If you haven’t dedicated some serious time to fine-tuning your cabin crew recruitment strategy for the peak season, then you might well be putting your airline’s reputation for customer service at risk.
As with so many things in life, when it comes to hiring cabin crew for peak season, timing is everything. We’ve put together this article to help anyone that wants to fine-tune their recruitment strategy and better understand the ebb and flow of cabin crew recruitment.
Hiring cabin crew too early
If you jump the gun and commence your cabin crew recruitment process long in advance of your competitors, then don’t be surprised if your prized candidates jump ship for a more lucrative offer later on in the season.
Talent poaching is an undeniable problem when it comes to hiring cabin crew, as can be seen in recent reports from the Indian market. While it’s not uncommon to keep tabs on some of the industry’s top talent, such rampant poaching can have a debilitating effect on individual airlines, and the industry as a whole.
Ultimately, a small carrier may not be able to compete with a legacy carrier due to the ‘brand name’ being important to the candidate. However, if a smaller carrier provides an offer based on roster pattern or location, they may be able to trump the legacy carrier title.
Smaller carriers do not have the financial muscle of the bigger players. This is evident when legacy carriers decide to offer more money to candidates during the latter stages of the recruitment process. This ensures that the highest calibre candidates in the dwindling applicant pool choose them rather than smaller competitors.
If your recruitment strategy is undercut by a competitor, or a candidate decides to leave, you will need to assess your options and decide whether it’s worth re-entering the job market at such a late stage in the season.
Hiring cabin crew too late
Postponing your cabin crew hiring process to align with your competitors isn’t enough to ensure you land the highest calibre cabin crew candidates.
If you inadvertently leave it too late, you’ll end up with a pool of potential candidates who have already been turned down by other carriers. The remaining candidates might have little-to-no experience, or have shown traits that would make them unsuitable for a cabin crew role.
And, with a small candidate pool and high level of demand, candidates have scope to hold out for an increased rate.
When is the best time to start hiring?
Establish your recruitment strategy during the off-season. Draw up both long-term and seasonal cabin crew recruitment goals, delegate these to the relevant staff members and make sure your strategy is carried through into a tangible recruitment policy.
Plan how you will market your vacancies six months before peak season, then set the wheels in motion with around three months to go. This should give plenty of time for your employment proposition to be seen by high-calibre cabin crew candidates.
As we move into October, you should begin aggregating and filtering the first responses from prospective candidates. This process should continue until January, at which point you should start making contact with the cabin crew candidates on your shortlist and offering places.
Try to wrap up the interview process by late January in order to leave yourself enough time to train your new cabin crew, undergo application checks and to fill in the gaps left by employees who choose to move on before the season begins.
By following this timeline, or deploying a trusted recruitment partner such as AeroProfessional to take on the cabin crew hiring process for you, you can adapt effectively to seasonal recruitment trends and optimise your service for customers.