Recruitment in the digital age

Enhancing global hiring and empowering seafarers’ career choices

By Isabelle Rickmers

The maritime sector has undergone a significant transformation driven by digital innovation, as evidenced by the thriving maritime startup scene. One such startup is TURTLE, a pioneering maritime recruitment platform that streamlines the hiring process and improves global connectivity between shipping companies and seafarers.

As digital technologies continue to advance, platforms such as this are becoming essential to the future of maritime recruitment.

TURTLE leverages data and AI to transform recruitment. By utilising the interactions of its users, the platform becomes more valuable with each new participant, illustrating powerful network effects. Our approach addresses hiring inefficiencies, connects global talent more effectively, and enhances regulatory compliance.

In addition, the platform supports greater diversity in the maritime industry by facilitating outreach to underrepresented groups and nationalities, which is crucial as the sector works towards a more balanced representation of genders and cultures on board ships. The platform also mitigates the risks of regional or global disruption such as the Covid-19 pandemic. The shift to digital recruitment speeds up the hiring process and widens the scope for finding the best candidates quickly.

Empowerment of seafarers

For seafarers, using TURTLE means self-determination and the certainty that their sensitive data is protected. It also closes compliance gaps and lowers the barriers to entry into the industry. A digital career planning tool enables continuous career planning and assignment management, regardless of geographical location, and is therefore a key benefit for seafarers.

In addition, it offers online mentoring programs that are extremely valuable in guiding younger seafarers through the complexities of maritime careers and helping them climb the career ladder with easily accessible expert advice.

The digitalisation of maritime recruitment increases transparency and promotes ethical practices. Data-driven recruitment processes help to reduce the risk of corrupt practices such as illegal recruitment fees – costs which should be borne by companies not by seafarers as per the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006. Through our platform, seafarers can report and review their recruitment experiences, fostering an environment of accountability and trust. Access to salary benchmarks and contract standards also helps seafarers make informed decisions, ensure fair employment practices, and promote a culture of transparency and equity.

The benefits of implementing a digital recruitment tool are particularly evident after a short transition period from traditional processes to an independent search. These include better hiring metrics like time to hire, driving efficiency, easier candidate assessment, and better access to global talent.

TURTLE plans to further expand its digital services to keep pace with technological advances and the new demands of the industry. The focus will continue to be on supporting seafarers and providing shipping companies with tools, data insights, and employer branding support to effectively manage their recruitment needs.

As part of our mission, TURTLE will continue to support vital industry initiatives designed to tackle illegal recruitment practices.

Isabelle Rickmers is CEO and founder of TURTLE.