Comparing hiring practices--Who is doing it right?

FlyBoeingJets

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This is not intended as flame bait. For those who wish to flame go ahead if you must, but I really am interested in some real info and opinions.


Who has the best hiring practices? SWA, FedEx, Airtran, JetBlue or anyone else

How do they compare with other dominant carriers? Delta, UAL, NWA, CAL and AA in the '80-'90s


It seems FedEx is relying on ACP's and CP to feed HR who to interview. SWA uses the People department to screen applicants then uses interview results and pilot input for the decision board. JetBlue uses the computer and "Blue Dart" lotteries to help pin point who to hire.

FedEx uses the sim and testing. SWA does not.

UAL used to have internships. I met someone in West Dundee IL who used to be in HR at UAL in the 60's and he told me they had zero time interns. They wanted to hire based solely on personality. I've heard before about the 250 hour wonders at UAL in the 80's. SWA has always required higher mins than others and used to require the type to interview.

O.K. Which way is best. Which airline has or will have the best pilot group. I know "Best" can mean different things to different people. For the company it means the least problems and some flexibility. They want to keep their pilots and they don't want any mishaps. They also want motivated workers who play well with others.

The best "sticks" have some of that but, of course, they need to be good employees too. Which airline will have the best pilot group, not the absolute best "sticks". You can tell us who are the best sticks too, if need be, and how that improves the quality of the pilot group.
 
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CapnVegetto

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In my opinion, I think SWA is the best. They seem to do everything they can to remove the 'good ol' boys club' mentality from their hiring practices. They have good high minimums, which mean only highly qualified applicants have a shot, and they don't accept letters of rec until the interview. They also do everything they can to try to interview people from every background. Not just 121, not just military, etc. I think that is the best way to do things. It gives you access to an extremely wide range of applicants and ensures that you hire the best people based on qualifications, not just who knows the chief pilots' cousins' brothers' girlfriend.

Somewhere like FedEx or UPS is bad. You have to know somebody and have letters of rec before they'll even talk to you. To me, that is really stupid. How many highly qualified, good people are they passing up because they don't know somebody. Even though they are probably two of the best places to work in the whole industry, they are the textbook definition of a 'good ol' boys club'.

Airtran is another stupid one. 500 hours 121 PIC minimum. How many incredibly well qualified 135 and corporate guys out there are they leaving out of their process? They'd rather have 500 hours as an RJ captain then 5000 hours as a G550 captain? Stoooooopid!!!

Just in my opinion anyway.
 

capt. megadeth

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CapnVegetto said:
In my opinion, I think SWA is the best. They seem to do everything they can to remove the 'good ol' boys club' mentality from their hiring practices. They have good high minimums, which mean only highly qualified applicants have a shot, and they don't accept letters of rec until the interview. They also do everything they can to try to interview people from every background. Not just 121, not just military, etc. I think that is the best way to do things. It gives you access to an extremely wide range of applicants and ensures that you hire the best people based on qualifications, not just who knows the chief pilots' cousins' brothers' girlfriend.

You are high. "You can work here if you spend $8000 you probably don't have first"

They have turned down alot of great people that I know and hired a good deal of morons.

I don't think any airline's hiring practices are perfect. There will always be idiots sneaking in and great people getting weeded out.
 

-9Capt

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CapnVegetto said:
Airtran is another stupid one. 500 hours 121 PIC minimum. How many incredibly well qualified 135 and corporate guys out there are they leaving out of their process? They'd rather have 500 hours as an RJ captain then 5000 hours as a G550 captain? Stoooooopid!!!

Just in my opinion anyway.

While you are certainly entitled to your opinion, know this; AirTran didn't just pull this requirement out of their ass. Years of training experience has shown that they get better results upgrading new hires in 2-3 years if the pilot has prior 121 PIC time.

I'm not defending this requirement, nor do I agree with it, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it's Stoooooopid!!
 

SWA GUY

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Capt Megadeath,

Thanks for the constructive criticism regarding SWA's interviewing/hiring practices. I'll call Herb at home on the 4th and have him look into it.
 

capt. megadeth

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SWA GUY said:
Capt Megadeath,

Thanks for the constructive criticism regarding SWA's interviewing/hiring practices. I'll call Herb at home on the 4th and have him look into it.

Truth hurts dude. Ask anyone that took out of their savings just to have a shot, then got the "thanks but no thanks, maybe you will be good enough the second time around". PUHLEEEAZE.
 

SWA GUY

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Truth hurts?

Just because one doesn't get hired doesnt mean he/she won't be hired the second or third time around.

It's not like anyone's holding a gun to another's head telling them to get a type.
 

Freight Dog

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In defense of SWA, you don't have to go pay for a 737 type. They just want you to have one. It's not like they require you to pay them for your initial type.

How is that different from a place asking for a HS-125 or G-IV FO but requiring that they be type rated in the aircraft?

