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A day in the life of a Quay Crew Agent


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The Superyacht industry is growing larger every year! And here at Quay Crew our agents are busier than ever sourcing new candidates and building relationships with existing Yachts and Crew. Here’s an insight into a day in the life of a Crew agent…
9:00 am

The first job in the morning is to grab a coffee and check any urgent emails which may have come in overnight. After this, I respond to any other emails that have come in and check the system for new candidates registered or CVs updated – candidates keeping their profiles up to date is really important to help keep track of where they are and what they’re working on.

I interviewed a great engineer yesterday evening, he’s in New Zealand and luckily he’s registered overnight so I check all his documentation and write up the notes from our interview. The reference contact for his most recent boat is also in New Zealand and I couldn’t get hold of him last night so that’s a job for this evening. Although I don’t have any jobs suitable for him right now, I know a few of my clients would be interested in his experience so I’m keen to chat to his former captain to take a verbal reference and get his profile ready.

10:00 am

I’ve received an email from an engineer looking to transition across to yachting from the commercial industry. He’s done a cadetship and has some good initial experience, so I call him for a chat about his expectations and what he’s looking for. We talk about the yachting industry, the best way for him to get started and the differences he may encounter. He’s planning to stay where he is for the next few months and will contact me again before the summer season starts, as he has plans to head to Antibes!

One of my clients calls, he’s currently working on a huge refit project and is looking for a temporary engineer to start within the next few days, to help with the workload for a month or so. He explains what experience he’s looking for and I tell him I have a few guys who I know will be interested and fit his criteria and time period. I then try calling both candidates, only one picks up, I brief him on the job and he’s keen as he’s waiting to do his next ticket so temp work would be ideal. I’ve already interviewed him and got his notes and verbal references ready so I send his CV over to the Chief Engineer.

11:00 am

I got an incredible rotational Chief Engineer job in yesterday on a brilliant boat so I continue going through candidates to create my shortlist. I’ve already received over 100 applications (many of which don’t have the required ticket which is always frustrating). I whittle it down to my top 5, which most closely matches what my client has told me he’s looking for. Some of those on my list have already seen the job advert and contacted me before I got the chance to reach out to them, I like the proactive approach! All five confirm their interest after we speak about the job over the phone and four of the CVs are sent over to the Captain. I still need to follow up on verbal references for the fifth CV, I can’t get through to any of his reference contacts which is also frustrating. The candidate’s offered to reach out to them too so hopefully I can chat to them and get his CV sent over. Verbal referencing is a really important part of our job, many candidates can come across brilliantly during interview, but then you speak to their former captains or chief engineers and you find out they’re not so wonderful after all!

12:00 am

It’s almost lunch time and I have a candidate popping in shortly. He’s been having some time off doing courses and wants to have a chat about what qualifications to go for next and what type of positions he needs to be looking at to progress his career.

I’ve received an email from a client, he’s looking for a 2nd Engineer and needs someone to start next week, they need to have their B1/B2 visa and strong AV/IT skills. I give him a quick call to get a few other details and explain that I have a great engineer who matches the brief but he has a month’s notice to give. He said they could wait for the right person and is keen to see the candidate’s CV, so I ring the candidate to discuss the job and then send his CV over. I advertise the role and start compiling of list of anyone else I think could be interested!

1:00 pm

The Chief Engineer on the refit project looking for a temp engineer calls me. He’s been in contact with my candidate this morning and has offered him the job, great news! I ring the candidate to congratulate him and check that he’s happy. All’s good and they’re looking at flights for him to join within the next few days.

I try calling a candidate who has registered on the system overnight. He doesn’t answer so I leave a voicemail. In the meantime, my phone’s ringing non-stop about the rotational Chief role I got in yesterday – it’s certainly attracted a lot of attention, I have engineers ringing the office landline too!

2:00 pm

I’ve spotted another candidate who has registered, he’s spent the past 4 years as a Chief Engineer on his last boat. It’s a great boat with a fantastic reputation and I’ve spoken to the Captain many times before. Unfortunately, he doesn’t fit the criteria for any jobs I currently have but he’s one I’ll be mentioning to my clients! I give him a call to discuss his experience, then check his CoC via the MCA site, and check other documents on the system before calling his references. His former Captains confirm that he’s a rock star, phew!

I receive an email from an engineer I was chatting to last year. He’s now looking with his partner, a 2nd Stew. I give him a call and they’re realistic and flexible about working together, they’re focusing on their careers but would prefer ‘couple friendly’ boats. I don’t have anything suitable right now but discuss with my colleague Caroline as she deals with the 2nd Stew positions. We’ll keep a look out for them both, individually and together.

3:00 pm

A few of the engineers I’ve placed have started new jobs this week, so I touch base with them and the clients to make sure that they’ve joined ok and are settling in well. Everyone’s happy which is good to hear.

I received a message from a candidate I sent over to a job last week, he’s chasing for feedback. I give the Captain a call and the start date (and therefore initial urgency) has changed. They now don’t need anyone to start until next month, after the Atlantic crossing. The Captain’s still keen on the CVs sent across though, so I go back and update the candidates… they’re all still interested, I just hope they don’t get snapped up in the meantime!

4:00 – 5:30 pm

The late afternoon is spent touching base with candidates and clients over in the States, and sourcing candidates for the other jobs I have available.

So there you have it, an insight to my working day! One of things I love about my job is that no two days are the same, it can be rather unpredictable. What I enjoy most though is building relationships with my candidates and clients. I like to discuss the positions in detail with clients and learn about the crew culture on-board, and I always try to get back to my candidates who have been sent over to jobs, to keep them updated with progress or provide feedback. I also try to respond to every email I receive (which often means late night cups of coffee!) Consistent and thorough working practices means that I feel confident about each CV I send across, making sure the candidates tick as many boxes for the client, but also as importantly, that the boat is the right fit for the candidate & his/her career path too. It’s been interesting over the years following the careers of engineers I’ve placed, many have climbed up the ranks and returned as clients themselves which is great.

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