Executive talent easy to find when looking in the right places

FINDING executives for key positions in the maritime industry has always been difficult, according to Horton International Maritime Practice Group director Adrian Reis, and “the
bad news is, it is going to get harder”.
There are a couple of drivers to the problem, according to Mr Reis.
“Naturally, there are the obvious ones such as the booming mineral resources and oil and gas sectors. However, the underlying cause is the cessation of cadet and training programs in
the mid 1990s that were previously provided by [shipping company] ANL and BHP Transport,” he said.
“Those cadets would ordinarily be coming ashore by now, complete with Master Class I Certificates, years of experience and local knowledge [but] just as the demand for experienced officers with management potential is rapidly growing the supply is quickly diminishing.”
The Maritime Practice Group is a specialised division of international executive search and selection firm Horton International. The division was created in response to industry
demand for a dedicated maritime industry capability in recruitment; it has specialists placed in Melbourne, London, Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm.
According to Mr Reis, Horton International recently made significant successful placements for major clients including P&O Maritime Services, Farstad Shipping, BP, The Baltic Exchange and BAE Systems. He said that, for positions in Australia in particular, there were large numbers of candidates in the UK and Northern Europe keen to develop their
careers, attracted to Australia’s high salaries and career development opportunities.
“We are getting large numbers of enquiries from maritime professionals that typically want to raise their families in Australia,” Mr Reis said.
“The cost associated with recruiting from the UK and the timelines are typically much the same as recruiting from interstate.” Mr Reis said that ‘selling’ Australia to international candidates as a possible work location was very easy.
“Most of them think beyond the initial image of sun, sea and surf,” he said.
“They are more interested in community harmony, education, employment opportunities for their children, lifestyle options for their partners and living standards.” Mr Reis cited Perth’s new Offshore Simulation Centre, for which Horton recently completed staff placements, as an example of successful placement of international candidates: he said that all of the successful applicants for the role of senior instructor were from the UK and had backgrounds in the UK’s maritime sector.
“The feedback from the client has been very positive and the successful candidates and their families are all enjoying their new country,” he said.
While good executive talent was highly sought after globally, Mr Reis said that Australia was a stand-out destination that candidates preferred.
“It’s a competitive advantage we at Horton International have used successfully on many occasions and it has enabled us to fill roles that otherwise would have been difficult placements,” he said.

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