27 January 2020

The Pilot Recruitment marketplace is as complex as ever, and the shortage of experienced Pilots and the demand for top talent continues to prevail.

The impact of the year on recruitment trends has been significant. To highlight some of the trends developed from the last year and how they will impact your Pilot recruitment in 2020, Mark Charman, GOOSE Recruitment, CEO, has put together his top 5 Pilot Recruitment Trends for 2020:

1. Candidate experience will be key to successful hiring

In 2020 a standard candidate experience will not be enough to entice and recruit top Pilot talent. The airlines who want to hire exceptional candidates will need to demonstrate an experience that leaves a powerful impression and proves that your airline as an employer is really different.

Creating memorable processes from the outset of the Pilot Recruitment process will make you stand out for the right reasons in the industry as an employer of choice.

2. The Pilot experience gap will widen

As we have previously reported, airlines are facing a dilemma in their search for Pilots – lack of experience, not skill. There are many Pilots available in the market, but they aren’t the ones that airlines want to hire.

2020 will be no different and we foresee that the experience gap will widen as more Pilots qualify and join the many other low-hour Pilots. We still see that there is a lack of opportunities for these Pilots to start their careers and gain experience.

Airlines will continue to battle it out in the war for Pilot talent in 2020.

3. Asia will lead the way in demand for Pilots

The developing air travel regions of Asia will lead the way in demand for Pilots. We have already seen an increase in 2019 in ex-pats joining airlines based in Asia and relocating.

Remuneration packages have become particularly attractive in these regions to entice experienced Pilots and this will put pressure on airlines in other regions. They will need to work hard to ‘bear hug’ their current Pilots to ensure they don’t lose them. They will also find it more difficult to attract new employees when they are competing against attractive packages in Asia.

4. You won’t be hiring active candidates

The experienced Pilots you want to hire are not unemployed, and they are not walking the streets. These Pilots are employed and they will not be active in their job search. They broadly fall into two groups: passive candidates and candidates on the cusp.

Passive candidates are employed, are not looking for a new opportunity, have lots of choices available to them and will be inundated with job opportunities. These will be the hardest candidates to engage.

The second group of Pilots are candidates on the cusp, or as we affectionately call them ‘tip-toers’. They currently have a good Pilot job but are striving for a better one. This will be the group of candidates that airlines could potentially have more success in recruiting if they can define and deliver a significant value proposition. 

5. Traditional methods of Pilot Recruitment won’t work

Relying on traditional methods of Pilot Recruitment in 2020 will not help you achieve your recruitment needs. The ‘post and pray’ approach is still commonplace and internal and external recruiters advertising Pilot vacancies on job boards, are still sitting back and waiting for responses. Just-in-time hiring is still the norm. 

In 2020 airlines and recruiters will need to look at new approaches to Pilot Recruitment. Futureproofing employee gaps will become essential as well as creating strong value propositions and candidate experience.

In a fiercely competitive market for Pilots, recruiters are failing to realise the reality that Pilots have a choice, and lots of it, and they need to see added value to choose that airline or that recruiter to work with.   

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