Saving on recruitment costs in aviation by retaining employees

Friday, July 28, 2023

Two ground crew working together at airport

In the fast-paced aviation industry, when employees leave their jobs, it not only affects them personally but also has significant financial consequences for both individuals and companies. In this article, we will explore the real costs associated with employee turnover, explaining how it impacts recruitment, training, productivity, and overall profitability.

The cost of finding and training new employees

According to the International Air Transport Association in 2023, turnover rates are as high as 50% in ground handling, making it tough to run a successful, sustainable business. When an employee leaves, companies have to find someone new to take their place. This involves advertising the job, conducting interviews, and checking backgrounds—all of which costs money.

Additionally, once a suitable candidate is found, the company needs to invest in their training to make sure they understand their role and responsibilities. These recruitment and training expenses can quickly add up, taking a toll on the company's budget.The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) estimates that the cost of replacing a highly skilled employee can reach up to 200% of their annual salary.

The impact on productivity

When experienced employees leave, there is a temporary decrease in productivity as new hires need time to get up to speed. They have to learn how things work, which can slow down operations. This can lead to missed deadlines, more mistakes, and added pressure on the remaining team members. Ultimately, this affects the company's ability to provide quality service, satisfy customers, and generate revenue.

The cost of training and development

In the aviation industry, ongoing training and development are crucial for maintaining safety and high performance. When employees leave, the company loses the investment it made in training them. This includes specialised training, certifications, and skill-building programs that employees underwent to excel in their roles.  

The company then has to spend more money to train new hires, increasing the financial burden.The Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) reports that the cost of training a new air traffic controller ranges from $500,000 to $3 million.

The cycle of increasing costs

High turnover rates can create a cycle of increasing costs. When one employee leaves, it may influence others to consider leaving as well. This results in a continuous recruitment and training process, driving up costs. This cycle not only increases recruitment expenses but also affects employee morale, engagement, and productivity, further impacting the company's financial performance.

Reputation and attracting top talent

Frequent employee turnover can damage a company's reputation and make it harder to attract top talent. Potential candidates may see a high turnover rate as a sign of instability or dissatisfaction within the organisation. This can make it difficult for the company to hire the best people for the job.

Building and maintaining a positive reputation requires investing in employee retention strategies, which can help reduce turnover costs in the long run. A report by Cornell University found that employee turnover in the airline industry can lead to a decrease in customer satisfaction scores by as much as 5%.

Employee turnover in the aviation industry has personal and financial consequences. It affects both employees and companies in terms of recruitment, training, productivity, and reputation. Recognising the true costs of turnover, companies can take proactive measures to reduce turnover rates, enhance employee satisfaction and engagement, and create a supportive work environment. By investing in employee retention, development, and well-being, aviation companies can minimise turnover costs, optimise operations, and achieve long-term financial success in a highly competitive industry.

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