University Of Tasmania
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Exploring employer of choice potential in the shipping industry: an organisational perspective

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posted on 2023-05-26, 04:31 authored by Kokoszko, N
This dissertation into the maritime industry and its current shortage of seafarers examines the possible applicability of an employer of choice strategy into organisations employing seafarers to increase their recruitment and retention. This exploratory study examines how organisations may be able to increase the recruitment and retention of seafarers by implementing strategies, concerned with satisfying the needs of their employees while still achieving organisational goals and objectives. The implementation of an employer of choice strategy emerged after an analysis of the literature revealed that although the maritime industry has become increasingly aware of the shortage of experienced and highly qualified seafarers there has been little development of practicable strategic solutions. An exploration of other industries revealed that an employer of choice strategy may provide maritime organisations and the shipping industry with a practicable solution to the shortage ofwell trained and experienced seafarers. In order to assess the current practices of Australia's maritime organisations as well as the applicability of the employer of choice strategy, primary data collection was conducted according to procedures outlined in the research design and methodology chapter of this study. A telephone survey instrument was developed and used to collect in-depth data from the small sample selected specifically for their knowledge and experience in managing the recruitment and retention of seafarers in their respective organisations. The design of the survey was considerate of the presence of bias and potential error, which could impact on the validity of the data collected. Reducing the likelihood of errors and bias was controlled during the design process and through the use of pre-testing. The data analysis and discussion were combined to produce a single chapter evaluating the results of the telephone surveys. The initial discussion examined the high response rate and varied survey length. The discussion of results undertook a functional approach as per the order of the survey instrument. The results indicate shipping organisations in the sample, are aware of the shortage of highly skilled and experienced seafarers, however, the practices to increase recruitment and retention varied in application. The conditions of employment in these organisations were found to be in line with employer of choice organisations. There was evidence that some organisations are adopting employer of choice characteristics but not necessarily the complete employer of choice strategy. Interestingly, attention was lacking to increase the awareness of the industry to a broader range of potential applicants who may increase the number of highly qualified and experienced seafarers produced in Australia. The application of an employer of choice strategy to increase the recruitment and retention of seafarers in shipping companies is possible. However, given the isolation of a single organisation trying to increase recruitment and retention in an industry experiencing poor awareness and reputation, there is a need for industry level investment. Therefore, an industry-wide initiative to improve operational standards, raise the image and awareness of seafaring careers and thereby increase recruitment and retention may be more effective.


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