According to online aviation job distribution network JSfirm (Booth No. 7244), the first two quarters of this year should be a good time to find a job in the aviation industry. The Fort Worth, Texas-based company released the results of its latest Aviation Industry Hiring Trends survey here at Heli-Expo. The survey indicates that companies across the aviation spectrum hired more people than they cut last year and expect to hire additional personnel this year.
“Eight-five percent of companies surveyed expect to hire in 2012,” said JSfirm manager Jeff Richards. The survey spanned various aviation sectors including rotorcraft, general aviation, corporate and commercial aviation. About 41 percent of respondents represented small firms employing 30 people or fewer, while 92 respondents represented large companies employing more than 501 people.
Exactly 461 of 671 respondents indicated that they cut zero jobs in 2011, but only 77 respondents indicated that their firm didn’t hire any new employees. Of the remaining 594 respondents, 275 hired one to five people, while 47 respondents indicated that their company hired more than 201 new employees in 2011.
“These positive results support the fact that more companies are advertising job vacancies and searching resumes on JSfirm.com than ever before,” said Richards, who expects this trend to continue this year. The survey showed 272 companies expect to hire one to five people in 2012, while 40 companies indicated that they expect to hire more than 201 people this year. Twenty-seven percent of respondents said they expected to hire in this year’s first quarter, and almost 30 percent expect to hire in the second quarter.
Avionics and maintenance jobs will be the most in demand, according to the JSfirm survey. More than 350 respondents said they would be hiring maintenance personnel in 2012, while 204 respondents indicated they would be hiring avionics personnel. Pilots came in third with 220 respondents expecting to hire. More than 100 respondents said they would be hiring engineers, quality assurance personnel, customer service representatives, administration and/or sales/marketing personnel.
More than 270 respondents indicated that candidates’ lack of experience is the biggest challenge companies face in finding qualified aviation talent. A close second was “candidate pay expectations too high,” with 158 respondents indicating this as the biggest challenge. Approximately 14 percent of respondents said they had no problem finding qualified personnel.
Of the 670-plus companies participating in the survey, 444 indicated they use aviation-specific websites such as JSfirm, pilotjobs.com, avianation and others to find aviation-specific talent. Other highly rated sources include non-aviation websites such as monster.com and careerbuilder.com, professional and social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn, local newspapers, aviation schools and word of mouth.