Streamlining the Technician Hiring Process

 - October 24, 2006, 7:27 AM

Kevin Dawson, director of human resources for Sabreliner-Midcoast in St. Louis, has discovered that use of the Internet for recruitment is not only more efficient but also more cost-effective. “We used to spend lots of money on newspaper advertising, which has no capacity to record, track or monitor anything,” he said. “Our last fiscal year, before implementing our new system, we spent roughly $150,000 in advertising and had budgeted $250,000 for this year for something that was at best a shotgun approach.”

Dawson said he has found out that the ideal mechanic candidates are computer literate and online. “We now post our job openings on, which directs the applicant to our Web site and deposits their résumé in our applicant tracking system. When our recruiter comes to work in the morning he gets a list of all the applications by job, by date of application, the area they live in and other variables. It appears we’ll save about $150,000 on advertising this year, but again the real savings are in the time and the efficiency. No one slips between the cracks; everything is done online.”

Dawson said Sabreliner-Midcoast still participates in job fairs around the country but added that he has become selective about those he attends. He routinely does a Google search for job fairs and investigates the ones he thinks look appropriate.

“We went to Savannah to attend an annual job fair because we find both aviation and military candidates down there,” he said. “We go to Wichita for the same reason–it’s an aviation town. In addition, we hold our own job fairs; we just held two in July in different parts of St. Louis that yielded a total of 500 applications for painters, sheet metal workers, technicians and other technical people. We did a lot of promotional work in advance, including radio spots and ads in the local papers. Two local television stations picked up the story, interviewed me and ran it on the evening news. That generated a tremendous amount of traffic to our company Web site.”