Now, 121 PIC requirement is IMO pretty lame. How is 500 hours in a Twin Otter flying under Part 121 more competitive than say a 1000 hours as G-IV captain? To each their own I guess...

I agree, the good ol' boy networks suck! UPS and FDX... forget it. Aloha's hiring practice also sucks - if you don't know anyone here, 99.99% chance you won't even get a shot here.
 

GogglesPisano

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Whichever major calls me first has the best hiring practices.
 

Dennis Miller

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capt. megadeth said:
Truth hurts dude. Ask anyone that took out of their savings just to have a shot, then got the "thanks but no thanks, maybe you will be good enough the second time around". PUHLEEEAZE.

Could be that some of those cast off did not have enough quality time, in accordance with their peer interview group. There still are a lot of those 400 hour Turboprop new hires out there, that think 5 years in this business means they should be at a Major already. With the amount of high time furloughed pilots out there, 1000 PIC turbine won’t mean much.
 

labbats

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Freight Dog said:
Now, 121 PIC requirement is IMO pretty lame. How is 500 hours in a Twin Otter flying under Part 121 more competitive than say a 1000 hours as G-IV captain? To each their own I guess...

How is this any different than the 100 or 200 multi required for most jobs? How is 100 hours in an Apache flown only on beautiful sunny days better than single pilot night IFR in a C210? There's a lot that needs to be changed overall.
 

TonyC

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There's this guy named Aesop who tells a story about a fox who happened upon some grapes that he fancied would taste pretty good...








.
 

Yank McCobb

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capt. megadeth said:
I don't think any airline's hiring practices are perfect. There will always be idiots sneaking in and great people getting weeded out.

Classic case in point. capt. megadeth in and every fine pilot that was "weeded out" at UPS.
 

typhoonpilot

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Who has the best hiring practices? SWA, FedEx, Airtran, JetBlue or anyone else

How do they compare with other dominant carriers? Delta, UAL, NWA, CAL and AA in the '80-'90s


To part one of your question, I would say none of them. They all have some pretty serious flaws. Southwest doesn't do a sim ride, neither does jetBlue. Fedex and UPS require inside help. Not sure about Airtran, but the director of training told me I have a job there anytime I want it so they can't be too bad :).

Unfortunately in this day and age the Human Resources department has taken on too much authority in the hiring process. The best hiring practice that an airline could do is to have a guy come and do a short sim assessment followed by a little sit down chat for about 30 minutes to an hour. If the guy can fly and hold a decent conversation then he should be hired, if not then toss him. The USAir hiring process in the late 80s was exactly that. Once a person got through that there was some more stuff, but essentially you were hired based on that first morning's work and then you could only get unhired by doing something really stupid over the next day and a half.

The dominant carriers of the late 80s and early 90s, excepting USAir and maybe a few others, had some pretty weird practices. Delta had the psychologist that himself ended up commiting suicide. American had the three days worth of poop samples and the astronaut physical. Northwest in the mid 90s had the morning of written tests that had nothing to do with flying and eliminated about 90% of applicants. Of course with UAL you had to be something other than a white male to even get an interview.

To go a little further with the flaw of a jetBlue or Southwest style of interview. There are people who can fly and are great to get along with in the cockpit, but who can't for the life of them tell good stories on the spur of the moment. These are the people who do their job well and then forget about it. I.E. someone who doesn't make a big deal about going that extra mile and who does it as a matter of course. Southwest and jetBlue are getting guys who can tell a good tale about the one or two things they did in their career that were good. They can keep telling that tale until it takes on a life of it's own and makes them sound wonderful, but how do you know they can fly an airplane ?


TP
 

blzr

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SWA GUY said:
Truth hurts?

Just because one doesn't get hired doesnt mean he/she won't be hired the second or third time around.

It's not like anyone's holding a gun to another's head telling them to get a type.

I understand that you don't HAVE;) to have a '73 type to get an interview with SWA, although I bet it would be quite unlikely. Say, less than 1 out of 500 get selected that way.

On the other hand, say you get the type and then an interview and then no job. Now you have that 737 type and go interview with, gosh, who's hiring now anyway? Lets say Airtran. They look at your qualifications, see the 737 type and say "well, if SWA didn't want you, why should we"?

I know they wouldn't say that directly, but who just goes out and gets a 737 type? They have to know that you interviewed there, or would jump ship to go there if you did get the job.
 

bafanguy

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typhoonpilot said:
To part one of your question, I would say none of them. They all have some pretty serious flaws. Southwest doesn't do a sim ride, neither does jetBlue. Fedex and UPS require inside help. Not sure about Airtran, but the director of training told me I have a job there anytime I want it so they can't be too bad :).

Unfortunately in this day and age the Human Resources department has taken on too much authority in the hiring process. The best hiring practice that an airline could do is to have a guy come and do a short sim assessment followed by a little sit down chat for about 30 minutes to an hour. If the guy can fly and hold a decent conversation then he should be hired, if not then toss him. The USAir hiring process in the late 80s was exactly that. Once a person got through that there was some more stuff, but essentially you were hired based on that first morning's work and then you could only get unhired by doing something really stupid over the next day and a half.

