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6 Ways to Attract the Best Aviation Talent

  • by: Maxime Robert
  • On: 4, Dec 2019
4 min read

From ground handling personnel and mechanics to pilots, individuals working in Aviation must be a perfect fit for their role. However, with an urgent skills shortage dominating the industry over the past few years, finding the right skills and experience is becoming increasingly difficult.

Boeing forecasts that the global demand for commercial pilots will double in the next 20 years. More than two in five Aerospace executives identify a maintenance technician labour shortage as their biggest challenges. By 2040 the sector will require 800,000 pilots and 750,000 new technicians to build over 40,000 planes around the world.

How can airlines, MROs, OEMs and industry suppliers hire skilled workforces to meet heightening demand? Here are 6 ways to attract high quality permanent and contract workers.


How to Recruit Aviation Skills


1. Establish an Employer Brand of Choice

An employer branding strategy can make or break candidate attraction results. Strong brand advocacy is important to stand out amongst competitors and attract top talent with the image of the ideal place to work.

Social media is an excellent place to start strengthening an employer brand image. Appeal directly to the motivations and career aspirations of your target audiences by promoting the company’s most relevant perks across websites and digital channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube. Instagram is an excellent space to showcase the positive working experiences of your existing workforce, such as company social events and parties, anniversaries, promotions and charity days, to provide a first-hand perspective of life as an employee.


2. Understand and Effectively Communicate Requirements

Understanding the specific goals, motivations and needs of your target candidate base means half the battle is already won.

Create a clear picture of the type of skillset you require – What systems will they have used previously? Do they need ‘softer’ skills like teamwork, communication and motivational skills to lead a diverse team? – and use this to inform candidate selection from the first stage. Regulatory requirements, personality and characteristics that complement company brand image and customer/stakeholder needs will establish the right standards of the role and enable hiring managers to evaluate each candidate against these standards.

Alignment between senior management, department heads and hiring managers delivers job advertisements that communicate position requirements, job focus and company culture clearly and positively. Positive candidate experiences save time, recourses and cost, and ensure a consistent interviewing process that engages top talent.


3. Consider Technological Help

The type of recruiting software available today has improved staffing process ease and efficiency. An Applicant Tracking System or ATS can automate elements of the hiring process to work alongside your recruitment agency and HR departments, helping them save time and improve productivity. Job advertising, reporting, analysis and cloud backup are simplified to provide faster and better results.


4. Industry Partnerships

Focus on creating partnerships with colleges and universities to promote exciting and little-known careers to the next generation of potential candidates.

The youngest demographic, Generation Z, most value autonomy, travel, new life experiences and opportunities to learn and develop skills. Young people are keen to see the world and take in as much as they can, and employers offering holidays, working abroad, employee benefits and flexible working is sure to attract this generation – making Aerospace & Aviation a perfect career fit for Gen Z.

Reaching potential talent pools at a young age before they have decided upon their career options can provide vital feedback on industry perceptions amongst young people of all ages and backgrounds. Volunteer to host a talk or discussion to connect directly with students and make them aware of the nature of vacancies in the industry and, more importantly, the type of skillset in demand. Capture the interests of pupils who want to pursue a life as a pilot, technician or engineer and nurture this potential talent through their education until they enter the industry.


5. Apprenticeships

A relatively new and untraditional route, pilot apprenticeships are increasing in popularity. Aerospace & Aviation apprenticeships are proving highly compatible with driven, intelligent and enthusiastic young people who want an exciting career path without University debt. Carriers such as Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, easyJet and TUI have created training programmes at entry or A-Level stage, opening up the sector to talent from a variety of ages and academic or vocational backgrounds. Qantas and Emirates are also investing £multimillions in new flight academies to train the next generation.

Internships also offer rare insights into Aerospace careers for younger students. The opportunity to gain practical knowledge and understand potential available opportunities will help employers engage, build and develop a pool of enthusiastic candidates as early as possible.


6. Partner with a Specialist Recruitment Agency

Staffing agencies that specialise in niche sectors and sub-sectors are equipped with decades of highly relevant knowledge. Recruitment partners can provide an objective view of company requirements and goals and compare with current market insights, to help business leaders and HR teams attract the right skills, knowledge and experience, as well as plan future workforces.

As Aviation engineering recruitment specialists, VHR have over 16 years’ experience supplying world-leading airlines, MROs and the sector supply chain. Our Queen’s Award for International Trade 2018 recognises our success finding high quality design, production, maintenance and managerial candidates across 50 countries.

Get in touch to find out how we can help your business.


Future Aerospace Staffing Trends

Rapidly advancing Aerospace technology and productivity expectations demand high calibre individuals with relevant and refined practical skills. Business leaders, hiring managers and recruitment partners must up their game in the coming years to attract and hire talent amidst growing competition.

Discover the Solution to the Pilot Shortage.

Read our Global Aviation Market Report for 2020

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