Increase in aviation jobs posted during 2018/19

Friday, July 28, 2023

Professional pilot in airport terminal looks into distance

Every January, we compile all our data from the previous year to gather insights into the aviation job market and how it is evolving.

Key insights

  • During 2019, we saw a 10.62% increase in the number of jobs posted on Aviation Job Search
  • 8,784 jobs were posted to Aviation Job Search every month
  • The Aviation Job Search candidate database grew by 8.3% during 2019
  • We found that Hardware Engineer roles had the highest average salary of the jobs posted on Aviation Job Search during 2019
  • The average pilot salary advertised on Aviation Job Search during 2019 was £92,000
  • Aviation Job Search records show that 69% of jobseekers in 2019 were male
  • The only roles in which female jobseekers were the majority were cabin crew jobs and customer service jobs
  • Aviation Job Search’s first aviation job fair, the Aviation Job Expo, was launched on October 3rd
  • The Aviation Job Expo attracted 800+ job seekers, and 23 exhibitors, including BA City Flyer, BAE Systems, Bombardier & Wizz Air.

Challenges to the Industry

While the global staffing and recruiting industry is optimistic about 2020, this year has brought some challenges related to hiring and operations within the aviation industry, as well as macroeconomics and politics, that will likely create some challenges for organisations recruiting in the following year.

The talent shortage continues to afflict the global staffing and recruiting industry. Brexit, when it happens, will have a profound impact on the global economy, as plans move ahead for the UK to withdraw from the European Union. Another general election raised eyebrows in the UK, and after the Conservatives won an 80-seat majority, MPs have backed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan for the UK to leave the EU on 31st January - however the destination to a conclusion is still some way off, and the risk of a no-deal Brexit is again on the table.* (*Subject to change written January 2020)

Airlines are challenged with the task of bringing through fresh talent to combat the high rate of pilots
currently retiring from the profession. Recruiters have also raised concerns that employers are less willing to part with their money when it comes to hiring, for example, accelerating pay increases to match average benchmarks within the industry to compete in a candidate-driven market - this ultimately makes it harder to do this.

Targeting passive candidates remains a challenge - according to The Undercover Recruiter, passive talent are 120% more likely to make an impact on your business, whilst 33% are more likely to be seeking challenging work. Posting a job advert online and expecting hundreds of applications to roll in is no longer an option.

A lack of time and resources on a recruiter’s part continues to hinder the industry - finding time to conduct CV searches is a hurdle for hiring professionals, as well as freeing up the day to
screen candidates in detail. The industry is under great pressure to find top talent, and we believe the following trends must be taken into consideration for organisations preparing their recruitment strategy in 2020.

Talent shortage and employee loyalty

A shortage of skilled candidates is a continued challenge for recruiters, particularly within the airline industry where applications have decreased from jobseekers living outside of the UK, as a cloud of
ambiguity continues to surround Brexit.

Employees are leaving their current place of work after a short period of time (our studies say the average period of time for millennials to spend at one job is two years or less) too, and if workers haven’t quit yet, they’re already considering their next move. Strategies must be put in place to reskill or update employee skills. We believe this is necessary for retention as well as attraction - career development is important to aspiring individuals.

Talent shortage is a problem, but reskilling and your employees is a huge opportunity.

Targeting passive candidates

We highlighted targeting passive candidates in our 2018 annual report, and this remains a challenge for hiring professionals. CV databases, Search Engine Optimisation, social media and Pay-Per-Click are just some of the areas organisations are investing more money in, to draw the interest of workers who aren’t actively searching for a new role, but would consider an attractive one, should it land at their feet.

Salary and benefits

We as recruiters are operating in a candidate driven market, where employees are quitting their jobs in search of a more challenging role, which also offers a better salary and other benefits.
Yet, a constant concern for anyone hiring is the frustration of being nudged out for top talent due to competitors offering a better salary for similar role.

Generous remuneration packages and benefits attract skilled workers, so by increasing compensation ranges to open roles, it is possible to attract the best, before losing out in the later stages of the recruitment process where time, money and effort is wasted. Budget does
of course limit a number of organisations - this simply isn’t an option for many.

Lack of time and resource

Again highlighted in our previous report, the increase in admin processes has placed a strain on delivering recruitment needs. Finding the time to conduct a search for candidates, sifting through mounds of unsuitable applications and screening them can consume a large part of the day.

Recruiters are repeatedly concerned about the lack of time and resource they have to find the right person for the job. New technologies, however, like applicant tracking systems (ATS) are becoming increasingly attractive to those who have little time for the hiring process - these systems also allow the capability to receive more quality applications.

High turnover

We discussed earlier the trend of employees leaving their jobs sooner today than in previous years. The challenge for recruiters is the need to avoid high churn rates entirely, so therefore the pressure to hire quality individuals, and keep them happy is heightened. Organisations who don’t invest in developing careers and strong relationships with employees could suffer a high churn rate.

Embracing digital transformation

While it provides opportunity, digitisation was suggested as one of the biggest operational challenges by recruiters. Despite evidence to suggest that it can advance the human workforce by eliminating lower level tasks like cutting and pasting etc. many are still unwilling to embrace automation.

Brexit and the economy

The EU is the destination for around half of all UK- exported aircraft and spacecraft. In 2016 goods worth around £178 billion were shipped by air between the UK and non-EU countries, more than 45 per cent of the UK’s non-EU trade by value. A staggering £8 billion is to be invested into the Aviation industry over the next five years, but its value depends entirely on how the Brexit negotiations go.

Brexit has hurled the EU into a time of great uncertainty, which in turn has had a devastating effect on a number of industries already, some of them of which we operate in. Since the EU Referendum vote in June 2016, the CIPD’s Labour Market Outlook and Resource and Talent Planning surveys have closely monitored the impact of Brexit on employment and workforce trends.

Despite early concerns about Brexit’s implications on employment — as emphasised by a sharp drop in the net employment score immediately after the referendum vote — the proportion of employers looking to increase staff versus those looking to reduce staff has recovered strongly.

This indicator of continued, robust labour demand is consistent with official employment data
evidencing high employment. In the period since June 2016, the combination of strong labour demand, low unemployment and a dramatic 95% fall in EU nationals joining the UK workforce between Q1 2018 and Q1 2016, has put significant pressure on recruitment.

The Autumn 2018 Labour Market Outlook also found that 44% of employers experienced greater difficulty in recruitment in 2018, while 34% faced a similar challenge in retaining staff.

As of Summer 2019, employers were still experiencing a high proportion of hard-to-fill vacancies. Of organisations advertising vacancies, 67% reported they were having difficulty in filling some of them. This is compared to 51% during Spring 2017.

Apart from increasing salaries to attract staff, employers can introduce more inclusive recruitment practices, build on their employee offer through non-financial benefits and enhance their brand in order to address the difficulties placed on recruitment by Brexit.

Incentives like flexible working and career development are highly valued by job seekers today, and could be the starting point in helping organisations to both recruit and retain the people who have the skills they require. Of course, we still do not know what the outcome of Brexit will be.*

With aviation, however, there are no previous agreements to fall back on. A deal must be agreed, and soon. This of course has led to some speculation that a no-deal scenario may be inevitable for the aviation industry.

*Subject to change, written January 2020

About Aviation Job Search

Specialising in aviation recruitment, we give airlines and companies the tools to connect with aviation professionals so they can grow. Find out how we can help you today.

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