Aviation hiring challenges and how to overcome them in the future

Friday, July 28, 2023

Two technicians together in an aircraft hanger

What comes to your mind when somebody asks you about work in the future? If you’re a science fiction buff, you would probably say machines and robots will take over most jobs; the prediction isn’t entirely wrong. However, as we do not live in science fiction, the more practical approach is that it will be more of the same hybrid model we are currently following, where human expertise will be assisted by machines – for example, from typewriters, we moved on to word processors on laptops and started using advanced software to assist with proofreading.

The same changes are occurring across other professions, including the aviation industry; from aerospace engineering to mechanics and technicians and from pilots to the customer service staff, all use machines to increase their efficiency. There are certain attitudes, training, and education that is and will be required more of by the aviation industry to recruit a workforce fit for the future.

In this article, we will look at the current recruitment challenges faced by the aviation industry, possible solutions, and the aviation employees required in the future, followed by some frequently asked questions.

Hiring challenges faced by the aviation industry

When it comes to hiring challenges faced by the aviation industry, there are many different factors to consider. One of the biggest challenges is the lack of qualified candidates. There is a shortage of skilled workers for many different jobs, and this has led to airlines having to cancel flights this year. Another challenge is the need to train and retain employees. Retaining existing staff is vital for the industry, but the skills gap must be addressed.

The best retention strategy is to keep people interested in the job. That can be done by building a good training and development programme. Airlines face a significant shortage of pilots, engineers, and maintenance professionals. According to Boeing’s forecast, the need for new workers will rise to 2.1 million by 2040. That is more than twice as much as the current number of vacancies.

We also need to remember that even the best employees eventually have to retire when they reach a certain age. However, ensuring that the knowledge and expertise that these tenured employees have is passed on to the new is something that all industries, not just the aviation sector, have to consider. When these skilled professionals leave, people with the right expertise and aptitude will be required to fill the vacancies, and more will be required as the demand for services increases.

Solutions to aviation industry’s recruitment issue

The fact of the matter is that aviation companies need to be proactive when it comes to staffing. They will need to invest in talent pipelines to ensure that they have a pool of candidates with a variety of experience and different ages. Some carriers are even offering large signing bonuses to entice new recruits. Some areas the aviation industry will need to focus on in the future are:

Retention in the future is essential

Companies need to find new ways to attract and retain talent to avoid losing the best employees. A key solution is to offer continuous training and learning opportunities to ensure that employees have the right skills and knowledge to meet the company’s goals. Another factor in employee retention is compensation. Companies need to be competitive in their pay and benefits packages to ensure their employees are happy to stay. In addition, liberal medical policies and family leave benefits are essential for retaining workers. A recent Randstad Employer Brand Research report found that 163,000 people worldwide would change jobs for a better salary. Airline companies must invest in salary increases and improve remuneration standards.

Adapting company culture to the future

Another critical factor in attracting and retaining a talented workforce is company culture. A positive, supportive work environment can go a long way in keeping employees engaged and motivated. That includes promoting diversity and inclusion and offering a healthy work-life balance. One way to foster a positive culture is to prioritise employee development and training. That can include offering continuing education and professional certification opportunities and providing on-the-job training and mentorship programmes. Investing in employee development benefits individual employees and helps the company stay at the forefront of the industry and meet the market’s changing needs.

Being knowledgable about future talent

As the aviation industry changes rapidly, it must make its offer appealing to the next generation. To close the talent gap, the industry must communicate directly with young people and offer various career opportunities. It must focus on training and developing its programmes to address the industry’s challenges. It must also work closely with colleges and universities to train young people for these roles.

Aviation employees required in the future

We all know that people, businesses, and industries worldwide suffered from the pandemic, and the aviation sector was no different. Post CoVid-19 event resulted in the loss of thousands of flights as airlines scrambled to keep their aircraft flying. With the economic climate improving, the air transport industry is poised for more growth, but that growth will need to be backed by a skilled labor force. Many carriers are taking proactive measures to overcome staffing challenges. Some of these efforts include new initiatives to educate youth about aviation careers. They will need to follow initiatives where companies are sponsoring young people engaging in outreach activities.

Training and education for the future

Another important aspect of recruiting a workforce fit for the future is adapting to new technologies. The aviation industry is constantly evolving and adopting new technologies, and companies need a workforce capable of keeping up with these changes. That includes technical skills and the ability to adapt to new processes and approaches. To prepare for the future, companies must invest in training and development that help employees stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and industry trends as the aviation industry embraces technology such as artificial intelligence. That can include providing access to online resources and training materials and offering in-person training and workshops; offering continuing education opportunities will be necessity.


Companies need to focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility. The aviation industry significantly impacts the environment, and companies must have a workforce committed to sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint. That includes looking for candidates who strongly understand sustainable practices and are committed to positively impacting the environment.

In conclusion, recruiting a workforce fit for the aviation industry’s future involves technical skills, adaptability, communication, teamwork, and a commitment to sustainability. By focusing on these areas, companies can attract and retain top talent and stay at the forefront of the industry.

Frequently asked questions

What is the future of aviation industry?

The aviation industry is experiencing a significant shift in how it operates. It is still a thriving sector and is expected to grow; however, it is working hard to overcome its recruitment challenges.

How AI will change aviation in the future?

AI, artificial intelligence, is a technology that is becoming increasingly important to the aviation industry. The technology is based on machine learning, which means it can automate tasks that were once repetitive. Artificial intelligence can improve speed and efficiency, and it can also help improve safety and customer satisfaction.

Will pilots be replaced by computers?

Some analysts and the public have disputed the idea that they will be replaced with computers. While the industry isn’t prepared for full automation, a hybrid AI-assisted piloting model is more probable.

How many new pilots is Boeing predicting will be needed over the next 20 years?

Projections show that the demand for new pilots, technicians, and flight attendants will continue to grow over the next 20 years. Boeing forecasts a global need for 602,000 new commercial pilots, 610,000 flight technicians, and 899,000 flight attendants.

Is there a shortage of flight attendants?

The airline industry is experiencing a severe shortage of workers, impacting everything from airport staff to pilots. These labor shortages are causing airlines to increase hiring, but the airlines are struggling to hire enough workers to meet demand.

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