AsiaMaritime CEOOperations

Direct Search Asia: HR issues in Singapore

Singapore: Recruitment firm Direct Search Asia is now very firmly hitting its stride. Founded last year by Jason Tay, who was formerly with international HR firm Faststream, Direct Search Asia is made up of a team of specialist recruiters who come from diverse but relevant backgrounds. They used to be seafarers, naval architects, shipbrokers, surveyors, commodity traders, industry experts or experienced recruiters.

Tay is a good person to discuss one of the key issues that shipowners find most tricky about being based in Singapore – namely sourcing the right talent.

2015 recruitment activities continue to be busy for the shipping and commodity sector, but the same cannot be said for the maritime and oil and gas sector specifically with shipbuilders, OEMs and offshore drilling and production asset owners, as the market continues to be affected by the sluggish oil price, Tay notes.

“With more mergers and acquisitions happening in the market, employees working for these companies feel less confident with the business, hence triggering interest to look out for better opportunities. With this in mind, the majority of hiring activities in 2015 are related to filling existing vacancies,” Tay says.

The Singaporean government decision since 2012 to promote locals in favour of foreigners is hurting maritime employment, with Tay reporting there simply is not enough local talent to match Singapore’s broadening maritime hub status.

“It is very unlikely that the creation of new blood – locals – will catch up with the demand for talent in the industry, at least for the next few years,” Tay says.

Tay’s thoughts on human resources form one of the main articles in a soon-to-print 60-page special magazine on Singapore published by Splash.

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