Aviation, more so than possibly any other form of transportation, has a glittering history of pioneers; people who weren’t afraid to take risks and who went on to reap the rewards.
All different in character, they each possess unique traits that can be translated to inspire an innovative approach to recruitment that will get your company set for take-off.
Here’s our pick of the top aviation pioneers and what they can teach us about aviation recruitment:
Samuel Franklin Cody
A favourite son of Davenport, Iowa (via Farnborough Airport), Samuel Franklin Cody was a Wild West showman turned early aviation pioneer. Famous for his terrifying war kites, he was the first man to fly an aeroplane in Britain in 1908 and aided the British war effort throughout WW1 from his base in Farnborough.
Samuel Franklin Cody teaches us not to judge a book by its cover, and that a great hire might not be the exact type of person you’d originally imagined.
Geoffrey de Havilland
Credited with creating the most versatile warplane ever built – the Mosquito or ‘Wooden Wonder’ – Geoffrey de Havilland was another aviation pioneer who’s become synonymous with Farnborough. Despite being of relatively humble stock, he went on to win numerous titles and awards for innovation, as well as designing first aircraft to bear an official Royal Aircraft Factory designation.
Geoffrey de Havilland’s career epitomises the advantages that can be gleaned from making a field accessible to all, and from experimenting with new methods and materials. In recruitment terms, this means using a trusted partner to utilise new methods like social media and jobsites to open up the floor to the most skilled applicants from around the world.
Brave and rambunctious, Amelia Earhart was a pioneer for both aviation and women’s rights. She was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross after becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, and played an instrumental role in the formation of The Ninety-Nines (an organisation for female pilots) before her tragic disappearance in 1937.
Amelia Earhart epitomises courage, both to chart new courses and to challenge convention. Today, this could mean identifying the resources to expand into new markets, or to think outside the box when it comes to setting your job brief and choosing your preferred candidates.
Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle is credited with single-handedly inventing the turbojet engine. Contrary to popular belief, a prototype was tested before the war – as far back as 1937. His designs have since revolutionised the aviation industry, and shrunk the world to such an extent that it can be circumnavigated in under a day.
From Sir Frank, we learn about the advantages of a forward-thinking approach, and to be brave enough to stick to this approach even under difficult circumstances. Use this mentality to develop a proactive recruitment strategy – even when the job market seems to lack enough qualified candidates, or there’s no immediate need for new hires – and you’ll be best placed to snap up the talent as soon as it’s needed.
Better known as ‘Sully’, it took just one grey New York afternoon for this man’s name to reverberate around the world. On January 15 2009, he was forced to make an emergency water landing on the Hudson River (just off Manhattan Island) after striking a flock of geese. All 155 passengers and crew escaped unharmed, and Sully was rightly labelled a hero.
From Sully, we learn that a cool head under pressure can help rescue a seemingly lost situation. Apply this next time you’re under-staffed or need to adapt quickly to a changing situation. Fall back on your recruitment strategy and trusted recruitment partners, fill the void and find success.
The list goes on, and on. But, there are some things that we can take from each of aviation’s foremost pioneers.
If you’ve been inspired to take another look at your recruitment strategy, contact AeroProfessional and find out how you can make your goals a reality.