Singapore: Throughout his time working at shipping service providers Imtech Marine and prior to that Kelvin Hughes, Clarence Khoh continued to rail at the difficulties in recruiting the right people – a problem faced by many in the Lion Republic. This frustration, however, created an opportunity for Khoh to act and he has just set up Talent-Merge, a Singapore-headquartered recruitment firm.
“Having worked in the maritime sector for over 10 years, it was often a challenge to find the right candidates with experience to fill up vacant positions. Often, I had to wait for months before the positions were filled,” Khoh recalls.
His new firm will be focusing mainly on executive search for the maritime sector. The plan is to expand beyond Singapore, with Hong Kong as the next port of call.
Looking at human resources in Singapore Khoh says: “The maritime sector has a greying population of talent. New blood is needed to reenergise and continue the success in the next wave.”
Khoh sees more mergers and acquisitions in 2016, which means that there will be qualified senior executives looking for a new challenge.
Khoh, having worked for tech firms in the past, has some very valuable ideas of how to get the youth of today interested in a career in shipping.
“If we want to attract the Gen Y and Gen Z to join the maritime sector, more needs to be done by using technology,” Khoh says. “It will be ideal if we can have students going onboard the vessel for one week and experiencing what it is like to be onboard a vessel , and letting them know that they can still access to social media, such as Facebook and stay connected with their friends. This may further gain their interest and attract them to join the maritime sector.”