Shipping hires bounce back in 2021

Shipping is back in hiring mode as the markets improve and the world economy attempts to build back better, post-Covid. The uptick is noticeable at Splash Jobs where the number of openings has increased by 40% this year. As of this week, there are 750 jobs across every strand of maritime and offshore posted on this site.

There’s considerable focus on replacement rather than growth hires

Leading recruitment firms are also seeing plenty of HR moves this year.

David Tubb, a director at UK-based Spinnaker, told Splash: “Generally, it feels as though the number of available vacancies is increasing.”

Crewing vacancies, particularly heads of crewing for several large owners, have been especially in demand.

Heidi Heseltine, managing director of Halcyon Recruitment, said overall confidence levels for recruitment are improving in 2021 and activity levels are on the up globally, particularly in locations with low numbers of Covid-19 cases and strong vaccination programmes.

“There’s considerable focus on replacement rather than growth hires but this is primarily as a result from companies holding back in 2020 due to the uncertainty the pandemic created,” Heseltine said.

Both Spinnaker and Halycon are reporting strong recruitment demand from fast growing maritime tech companies too.

Rory McGuire, a partner with Flagship Management, said business development positions along with maritime tech start ups are leading the recruitment drive at the moment. He is also seeing significant demand for extra staff for companies targeting the offshore renewables areas both in Europe and in Asia.  

Mark Charman, the CEO of Faststream Recruitment, said that maritime in general has seen a return to hiring confidence in the opening months of 2021.

“Companies that had been in a survival mode are now thinking about thrive mode,” Charman said.

“Organisations have had a lot of time to think and are looking to reinvent themselves in the post-Covid era,” the Faststream boss said, adding that potential candidates who had not been keen to risk changing jobs during the first year of the pandemic are now more willing to move on.

Recent Faststream surveys also show that pay in the maritime sector remains static, and is likely to remain so for the next three to four years. Consequently, people are changing jobs in order to get a pay rise.

To check out the 750 job postings on Splash Jobs from 22 countries across the globe, click here.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Over 750 jobs in 22 countries sounds great but, unless you are Singaporean or can get a work permit for the US, Malaysia or India, then your choice is limited to a handful of openings.
    376 – SG
    150- MY
    95 – US
    12 UAE
    10 India
    That leaves 29 in the entire EU and 51 in the UK, plus another 30 or so spread around other visa embargoed countries like Australia, Thailand and Canada.
    The issue is not quantity but quality and access – How are Europeans and British people going to access the maritime markets for jobs when so many are restricted to locals and people who already live there?

    1. Hi Martyn,

      Thank you for sharing.
      Is it possible to get a work visa in EU countries at this point of time?
      I am Abhijit from India, residing in Mumbai. Lost my job due to Covid. I have 15+ years of experience in Logistics domain as Customer service n operation.
      Thank you,
      Best wishes,
      Abhijit Roy
      Ph +91 9820247509

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