By Becky Meyer
Director of HR for Elliott Aviation
In our growing industry, many aviation companies struggle with recruiting top talent. While various challenges and factors exist, the biggest hindrance is attributed to lack of experience in positions, especially maintenance and avionics technicians. According to a survey issued by AIN , they show that 96% of the corporate aviation companies are looking to grow their staff while only 1 percent is forecasting a decline. With such a competitive market, it forces companies to look at many different ways to attract talent.
From a recruiting standpoint, we focus on our history and values. As a second-generation, family owned company, Elliott Aviation has been buying, selling and working on aircraft since 1936. Our values of unmatched quality, uncompromising integrity and unbeatable customer service serve as checks and balances for all of our employees. This simplifies our ability to make key tough decisions. If you come to work focused on those three key values, you are doing the right thing every day.
One of our successful strategies is hiring active and retired military veterans. Hiring from the military has proven to be fruitful for the aviation industry as well as Elliott Aviation. Military personnel bring a strong worth ethic, experience, and positive attitude to the industry. With on-the-job training and experience shown on their DD Form 214, we are able to help them obtain their A & P Certificate. This program allows us to build and retain a solid workforce.
Another pipeline of talent derives from graduates with an Airframe & Powerplant Certificate from colleges throughout the United States. However, location becomes a factor because many of the students attend local colleges to complete their degree. After school, employers battle with trying to relocate potential candidates. This presents employers with the challenge of creating lucrative incentives and benefits programs to attract and relocate talent to a new town.
>p>An area of long-range opportunity is high school students enrolled in auto mechanic courses. Currently, students and academic programs are pushing towards the diesel mechanic or auto mechanic profession without exploring aviation as a possibility. Our HR department connects with local schools to educate students about the possibilities of working in aviation. Additionally, we have conducted presentations and communicated with the Boy Scouts of America for an Aviation Explorers program.
Not only is recruiting key to this industry, but retention is also a priority. Having a well-thought out and educational onboarding program is crucial. Is it impetrative that companies establish a solid onboarding program because it presents the tools to help the employees succeed. Because of this, we are always building and expanding our program. Onboarding covers all paperwork, safety and technical training for the first week of employment. The employee is then assigned to a mentor for on-the-job training to ensure the proper skills and techniques are learned.
Currently our Quality Control Manager is working with the FAA to inquire about becoming a DME in order for employees to take their Oral and Practical testing onsite.
Becky Meyer comes to Elliott with 15+ years of Human Resource Management experience. Her career began working for the first Riverboat Casino business in Iowa where she specialized in Payroll. She then expanded her career and knowledge to the HR field in manufacturing and now aviation.
On the heels of its April 2014 FBO Survey of the Americas, AIN released the results from its overseas FBO survey today, highlighting the world's best FBOs. With both the American and International FBO surveys combined, there are of over 4,500 FBO options available for survey participants to choose from.
The surveys, available online each year, asks each participant to rank the FBOs in five different categories, including pilot amenities, passenger amenities, line service, facilities and customer service.
In America, FBOs reported a slight upswing in business aviation traffic in 2013 - an increase of about 2.4 percent from 2012, according to AIN. Part 135 operations were up 11.3 percent from 2012, helping FBOs gain momentum in 2013.
Back in April AIN announced the best-rated FBOs in North America in a detailed report available on their website. The top-ranked FBOs were determined by online surveys distributed to AIN readers, including pilots, flight attendants, dispatchers and aircraft operators who frequent these FBOs at airports around the United States.
The results are in. The top five FBOs in America are:
In addition, AIN ranked the top FBO chains across the U.S. The top three are:
- AirFlite Aviation Services, Long Beach/Daugherty Field (KLGB)
- J.A. Air Center, Aurora Municipal Airport (KARR)
- Tampa International Jet Center, Tampa International Airport (KTPA)
- XJet, Centennial Airport (KAPA)
- Banyan Air Service, Ft Lauderdale Executive (KFXE)
- Atlantic Aviation
- Jet Aviation
- Landmark Aviation (who recently expanded its international operations with the purchase of RSS Jet Center.)
Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East
Just today, AIN announced the release of its International FBOs Survey Results, based on invited users in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East who took the online survey. Again, the rankings were determined based on the scores from the five categories mentioned above: Pilot amenities, passenger amenities, line service, facilities and customer service.
The full AIN survey report for the international region notes that Asia and Africa have seen some notable growth in the business aviation industry, although FBO success in these areas remains somewhat limited.
According the report, the business aviation market in Europe has remained stagnant, with much of the inbound traffic coming from the United States, which saw a 1.7 percent increase in international movements in 2013. FBOs throughout Europe have seen an increase in large-cabin aircraft, a sign that smaller jets are being underutilized due to the slow market there, according to AIN.
Here are the top five international FBOs, according the AIN's 2014 FBO Survey Results:
The most-loved FBOs throughout the international region are:
- TAG Farnborough, Farnborough Airport (EGLF)
- Jet Aviation, Geneva International Airport (LSGG)
- TAG Aviation, Geneva International Airport (LSGG)
- Harrod's Aviation, London Luton Airport (EGGW)
- Landmark Aviation, Nice Cote d'Azur International Airport (LFMN)
More survey results and the full reports for both the U.S. and International FBO Surveys can be found on AIN's website.
What are your favorite FBOs? Help them out by ranking them at Globalair.com's Airport Resource Center!