JSfirm.com, an online aviation-specific employment service, has released the results of its fifth annual hiring trends survey here at Heli-Expo. Based on responses from 400 companies across various sectors of the industry, 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 proven to be accurate in past years at forecasting the hiring trends and is eagerly anticipated by the aviation industry,” said company manager Jeff Richards.
According to the survey, more than 68 percent of the respondents from companies ranging from one to 10 employees to more than 500 said they did not cut any jobs last year, while a little more than 20 percent reported that they had eliminated one to five positions. When asked in last year’s survey if their company intended to hire new employees in 2013, 85 percent responded favorably. That prediction proved low as this year’s survey found that more than 93 percent of respondent companies actually did increase staff in 2013. Looking forward through this year, 91 percent said they plan to hire, with the second quarter of the year likely to see the most activity. And 78 percent of the companies said they are projecting growth in the new year, an increase over last year’s 67 percent.
Among the employers, skilled maintenance technicians will be in the highest demand, with that segment garnering nearly 30 percent of the responses, while just under 11 percent said they would be adding pilots. For helicopter-specific companies however, that number rose to more than 14 percent. When asked to list the biggest challenge they faced in finding qualified aviation talent, the largest overall response (28.4 percent) indicated lack of experience, followed by candidate pay expectations too high (19.2 percent). For helicopter businesses alone, the second-biggest hurdle in attracting qualified employee talent was their location.
Based on early results, JSfirm.com (Booth No. 1436) expects the optimism to translate to a record year. According to managing partner Sam Scanlon, the Fort Worth, Texas-based company has seen an increase of 141 percent in aviation job advertisements on its site compared to the previous January.