News & Updates

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12 Months Of Change

Mar 17 2021

In March 2020 we switched to an end-to-end digital recruitment process which has made significant changes to the way we recruit and manage our candidates. Our client interface has also changed as we waved goodbye to heavy email attachments, and welcomed a simple digital solution.

Ankaa Recruiter has provided a holistic solution allowing us to work faster and more efficiently, it is now easier than ever before to identify the most suitable candidates for our clients.

There have been so many positives that have come from this bold move, that we could almost forget that it coincided with the biggest global pandemic for over 100 years… almost! So let’s have a look at what has changed.


One secure link


Previously we would send candidate details to clients via multiple emails with huge attachments, so they could view documents and experience. These days we send a unique, password protected URL to our clients who can view all the shortlisted candidates, their documents and experience in one single location. This is not only faster, but provides additional data protection as the links are time-lapsing, so our clients don’t need to worry about personal data cluttering their inbox with candidates that have not been utilised.



The advent of social media allowed us to make it easier to spread word of specific vacancies but we have previously struggled to efficiently capture, manage and review applications online. Thanks to the new process we can now gather information quickly in one central location. It has also provided us with a mechanism to search the database for a specific ship name, vessel type experience, certificate and other competence metrics. This means we can efficiently utilise the data at our fingertips and deliver suitable candidates that meet client-specific requirements, faster than ever before.



The last 12 months have been challenging, we have experienced at least two Nationwide, and multiple localised lockdowns in the UK due to Covid -19.  Whilst we have been working from multiple locations, at home, and in the office,  we have been able to provide a seamless recruitment experience for our clients, and candidates, as our team all have remote access to the system. Out-of-hours activity and productivity have also been greatly improved as we can access the full database at any time, any place.



We did the maths and can confirm that Ankaa has provided us with a 67% time saving on generating digital joining employment related paperwork. The efficiencies created by the automations within the system have exceeded our expectations and we hope that our clients, and candidates, can see the benefit too.



Gone are the days when seafarers would need to wait till they got home to review their payslips or have to go to a third-party interface to download it. We have integrated payslips to the mobile app for easy access anywhere in the world. Generating digital payslips has also led to far lower volumes of payroll queries or requests for duplicate documentation, saving our office team many hours of admin.  The system additionally provides full visibility on validity of documents, expiry alerts and company messaging. We have received great feedback about these features from our crew.



We work hard to improve our carbon footprint within the company, but the biggest change this year has been Project Paperless. After introducing a digital recruitment system in March, we allowed 3 months of crossover before removing all our filing cabinets, further demonstrating our commitment to a digital, paper free future. Decades worth of candidate paper files were sent to a confidential shredding service, and the filing cabinets were sent off to enjoy their retirement. We estimate that this will save us over 60,000 sheets of paper per year in the UK Head Office alone.



4.3 stars is the rating that you have given our new system. We understand it’s a big move for some of our candidates who may not be so familiar with technology, but we have been encouraged by how much you have embraced it. We are listening to your feedback and each month release new features which we hope you will see the benefit from.



We are committed to continual innovation and have great plans for more efficiencies in the coming months and years. Here are just a few we have been working on –

  • Peer to peer review of contract documentation.
  • Push to employer with full visibility of recommendation to employ, candidate profile including certifications, vacancy details and ability to approve or decline.
  • Candidate contract review, banking and personal detail confirmation/input, electronic signature using one time password authorisation enabling a clear audit trail for all stakeholders.
  • Link to payroll, travel systems and owner’s database via API to further reduce administration burden.


In 12 short months, we have launched a new system, navigated a pandemic, shredded all our old paper files, removed the filing cabinets and grown from zero candidates registered to just over 12,000.  Our digital candidate profiles each have accurate personal information and up to date certification, are easy to access wherever we are, and visible to our clients in a couple of clicks. Our search capabilities are far greater than ever, and we are more efficient with a proven 67% increase in the speed of processing employment paperwork.

It’s been a steep learning curve for all of us, and there are many new features in the pipeline, but we are very proud of how far we have come in the last 12 months, and we hope that our clients, and candidates have experienced the benefits too. ­­­