JSfirm.com, an online aviation-specific employment board operator, recently released the results of its fifth annual hiring trends survey. The survey not only looked back at the results from the past year, but noted some positive indications for the coming year as well. “This annual survey has proved to be accurate in past years at forecasting the hiring trends and is eagerly anticipated by the aviation industry,” said Jeff Richards, the company’s operations manager. Four hundred companies across various sectors of the industry provided the data for the survey. Among the corporate aviation respondents–businesses that operate aircraft under Part 91 and Part 135 and those that support them–70 percent reported that they did not cut any jobs last year, while 96 percent responded that they hired new employees (8 percent said they hired more than 200 new staff).
For the remainder of this year, 83 percent of the respondents expect moderate to significant growth. While 1 percent forecast a moderate decline, none of the companies surveyed anticipated a significant decline. Overall, 90 percent expected to hire new employees this year, and one-third of those businesses predicted they would add more than 200 new employees.
For the corporate aviation sector, the skills most in demand are maintenance and avionics technicians, which account for 30 percent, plus another 22 percent in various completions and refurbishment specialties. Pilots accounted for 7.5 percent of the employment anticipated for this year. The survey results suggested that April, May and June will be the busiest months for hiring.
“Our survey indicates corporate aviation is growing,” Richards told AIN. “In fact, in the past three months more companies searched our database of résumés for charter salespeople, dispatchers, pilots, mechanics and interior technicians with corporate aircraft experience than in any other three-month period over the past four years. While he noted the industry has been in a holding pattern over the last few years, “all indicators point to lots of jobs available for Part 91, Part 135 and MRO companies that support corporate aircraft,” he said.
When the survey respondents were asked to name their biggest challenge in finding qualified aviation talent, the two top responses were “lack of experience” (26 percent), while 21 percent described candidate pay expectations as too high.