The shipping industry requires effective human resource practices and policies. Some of the most critical personnel-focused services managed by HR that impact efficiency and productivity include training, performance appraisal, hiring and compensation. HR should be agile, open to technological developments and ensure employee dynamism by developing policies that aim to contribute to workers' personal improvements, leading to high satisfaction levels and better teamwork.

Planning and Career Development

Your HR manages administrative and planning activities like identifying shipping job specifications and preparing job descriptions, managing the information system, planning for risk management regarding potential hazards, conducting employee attitude surveys and leading with the development and adoption of new HR practices. HR policy should ensure career structures are enacted to avoid a shortage of quality-educated officers to perform operations that require multidisciplinary and increasingly technical skills.

Training and Performance Appraisal

For a shipping company, HR policy should emphasize training and development programs and regular performance appraisals for personnel. Training should focus on necessary technical skills for employees to perform their jobs and interactive skills to ensure courteous and responsive service. Continuous maritime training empowers the workers, ensuring you have, and can maintain, qualified manpower. Conduct periodic performance appraisal of employees to ascertain their competencies and suggest retraining when appropriate.

Hiring and Compensation

Your HR function should have a well defined recruitment policy so you attract service oriented employees. Potential candidates should be selected based on service attitude and competence. The policy will enable competitive hiring practices and a compensation system that give you a competitive advantage. Aim to recruit from some of the top maritime labor supply nations like the Philippines, Indonesia, India, China and Russia. These countries do not have a leading international commercial fleet of their own, so seafarers from these nations largely constitute crews of convenience on the vessels of other nations.

Workforce Diversity

By the nature of the shipping industry, HR should aim to facilitate workforce diversity so that global operations are enhanced. Your company should have a policy covering such variables like pay for performance, equality of minority and majority groups of employees and flexible work schedules to accommodate cultural practices for various employees such as religious practices. If you have to maintain a workforce in various countries where your shipping line is destined for deliveries, HR will need to handle local labor laws and unions. Have a proper HR information system that keeps all locations on a data loop to ease management.