Lee Kok Leong, executive editor, interviews Olly Riches, President Director, Michael Page Indonesia and the Philippines on the current job markets.
What is your opinion of the current state of the economy and the general job market?
The Filipino economy has seen some recovery since last year and is expected to pick up even more from here in the year ahead. Bear in mind that the maritime/logistics sector in the Philippines is often looked at in relation to economic trends and activities.
Companies and hiring managers are very aware of the uncertainties in the global economy and are continuously looking at ways to minimize costs. Therefore, hiring activities and the job market will be cautiously optimistic.
Specifically, how is the job market for the maritime industry doing? Salary outlook?
A majority of the open positions are for business-critical roles in the maritime industry which support the company’s strategy while maintaining a close eye on budgeting and spending.
Quite a few companies have also gone into a hiring freeze, however optimistically the situation may be. On the other hand, some such as the container shipping sector has continuous hiring activity as they enjoy increases in profitability.
The general salary outlook is quite stable. While some Filipino companies have cut back on benefits and salaries to tide over the pandemic, this is expected to be a temporary measure.
Why do you think a career in the maritime industry is attractive?
The maritime/logistics industry has proven itself to be one of the recession-proof industries and remains resilient during the global pandemic.
Due to the significant increase of global freight rates as the current worldwide supply and demand situation benefits the shipping sector, the container shipping sector even experienced an unprecedented record profitability in 2020.
The maritime/logistics industry is still widely recognized as an enabler of trade which remains a necessary part in fueling the global economy.
What types of maritime jobs are in demand?
Jobs within the offshore sector (i.e., seafarers) are generally unhampered and remain in demand especially from countries who can provide such highly skilled professionals at competitive headcount cost levels.
As container shipping is expected to integrate into the logistics sector, individuals with strong qualifications, experience and capabilities in logistics/supply chain will experience more job opportunities as the industry goes through this expected evolution.
Your top advice for jobseekers.
- Revise your professional resume to highlight where you can offer values in the areas which matter now – integration, technology, sustainability.
- Renew your industry network/knowledge. This is important as new players constantly enter the areas of integration, technology, and sustainability and you want to keep ahead of such changes.
- Keep an open mind with regards to different types of employment in these pandemic times. This could come in the form of exploring mobility, contracted time period or perhaps partly compensated on your value-add
- Try not to get too caught up as to how a new job decision will look on your resume – these are unusual times and future employers will understand. Take a chance now.