The aviation industry isn’t known for maintaining a consistent pace of operations from month to month. Peaks and valleys are more common, and they tend to occur across the board, affecting many airlines at once. This means that aviation employers have a unique dilemma — when they need to hire, most of their competitors are looking for the same workers at the same time.
Currently, business is soaring. An April 2017 article in Aviation Week that surveyed Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) members found that nearly 60 percent expect to post higher sales in the next 12 months. “If there is a downside in bullish demand for maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) services, it is this: 81 percent of ARSA survey respondents report at least some difficulty in filling open positions,” the article continues. “The surging demand means they need to solve that problem quickly; 56 percent plan to add positions in the next year.”
Unlike most other jobs, aviation technicians, mechanics and service techs specialize in traveling to different job sites scattered across the country in nearly every state. The most sought-after workers have multiple offers during accelerated hiring periods; so how do aviation employers compete in the most effective way to secure that top talent?
Many aviation employers rely on recruitment firms to source, recruit and hire their workforce. Because of the surge hiring needs, their optimum staffing partners have capabilities specific to the industry, such as expertise in handling fast ramp-ups and access to a deep talent pipeline.Prioritizing the candidate experience
Creating that pipeline doesn’t happen overnight, according to Robert Jenny, an Aerotek recruiter. “It’s important to develop really great relationships with the candidates. If you make sure their goals, skills and interests are driving the discussion, you can do a better job of determining the positions where they are sure to excel. And long-term quality relationships are crucial to future placements.”
Multiple research studies have noted the degree to which prioritizing the candidate experience benefits employers, so it’s clear why taking this approach with the employees helps create the deepest pool of experienced talent to support aviation clients.
Because aviation jobs and the candidates don’t always exist in the same area, or even the same state, the recruiter should also have nationwide connections, in order to match the candidate from one area of the country with the job opportunity from another.Deep industry knowledge
Although a wide range of locations helps cast the widest net for talent, it’s also important to note that industry knowledge is equally important. Look for a recruitment firm that specializes in the aviation industry. That way, notes Jenny, they’ll know right away when you win a contract and need to staff up, or what your company needs are at different stages of your product lifecycle.Strict adherence to FAA regulations
Ideally, your recruitment partner will have an internal compliance department that ensures candidates are cleared through Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, which reduces the chance of facing warnings, penalties and even having an employee removed from the job site. When security clearance is required, your recruiter should ensure this is done before any new employee is brought onboard.
With the aviation business firing on all cylinders, you’ll want to do everything you can to minimize the hiring hassles to ensure you can focus on growing your business. When you have all your staffing resources in place, your business with be cleared for takeoff.Want to learn more about surge hiring in aviation? Contact Aerotek now.