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IT has been an exceptionally busy month here at Spinnaker Towers. Quite apart from getting on with the day job, battling away to fill the odd vacancy here and there, we’ve been involved in the PYNDA 40th anniversary conference at the IMO, hosted the annual Maritime HR Forum conference and badgered all of you out there to get involved in shipping’s first industry-wide charity Trading Day, which raised £51,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.

And over the last month or two, we must admit to having become more and more bemused about the state of the market. Until April the shipping recruitment sector had been going through much the same experience as most other industry sectors – over the last two quarters we’ve had more vacancies than ever before and very high levels of interview activity, but this has resulted in fewer placements than usual. Why? Well, it seems that employers are being more cautious; they are taking their time and doing more interviews before deciding, quite a few job offers are less generous, but at the same time the jobseekers themselves are being fussier about moving on. Their reasoning? Why risk the security of the job I have (even if I don’t love it) unless I’m made a really sexy offer?

So, we have seen a gulf open up between the expectations of employer and jobseeker. And it many cases it has proved unbridgeable.

But happily, while everyone keeps talking about 2012 being shipping’s blood-on-the-carpet year, Spinnaker is on track for a potentially record-breaking third quarter. Has the market recovered? Is it a temporary spike? Are we just lucky? Who knows? But we hope it lasts just a little bit longer…

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