Sam Sprules: Planning for the long haul is the only way to weather the recruitment storm

recruitment

So this year we reached a milestone at AeroProfessional, as we celebrated our tenth anniversary as a resourcing and HR consultancy.  In the last decade, we’ve placed over 1,500 candidates with over 160 aviation companies across the globe.

It’s been a great – and sometimes challenging – journey as we navigated our way through the turbulent aviation resourcing and HR landscape.

We started as a team of two in a shared office in Basingstoke, with the ambitious aim of being aviation people experts, finding and nurturing the best candidates and placing them with leading airlines and airports across the globe.

Ten years on, we’re a 25-strong workforce, and every single member of staff has a keen passion for the industry.  Within our team, we have ex-pilots and cabin crew, as well as aspiring pilots who want to develop a deeper understanding of the business of aviation before taking on a role within an airline.

Our success and progression is reflected through the aviation sector as a whole, which has grown exponentially over the last decade.

Along with it, many HR and recruitment consultancies have cropped up, with the aim of capitalising on a booming industry.  However, as any seasoned HR or recruitment professional will tell you, good times don’t last forever.

We’ve seen lots of issues impact on the industry in the last ten years, from the global recession, to bird flu and other natural and manmade disasters.  Sadly, during these testing times, many of the recruiters that set up during the good days, folded just as quickly when things got bad.

So how have we weathered the many aviation storms, and how can other resourcing and HR consultancies do the same? Quite simply, adopting a long term view is key.  Similar to a long haul flight, there will be bumps along the way, and recruiters need to be prepared for this.

These bumps – so far – haven’t caused the sector to contract, but they have caused temporary blips, which affected the industry.  For example, smaller airlines – set up during the feast – couldn’t sustain when there was a famine. This meant freezing recruitment, losing staff, and in some cases, shutting up shop entirely.

Of course, this had a knock on effect on the aviation resourcing sector, which relied on airlines and aviation businesses needing roles to be filled.

This is why the long term vision is key. Don’t go for the quick wins with short returns.  It’s not about just filling a vacancy, but instead it’s about assessing the client’s problem, and presenting a solution that will give them a better return in the long run, whether it’s considering contract staff, or combining roles.  Even if this means you miss out on an immediate revenue stream, it will pay off in the long run, as you will build trust with your client, which is worth its weight in gold.

Taking an aerial view is key to surviving in such an unpredictable sector.  This is what has kept us thriving despite industry fluctuations.

About Sam Sprules

With more than 12 years’ experience in the aviation HR and the recruitment industry, Sam leads a team of professional consultants who provide strategic HR advice and people solutions to airlines worldwide. Sam’s in-depth knowledge of cross border engagement, aviation skills, and large scale recruitment enables him to provide specialist industry insight, as well as comment on a range of issues affecting the HR and recruitment industry as a whole. Sam’s strong flair for business and sales saw him promoted to Director at AeroProfessional in 2013.

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