As MARPRO expands its presence, Christopher will lead the new office’s recruitment services in the region.
Christopher Kontraros brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise, having held a pivotal role in various maritime organizations. His deep understanding of the industry’s intricacies makes him the perfect choice to spearhead MARPRO’s expansion into Athens. Christopher Kontraros’ vision, combined with MARPRO’s extensive network and reputation, is set to revolutionize maritime recruitment in the region.
In this interview, we explore his vision for MARPRO in Athens, his insights into the industry, and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.
Q: Christopher, congratulations on your new role as branch manager of MARPRO’s new Athens office. How do you feel about this opportunity?
Christopher: Often enough in the past I found myself spending endless time trying to find a better, faster, and more efficient way to do research and find appropriate solution to a task at hand. With MARPRO I am excited to find that this research has been implemented and the method proven to work. This new, modern, and out of the box recruitment model certainly saves time and expenses, but most importantly helps achieve the hiring of the most suited candidate. I am extremely happy to join MARPRO at this confluence time!
Q: What business impact on MARPRO are you expecting to achieve with your new role?
Christopher: My immediate goal (0-12 months) is to introduce MARPRO to the Greek maritime market and thereafter to establish the name MARPRO as a synonym to top quality, great value, high standards, consistent performance. The impact will be to establish the reputation of a valuable partner, providing customized staffing solutions.
Q: How will you approach the task of identifying new business opportunities to grow MARPRO in Greece?
Christopher: The Greek shipping and maritime companies have proven to be very resilient in altering their ways and employees in this role extremely reluctant to bring forth anything that could place their position in jeopardy. Barriers will need to be overcome, trust developed, and old habits altered for new methods and processes to be tried, learned, and accepted. I believe that patience and perseverance will be valuable tools to show companies how the fool proof choice is to “partner” with MARPRO for the recruitment of maritime professionals.
Q: What will be the greatest challenges for you as a Recruitment Branch Manager in Greece to have?
Christopher: I feel the most import and extremely challenging task in my new role will be to reshape the traditional Greek way of recruiting by building the company’s profile and demonstrating how MARPRO can become more of an external HR department, with a mission to match the company’s philosophy and requirements with the best suited candidate, rather than being just another impersonal recruiting company. I strongly believe that MAPRPO’s approach and philosophy is more of a long-lasting collaboration rather than just ‘a job for a client’.
Q: What are some of the most important skills for a Recruitment Branch Manager to have to succeed in Greece?
Christopher: By default, a recruiter must be an active listener, have high communication (verbal & written) skills, be sales savvy and possess an aptitude in negotiations. Moreover, to be strong in prioritizing and effective with time management. A recruiter should be self-motivated, honest, and resilient. These traits are important in the challenging Greek market, perhaps more so than many other markets. As a branch manager, I will need to continually network, motivate, be respectful, inspire, as I demonstrate and promote the advantages of building a long-term relationship with MARPRO.
Q: What market trends should MARPRO focus on to succeed in the Greek market?
Christopher: The problem with the Greek market is not so much the newer trends as much as persuading the decision makers to visualize the benefits. Meaning how we offer a more efficient, time saving and cost-effective method. Greece has maintained a degree of old-fashioned methods of hiring which include word of mouth, or minimalistic postings which in many cases are incognito adverts, yet the expectation is to receive the ‘all-star’ resume. However, like for our personal needs we will refer to a specialist doctor, electrician, plumber, etc., similarly for recruitment it is the logical choice to refer to the professionals. Cultivating client relationships, hearing their needs, and providing customised solutions will build word of mouth success.
As part of its expanding plan, the MARPRO group opened an office in the Benelux area in 2020 and is well-established in the region. Read more about it here.
We can expect to hear more from MARPRO as they continue to expand their operations in Europe and beyond.