Aviation industry trends: making recruitment work in a high-flying market

May 17, 2016 in News for Clients

Aviation industry trends: making recruitment work in a high-flying market

Rising from the depths of recession up to the clear air of an industry boom, the aviation industry has been among the most widely fluctuating in recent years. This has placed unexpected strain on aviation companies looking to expand, or even just maintain their regular operations.

Here’s a bird’s eye view of current industry trends that featured in our recent in-depth recruitment white paper:

  • Doubling in size between 2004 and 2014, the value of the aviation industry has risen from over £258bn pa to approximately £522bn pa (pwc.com)
  • An estimated 8.7m people are now directly employed within the aviation industry (atag.org)
  • 25,000 new aircraft are expected to fill the skies within the next 20 years, requiring around 480,000 new technicians, 350,000 more pilots (icao.int) and hundreds of thousands of additional cabin crew (one per 50 passengers)

With such growth on the horizon, aviation companies that are agile enough to adapt to change will not only survive, but flourish.

Top tips to help aviation companies make the most of recruitment strategy

This industry turbulence has posed a unique set of challenges for aviation recruiters, but there are things you can do to stay at the front of the formation. These are just some of the ways that you can adapt your strategy and plan your workforce in order to wring every last penny out of your recruitment budget:

Strategic workforce planning

Proactive vacancy anticipation

  • Conduct periodic forecasts of changing recruitment needs as a result of retirement, promotion, prolonged absence, business development and industry changes
  • Continual evaluation of talent pools, including current company staff, competitors and potential candidates in the wider aviation industry

Job specification

  • Clearly denote the requirements of specific positions; the job role, required skills, experience, qualifications and licences
  • Identify which team the candidate will become part of, which other staff members they will work with and how the company culture might impact on their operations

Candidate pool

  • Identify a broad pool of potential applicants that features current employees with potential (in the main office and on the periphery), people making a splash elsewhere in the industry and potential candidates with related skills in other industries

Assessment criteria

  • Train a select group of high-calibre staff as interviewers and incentivise them by linking the performance of new employees to their own perceived performance
  • Continually update interview methods and hone to meet requirements specific to the company
  • Insist C-suite staff be present for top-level hires, and ensure they adhere to the same criteria rather than relying on gut instinct alone
  • Denote and adhere to set referencing standards

Seal the deal

  • Show interest in and support of candidate interests and intended career development
  • Check that job role upon induction matches up to what was advertised
  • Ensure hire is signed off by management, not just HR


  • Develop a mentoring process whereby the most experienced and high-performing staff work directly with new recruits
  • Set deadlines by which the new employee should check in with the mentor, management and HR, regardless of whether any issues have become apparent


  • Denote a timetable for new employee review; reward exceptional performance tangibly and remove consistently poor performers within the first year
  • Make sure performance evaluators can be held accountable for the accuracy, relevance and comprehensiveness of their assessments

Strategic workforce planning can be set up and implemented in-house, though this may require significant capital investment and procedural overhaul. Alternatively, you can identify a long-term, trusted aviation recruitment partner to implement all of these practices in a way that slots seamlessly with your current practices.

At AeroProfessional, we aim to help you avoid costly recruitment programme setup and maintenance investiture, while giving you access to the expertise, resources and candidate pool that can set you apart from the competition.

Find out how AeroProfessional could get your aviation business set for take-off.



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