The upcoming Pilot Career Show is inviting pilots and cadets to meet leading airlines and pilot schools to get career advice, share experiences and ultimately land a dream job. Ahead of the event, AeroTime talked with Shane Pollard, managing director of Spectrum Aviation Personnel, flight crew recruitment and contracting company from Ireland, to get some advice for pilots applying for or considering a new job.

How much the work culture differs among different regions (e.g. Europe vs. Middle East, United States vs. China, etc.)?

Work cultures will vary from country to country, trying to quantify what “differs” can be difficult. If you are going to work in another country it is important that before even applying for the job you carry out research not only into the airline but also the country where you will be based. Research on the countries traditions, culture and history should form part of your decision making when applying for a job. Simple actions such as how you greet someone to how you dress (business or casual) will help make introductions easier and ensure that you stay with local practices and customs. Learning new cultures and integrating into the local community and environment is a great experience. Whatever country you may work in being able to adapt to their culture and day to day living will make any stay easier and more enjoyable. 

Shane Pollard, managing director of Spectrum Aviation Personnel

What are the areas where interests of airlines and interests of pilots “clash” the most often? (i.e. Salary, Benefits, Work culture, etc.)

Can I say it is a mixture of all of these? When taking up a position with an airline you should be fully aware of the terms and conditions and also work environment of that company. It is very important that all avenues of research are completed from internet search engines to talking with pilots currently working there. If you are going through an employment agency they should also be able to answer questions you may have and also to ensure that the terms (salary, roster, culture, etc.) meet your needs. By ensuring you have gathered as much information as possible on the job offered and the airline making the offer this should avoid many of the possible “clashes” in your new job.

True or false: there is no shortage of pilots, there is only shortage of pilots willing to work for the salaries offered. Why?

True “shortage of experienced commercial airline pilots”– there is a shortage of qualified and experienced airline commercial airline pilots. These would be pilots who would have built up 3 or more years’ experience in a commercial line operating environment and would have experience on one of the common commercial aircraft. False “willing to work for salaries offered” – the salary component of any job is extremely important but of equal importance can be the lifestyle (work/life balance, company ethos) that any perspective employer can offer. A company that can offer such an option can still attract qualified candidates even though their “pay” offering may not reach the heights of some regions currently actively hiring in the market.

Meet Spectrum at the upcoming Pilot Career Show in Amsterdam on May 10, 2018.

What are the three main traits airlines are looking for in a pilot?

An airline is seeking pilots that will adapt into their operating environment. A pilot that will operate in a safe, professional and flexible manner. Adaptability in learning, ethos and culture of the airline will ensure that a pilot can be released online in an efficient, safe and professional and that they can be a productive member of the team in as quick a time as possible.

Meet Spectrum Aviation Personnel at the upcoming Pilot Career Show in Amsterdam on May 10th, 2018. Aiming to provide current and aspiring aviators with the opportunity to meet their peers, share career advice, experiences and to learn the dos and don’ts of building a career in aviation, the event is expecting over 300 attendees and 12 hiring aviation companies.

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