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Why candidate experience matters in aviation recruitment

In today’s competitive hiring landscape, candidate experience has become one of the most crucial elements of the aviation hiring process. It encompasses the entire journey candidates undergo, from selection, interviews and assessments, through to receiving an offer and potentially being hired. Additionally, it includes all communications between the recruiter and the candidate. Although the outcome cannot always be guaranteed, a positive candidate experience undoubtedly contributes to the airline’s reputation, whether they recruit in-house, or through a recruitment specialist. It also increases the likelihood of future applications from quality candidates, and fosters a professional and respectful relationship between the employer and prospective employees. In this article, we will explore the importance of candidate experience, and highlight the ways in which it could make a positive impact on your hiring outcomes.



What makes a great candidate experience?


candidate interviews

In the competitive sphere of aviation, it’s important to remember that it’s not only candidates who compete with each other to land their desired position. Airlines are also competing with other airlines to attract and retain top talent. Delivering a great candidate experience is of utmost importance as it leaves them with a positive impression of the airline, even if they don’t land the job in the end.

 

The team at AeroProfessional are experts in creating recruitment processes that are designed to provide candidates with a smooth and stress free experience, helping them to perform at their best during interviews and assessments.


NPS score

We recently conducted a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey, asking candidates to share their experiences working with us to find suitable aviation jobs. Our dedicated efforts have resulted in a remarkable Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 41, ranking us as 'Great' against the NPS categories, and above both the airline and recruitment industry benchmarks. NPS is a critical measure which calculates how likely candidates are to recommend us to others. It demonstrates how loyal and enthusiastic people are about our service.

 

Our primary goal is to instil confidence in our candidates, helping them to excel in interviews and ultimately be successful in securing a new role. The feedback from the survey has been overwhelmingly positive and constructive, reaffirming our commitment to high-quality service. Many candidates appreciated our personalised approach, expert advice, and the continuous support we provide throughout their job search journey. This positive reinforcement motivates us to further enhance our services, ensuring that candidates not only find suitable job opportunities, but also feel empowered and prepared for their career advancements.

Here's a snapshot of some of the results:


  • 88% agreed that AeroProfessional understood their job requirements.

  • 82% agreed that AeroProfessional’s questions or issues were dealt with promptly.

  • 85% agreed that the AeroProfessional team was knowledgeable and helpful.

  • 81% agreed that they have received enough support and guidance.

  • 84% found AeroProfessional’s communication clear and consistent.

  • 81% are satisfied with the job opportunities that AeroProfessional presented to them.


With such positive sentiment from our highly-valued community of aviation professionals, we’d like to share some of our top industry tips to help you optimise your candidate experience, and increase your engagement levels:


1. Create a quick and user-friendly application process


office meeting

The job application process is usually the first point of contact for candidates. It can easily become a breaking point. Therefore, it's critical to keep it short and straightforward. For example, asking candidates to complete a series of extra, non-compulsory  pre-application tests, in addition to the mandatory industry ones, can force them out of the process before they've had a chance to speak to the recruiter or airline. While these tests are intended to determine suitability and expedite the shortlisting process, they may discourage qualified applicants from proceeding to their application, causing you to miss out on potentially strong candidates. Similarly, requiring candidates to rewrite their CV on the company’s portal when they could simply upload it is time-consuming and frustrating.


According to an HR survey, 47% of respondents said that pre-hiring assessments took too long, 37% said the purpose of these assessments was unclear, and 30% felt the tests were irrelevant to the job they were applying for. Additionally, some candidates found these tests to be biased, demeaning, ineffective, and anxiety-inducing. This creates a negative candidate experience from the outset, eliminating candidates rather than attracting them.


2. Communicate clearly and regularly


Regular and transparent communication is essential to the recruiting process. It sets expectations for interviews, assessments, daily tasks and responsibilities. Providing candidates with all recruitment information, including the timeline for a final decision, helps them plan ahead and prevents unpleasant surprises.


3. Keep the recruitment journey short


Most candidates will have arranged interviews with various airlines and recruitment consultancies during their job search. Some may be waiting for a final decision, while others may have already conducted multiple interviews. Candidates are more likely to seek other opportunities if they have to wait too long for a response. In case of delays, it's important to maintain contact with candidates to update them on the process, and check if they are still interested in the role.


4. Treat candidates the same way you would treat your employees


Always treat your candidates with professionalism and respect, reminding them of your shared mission. Whether or not they secure the job, it’s important to treat them as you would an employee. Make them feel valued throughout the process by having personalised discussions about their career development and aspirations. This approach helps you understand their career goals and determine if the position they applied for is a good fit for them.


5. Always follow up for updates and feedback


candidate interview

Unfortunately, ghosting has become a frequent phenomenon and it’s one of the most common complaints among job seekers. Candidates rely on you to assist them in securing their dream job, making time and effort to attend multiple rounds of interviews and assessments. Regardless of whether they succeed in their interviews or assessments and ultimately do not get the job, it is crucial to follow up and inform them of the outcome. Furthermore, offering constructive feedback can help them recognise the areas where they may need improvement and enhance their performance in future applications.



What is the impact of a negative candidate experience?


A negative recruitment experience can have numerous adverse consequences for both the candidate and the recruitment consultancy or airline. Here are some of the most major ones:


1. Damage to company reputation


Candidates who have a negative recruitment experience are likely to share their dissatisfaction with others, through word of mouth or public platforms like social media and job review sites. This can harm the company's reputation and make it harder to attract top talent in the future.


2. Increased turnover rates


Even if a candidate accepts a job offer after a negative recruitment experience, they may carry a sense of dissatisfaction into their new role. This can lead to higher turnover rates as employees may continue to feel undervalued and seek better opportunities.

CV meeting

3. Decreased employee morale


Current employees who hear about negative recruitment experiences may feel anxious about their own job security or the company's overall culture. This can lower morale and reduce overall productivity.


4. Higher recruitment costs


Repeatedly losing candidates due to negative candidate experience means the company must invest more time and resources into finding replacements. This can significantly increase recruitment costs and strain the team.


5. Legal and compliance issues


If the negative experience involves discriminatory practices or breaches of confidentiality, the company could face legal challenges. Ensuring a fair and transparent recruitment process is crucial to avoid these risks.


By addressing these issues and ensuring a positive candidate experience, companies can improve their reputation, attract and retain top talent, and promote a more positive and productive workplace.



In essence


Candidate experience should be the number one priority for recruitment consultancies and airlines worldwide. By ensuring that candidates’ time is well used and that their needs and concerns are carefully heard and addressed, we have a higher likelihood of gaining their trust, and making successful placements. Furthermore, it’s equally important to act on candidates’ feedback to optimise recruitment strategies. By doing so, we can offer them a better and more well-rounded candidate experience to help them succeed in landing their desired roles.


Looking to hire?


The AeroProfessional team are specialists in the recruitment and selection of aviation professionals across the globe. Reach out to the team today to discuss your current hiring challenges and gain the expert advice and guidance you need to ensure your hiring strategy gains maximum success.

 


Looking for your next aviation role?


Every year we help hundreds of individuals find rewarding new roles within the aviation industry. Working with a variety of airlines from across the world, we provide an end-to-end service that matches you with the right aviation role, in the right organisation.



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