. In the last ten to fifteen years shipping has opened up, as a variety of regulations imposed by health and safety regulators and global stock exchanges have required us to establish and benchmark best practices, measure performance and ensure fairness and independence in boardroom pay.
In the 14 years since Spinnaker's nascent beginnings, we have seen this in practice. Most shipping companies now have HR professionals in place and they and their boards recognise the strategic importance of HR. And none too soon – shipping's explosive growth in the last decade threw salaries, bonuses, supply of skills and retention of staff into very sharp relief.
Responding to this, a handful of forward-thinking shipping HR professionals joined forces in 2005 as the founding members of the Maritime HR Forum. Now, nearly 50 shipping, trading and oil companies benchmark salaries, benefits and bonuses around the world. They know what market pay is and have meaningful compensation and benefits policies. Join them in time for their annual meeting – contact [email protected] for an information pack.