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Aspida Implements Rigorous Human Resource Management System

Published 24 July 2014 | By Aspida

The maritime security market evolves at a rapid pace, with legislation and requirements becoming stricter regarding PMSC. For this reason Aspida has implemented a very rigorous and precise HRM system with the aim of increasing the standards of the contractors that it employs and diminishing as low as reasonably practical (ALARP) the possibility of misconducts or accidents.

First of all, a very thorough screening procedure has been created, that in the first phase involves the crosschecking of all CV and documents received. In the second phase an in-depth semi structured interview procedure is utilized that checks not only operational knowledge of potential contractors, but most importantly it assesses personality traits and interpersonal skills that are crucial in order to assess if a candidate fits the prerequisites for a particular job.

In order to scientifically support the outcome of the interview procedure Aspida uses the Profiler Test as a psychometric screening instrument; this is based on the extensively used Big Five model. The Big Five model explores candidates' core personality characteristics, derived from 209 questions. These are:

  1. Neuroticism
  2. Conscientiousness
  3. Extraversion
  4. Agreeableness
  5. Openness to experience

Each scale measures a number of variables that explore a variety of personality traits. For instance, the Neuroticism scale examines the following subscales, which are crucial in this business:

  • Anxiety
  • Angry hostility
  • Depression
  • Self-consciousness
  • Impulsiveness
  • Vulnerability to stress

The psychometric test is administered to the potential candidate before the actual interview and all the interview procedure is based on the test findings in an effort to assess the candidate fully and in depth. Aspida believes that the human capital of the company is one of the most important factors for its success. Such an intense screening procedure creates advantages both for Aspida and its clients.

Aspida invests greatly in the wellbeing of its contractors, a procedure that commences from the initial screening in the interview procedure. From this initial psychometric assessment and onwards, all operators are in contact with Aspida's Organisational Psychologist in order to resolve any issues or psychological complaints that might emerge during deployments, well before they become a disturbing work stressor that will negatively affect their performance. The purpose of this project is to avoid turnover intentions of the operators and to preserve a stable pool of contractors that will eventually create a very cohesive, committed and highly operational team.

Due to the cultural diversity in terms of the operators that it employs (Greek, British, Danish and Polish) Aspida's HR department takes cultural differences into consideration and informs its operators in order to instill respect and enhanced work social support between its members.

At an organizational level a healthy (both physically and psychologically) and highly operational pool of contractors is considered very important both for Aspida and also it is a strong requirement for the majority of shipping companies who desire the most efficient security team on board their vessels.

All Aspida operators are highly experienced ex Special Forces members with a variety of military training and NATO operations backgrounds. Nevertheless, Aspida, in accordance with ISO 28007 requirements, requires that all operators are under continuous training that involves certifications from accredited training centers in the following courses:

  • Ship Security Officer (SSO)
  • Maritime Security Operative (MSO)
  • STCW
  • Maritime Firearms Competency Course (MFCC) and Refresher Course every year (MFRC)
  • First Person on Scene (FPOS) Medical Training

In addition, all operators are required to provide Aspida with a criminal record statement annually.

When a candidate successfully passes the two phases of the screening procedure they are required in the third and final phase to undergo detailed medical exams that need to be renewed annually in order to monitor the physical and psychological health of contractors, a necessity in such a high-risk occupation.

The exams requested are the following, and failure or denial to submit these documents automatically implies the disqualification of the contractor:

  • Drug and alcohol test
  • Psychiatrist evaluation
  • General medical examination
  • Treadmill test
  • Eye test
  • Vaccination card

Through this thorough procedure, Aspida believes that it retains a very adequate and efficient team of contractors that will ensure the professionalism of the company and will reflect the high quality standards that Aspida represents towards the shipping industry.