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2023 – a new beginning

As we move into 2023, we have taken some time to reflect on the recent performance of Spinnaker’s recruitment business.

When covid struck in early 2020 we thought we’d be bankrupt by the summer. Covid went on for ages and of course since then the war in Ukraine, high inflation, the Great Resignation, a looming global recession …and a shortfall of skilled labour the world over, made life challenging for everyone.

To our great surprise, apart from a quieter spell in mid to late 2021, what this has meant for Spinnaker is a busy few years. While the initial reaction to covid in 2020 was to batten down the hatches and suspend all but essential recruitment, our executive search business experienced a surge in assignments. This continued into 2021 and almost normal recruitment below the boardroom returned only for the whole market to quieten down in the last half of 2021 as covid also returned.

In 2022 Spinnaker’s recruitment consultants made 20% more shore-based placements than in 2021. We’re extremely proud of the team we have. They have shown true resilience since covid struck and continued to build upon our reputation for recruiting with honesty and integrity.

Throughout this period the dry bulk and liner markets were booming and as both of those have calmed, the tanker market has taken off. In all three sectors, employers have needed to respond by strengthening their operations teams in particular – the demand never seems to dim.

Conscious of the demand for operations staff we decided to take a look at which jobs keep Spinnaker’s recruiters busy. We weren’t at all surprised to see that by numbers of placements, over the last four years operations tops the list almost 1 in 5 jobs filled. Charterers and commercial analysts make up another 1 in 10.

The majority of marine roles (port captains, HSEQ, marine superintendents, marine advisors and so on) are occupied by former seagoing deck officers. Combined with technical roles (former engineers, surveyors, technical superintendents, etc.), we estimate that just over 1 in 5 jobs are filled with former seafarers.

Spinnaker’s roots when we started in 1997 were in maritime law, insurance and P&I and those sectors still account for 1 in 6 of the people we place.

Where do we place these people? Well, just about everywhere. Although based in the United Kingdom, we work with clients and candidates the world over. Asia has always accounted for about a quarter of our business, with Europe and the Middle East remain at just under a third. The US and Africa vary wildly from year to year with the balance in the UK, generally accounting for about a third of what we do.

This article was written by Spinnaker Chairman, Phil Parry.

Find out more about our recruitment business by contacting one of the team.
hello@spinnaker-global.com

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