The dominant carriers of the late 80s and early 90s, excepting USAir and maybe a few others, had some pretty weird practices. Delta had the psychologist that himself ended up commiting suicide. American had the three days worth of poop samples and the astronaut physical. Northwest in the mid 90s had the morning of written tests that had nothing to do with flying and eliminated about 90% of applicants. Of course with UAL you had to be something other than a white male to even get an interview.

To go a little further with the flaw of a jetBlue or Southwest style of interview. There are people who can fly and are great to get along with in the cockpit, but who can't for the life of them tell good stories on the spur of the moment. These are the people who do their job well and then forget about it. I.E. someone who doesn't make a big deal about going that extra mile and who does it as a matter of course. Southwest and jetBlue are getting guys who can tell a good tale about the one or two things they did in their career that were good. They can keep telling that tale until it takes on a life of it's own and makes them sound wonderful, but how do you know they can fly an airplane ?


TP

Typhoonpilot,

As usual, you have brought the voice of reason and experience to the discussion.

I still say that they should take the applications of the people who are obviously qualified, stand at the top of a staircase and toss the bunch of 'em down. Hire the ones who made it to the bottom. The long term results will be equal to the "...tell me about a time when..." HR folks who appear to be running this current pilot-employment freak show. But, what do I know ? My last interview was January, 1973...and I don't expect to have a repeat performance anytime soon.

I'm pretty sure that's how I got hired. By the way, I didn't get interviewed by the shrink who "offed" himself, but his partner who was one of the weirdest people I've met to date. I was crushed I didn't get to sit in the famous rocking chair.

I think the industry has completely lost its mind. By the way, why are furloughed SwissAir pilots being temporarily hired by Emirates ?
 

typhoonpilot

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Thanks Baf,

I think the industry has completely lost its mind. By the way, why are furloughed SwissAir pilots being temporarily hired by Emirates ?

I just saw something about that on Pprune, but I think it is a deal with Etihad not Emirates. Emirates official policy is that a new hire must resign from their previous company so I doubt we'll see any temp workers unless they really can't find anybody.

TP
 

bafanguy

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typhoonpilot said:
Thanks Baf,



I just saw something about that on Pprune, but I think it is a deal with Etihad not Emirates. Emirates official policy is that a new hire must resign from their previous company so I doubt we'll see any temp workers unless they really can't find anybody.

TP

TP,

The pprune posting said "Emirates and Qatar...", but that doesn't compute. You guys must have people knocking down the doors to get a job there. The world is crawling with well-qualified pilots so why would Emirates take SwissAir guys as "temps" ? Must be a pprune misprint.
 

typhoonpilot

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The pprune posting said "Emirates and Qatar...", but that doesn't compute. You guys must have people knocking down the doors to get a job there. The world is crawling with well-qualified pilots so why would Emirates take SwissAir guys as "temps" ? Must be a pprune misprint.

I saw the same post. It did say Emirates, but that is more wishful thinking than anything. I wouldn't say people are knocking down the door right now. The situation in Europe is quite good and applicants from there have dried up. Indian aviation is exploding and they have a pilot shortage of their own. Right now we are getting guys from Asia. Heck we are even taking guys out of Singapore Airlines. If they would just open up the doors to the U.S. RJ pilots they would have an unlimited supply of pilots to choose from.

To make this post germane to the thread, the Emirates interview was quite good. They take a couple of days to do a thorough job and look at a guys flying skills and personality to make sure he'll fit in. If you can fly and play nice with others then it usually goes well.

TP
 

AlbieF15

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...we think airlines want safe pilots who are fun to fly with, but they really don't. What they want are:

--aviators who don't waste training dollars..

--aviators who are safe and prudent on the line and COMPLY with company instruction and mandates

--aviators who do not waste chief pilots time by saying "I cannot fly with XXXX or XXX" or calling in sick when certain people end up on their schedule.

--aviators who do not chronically pi$$ and moan ruining morale at an otherwise productive institution

--aviators who will work and want to work extra hard at the company...not spend their time off on side businesses, the Reserves (law says this cannot be held against you) or your completely messy personal life. Married or divorced--they don't care, but if you are the type who has restraining orders placed on you they have concerns

--healthy...so you come to work and keep health premiums low

--presentable...so you are not am embarassment to your company by your appearance or your actions in public

Those HR monsters running the interview? They ask targeted questions to get you to REVEAL what they cannot ask. Are you healthy? Do you get along well with others? Are you a motivated worker who wants to fly or is this just another side gig? If they ask the questions directly they may be crossing lines, plus they know they'll get a pat answer. But when they ask "...tell me about a time..." now they can listen closely and read between the lines.

Just my opinion...but I have helped a couple folks through the process...
 
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