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Lately, we've noticed an upswing in succession planning trends and instructions. Is everyone in shipping getting older all of a sudden, or have shipping companies suddenly started doing a bit of forward planning?

Either way, it got us thinking; is this a worldwide trend? Certainly, we all know that previous shipping recessions led to drops in recruitment of new entrants to the industry and to a certain extent we are now seeing a generation gap as some industry stalwarts begin to retire. So, we're now starting to see a fair few forty-somethings stepping up to replace the sixty-somethings as everyone asks what happened to all the fifty-somethings. (Answer: they went to work in banking.)

But it's not just a demographic or age thing. Both shipping and Spinnaker have come of age. We remember a time when shipping HR didn't exist; it's now become more professionalised and we have noticed how an impressive step-change in how forward-thinking many of our clients have become, with proper processes and proper recruitment practices. And so, long term succession planning is now happening and, happily for us, having been around for nearly 16 years, Spinnaker is being awarded more and more of these senior assignments.

Longer term planning also allows for really good recruitment process; our executive search projects are targeted and research-based – those hard-to-fill roles are best approached this way. The most talented senior individuals for senior or difficult jobs are rarely looking for work. Top achievers often don't even know they're thinking about a new position until we call!

Our usual flippancy aside, we are grateful to our many loyal clients who give us their repeat business and not just their senior instructions, but vacancies at all levels.

For more information on our executive search service, email Teresa Peacock on [email protected]

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