7 Ways Maritime Recruitment Teams Can Go Paperless
The paperless office is something that most workplaces aspire to be. Eliminating, or at least, reducing, the amount of paper you use is not just better for the planet, it’s also kinder on your budget too when you remove the need to purchase paper, printer ink and even files and folders.
According to research undertaken by The Paperless Project in 2020, companies in the United States spend in excess of $120 billion on printed forms - the majority of which become outdated within three months.
Does that strike a chord? Does your maritime recruitment or crew planning department - as well as the rest of your company as a whole - have excessive amounts of obsolete forms that are printed out and virtually useless for anything other than scrap paper?
If so, it’s time to address the issue and take steps towards becoming a paperless company.
7 Ways maritime recruitment teams can go paperless
Unlike many corporate shifts and policy changes, going paperless doesn’t have to be painful. In fact, you might be surprised at how easy it is - and how it will simplify your processes once you’ve made the change.
Let’s look at a few actionable ways you can help your team, department or organization say goodbye to wanton paper usage.
- Use note taking apps instead of notebooks and pens
If your employees are still writing their to-do lists or notes in a notebook, encourage them to start using an online solution. There are plenty of applications out there, from Google Keep to Evernote - and plenty more in between.
Best of all, many note taking apps are free to use, which will reduce the costs associated with buying office stationery such as notebooks and pens.
2. Digitize your signing in and out book
If visitors to your company’s premises are still signing into a physical guest book or onto a paper sign-in sheet, it’s time to update your process.
Aside from the fact that you’re having to buy the materials needed for your visitors to sign in, security can also become an issue. Visitor management systems or digital sign-in software will reduce risks and ensure that the people who don’t work in your building are signed in and out, efficiently and correctly.
3. Accept seafarer resumes online
These days, most applicants expect your company to be digitized and harness the power of mobile recruitment in the maritime industry. The days of typing our resumes and mailing them to employers are over. And emailing CVs is increasingly on the way out too.
Modern maritime recruitment departments use a software solution that enables candidates to apply for jobs online so that application forms, seafarer profiles, and resumes will be sent automatically to the recruitment officer and will be waiting for them when they log into the platform.
Not only does this reduce paper wastage at the applicant’s end, it also means that you as an employer or manning agent don’t have to waste paper and ink on printing out countless CVs.
4. Encourage people to recycle and reuse paper
It’s a rare company that will be able to go 100% paperless but you can encourage your maritime recruitment and crew planning departments to consider their paper usage by placing recycling bins around the office.
This will enable everyone to do their bit, get more involved in not wasting paper, and allow you to recycle leftover paper by using it either as scrap paper or even in the printer. Anything unusable can go in your recycling bins.
5. Store documents and contracts online
Embracing cloud computing is the way forward for any business that has an eye on the future. Not only does moving your storage online cut down drastically on paper, it is also more secure than leaving documents and contracts lying around or in filing cabinets - and it saves you money too.
For example, you can reduce maritime recruitment costs with cloud computing because you’ll have one simple point of access to all the tools and materials you need to source, interview, hire and manage crew.
In fact, this integrated approach to recruitment has been shown to reduce the time and cost of recruiting by 20% when compared to traditional recruitment methods.
6. Adopt e-signature software
E-signature, or electronic signature, software has been designed to allow users to get electronic documents and contacts signed without having to send out paper versions of the same document.
There are plenty of e-signature solutions available and for busy manning agents and maritime recruitment departments, these can be a lifesaver when it comes to lowering costs while increasing speed, convenience and security.
7. Use online forms instead of paper ones
When you’re conducting an interview, do you print out multiple sheets of paper with multiple variations of forms on them, depending on the position you’re interviewing for? Expensive and time consuming, isn’t it? Not to mention eco-unfriendly.
Now imagine if there was a way that you could conduct interviews online, while using custom-built forms that enable you to ask the right questions for the right officer or rating. Spoiler: There is.
In Martide’s maritime recruitment and crewing system software solution, we’ve created a feature called Forms. Not only does this help you create standardized interviews more easily, but you can also use forms to ask seafarers for their feedback, post-contract.
Don’t forget to establish a paperless office policy
There’s little point in pursuing the ideal of the paperless company if your employees don’t know about it. You need to make sure the policy has been communicated across all divisions of your organization so that people can act on it.
Getting employees to embrace change can be difficult. Successful software implementation can only be achieved by making sure your employees know why you’re changing systems. If people are kept up to date and given the reasons behind change, they’ll be far less likely to embrace it.
Why should your office go paperless?
Creating a paperless office environment has a number of benefits. These are just some of them:
- It’s more eco-friendly - the less paper used, the fewer trees are felled
- It’s more economical - when you digitize work processes you’re reducing the need to buy paper and ink, as well as other associated stationery items
- Cloud computing is more streamlined and efficient and will save your teams precious time
- Paper is vulnerable to damage or destruction. You could lose one or more documents due to fire, flood or even coffee spillage!
- Even if everyone in your company is meticulous, there’s still the possibility that physical documents may go missing.
- Taking things online is also far more secure than relying on paper contracts and documents
- And, if you want to be slightly cynical about it, it makes your company look better! No one wants to work with or for someone who doesn’t care about the environment…
How Martide can help you achieve your paperless goals
At Martide we are firm believers in the power of technology. That’s why we created our maritime recruitment and crewing system software for small to mid-sized shipping companies and manning agents.
We are a secure Software as a Service solution that centralizes all of your processes, from advertising your jobs and sourcing and hiring seafarers right through to crew planning and handling crew change over dates more efficiently.
If you’re looking to go paperless, streamline your maritime recruitment process and want to know what the best crew management software solution is, we can help.
Contact us today and request one of our no-strings attached demos at a time that’s convenient for you so that you can see exactly how we can help you.
This post was originally published on January 3rd 2023 and updated on September 18th 2023
Eve is Martide's content writer and publishes regular posts on everything from our maritime recruitment and crew planning software to life at sea.