Comparing hiring practices--Who is doing it right?

canyonblue

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typhoonpilot said:
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.
TP

The least intricate part of the overall eminence of a pilot, and for the life of them they can't communicate well. I really do not want to be sitting next to this chud going from BWI-LAX. No job for you, come back one year, NEXT!!!!
 

typhoonpilot

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canyonblue said:
The least intricate part of the overall eminence of a pilot, and for the life of them they can't communicate well. I really do not want to be sitting next to this chud going from BWI-LAX. No job for you, come back one year, NEXT!!!!

You missed the point. Telling a tall tale in an interview versus having a conversation in the cockpit are two entirely different things.

TP


P.S. I've never interviewed at SWA :rolleyes: .
 

bafanguy

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AlbieF15 said:
Those HR monsters running the interview? Are you a motivated worker who wants to fly or is this just another side gig?

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

Sir,

I might have been born at night; it just wasn't LAST night.

"Are you a motivated worker who wants to fly or is this another side gig ?"

One must ask why you support this now standard HR line of unadulterated, store-brand baloney as the proper way to hire pilots.

One might have to wonder if, perhaps, it's because YOU profit from prepping people to wade this this vat of misdirected crap.

A "...side gig ?", Sir. You appear to have one of the factors that would make one an inappropriate pilot candidate by your own accounting. Yet, you seem to have landed on your feet nonetheless. Good show.
 

TonyC

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bafanguy said:
One must ask why you support this now standard HR line of unadulterated, store-brand baloney as the proper way to hire pilots.
I won't speak for AlbieF15 (he's quite capable of doing that himself) but as a reader of his post. I did NOT gather from his post that he "supported" or "condoned" the philosphy, he just explained it.


When the company is looking for a new airplane, they're looking for a piece of equipment that will fly where they want to go, carry the stuff they want to carry, do it inexpensively, and do it reliably. They don't want a part-time airplane, or an airplane that will break and require a landing short of the destination, and they don't want a gas hog or a hangar queen.

I think they're looking for the same things in pilots. They want guys and gals that will perform the job safely every time, and not give the company any trouble. They don't care about the number of kills you had in the Gulf War, they want to know you'll never call in sick. They don't care about your marital status, they just want you to NOT annoy the other employees with your personal problems. They want PRODUCTIVITY, period. How they go about assessing or predicting those qualities is the focus of the interview.


And like AlbieF15 said, that's just MY opinion. (No, I don't charge, but I don't have a money-back guarantee, either! ;) )





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FlyBoeingJets

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Thanks to all for the info.

I see a give and take in the hiring process. I also see cultures that were started and nurtured before we arrived on the scene.

IMHO.....HR wants to have their input and the pilot group wants their input. Upper management puts their stamp on the process too. Money is always a player and a company wants to spend the least in the process of obtaining good employees.

Good employee is a relative term. One can argue, like Albie, that a good employee is a cheap and productive employee.

I like to compare the different styles of ensuring good stick and rudder skills. A sim check can be practiced and is but one day. Only a small snapshot.

A personal recommendation from a trusted employee tells you if that applicant is good every flight. High PIC time tells you someone has been trusted to command for years somewhere else.
 

h2oskier

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How about looking at the results? I've now been with JB for just over a year, and so far 99.9% of the captains I've flown with have been great. Sure, a few always slip through the cracks. That happens everywhere. All have been professional, competent, and the trips enjoyable. So, I'd say JB is doin' just fine on the interviews. As for any others, I will say that all the pilots I know that have made it to SWA have been top notch as well. As far as not having a sim check, take a look at the experience of the thousands of applicants on file. JB pretty much assumes that at the experience levels they are seeing, that the ability to fly is there. Just my 2 cents....
 

canyonblue737

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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.

know and love ya capt. m. but on this one i simply can't agree.

EVERY, EVERY, EVERY airline turns down good ones and hires bad ones. i believe SWA hires more good ones than the rest because of some of their practices and attitudes which include being very picky, to the point they end up not hiring some great guys and girls because they were being overally cautious. the people department at SWA freely admits this, but IMHO correctly feel that if they loosen things up they will hire good people, but also get more bads ones. clearly UPS turns people down too... and i bet some are good ones to. we both know people that should have been hired at SWA but weren't but from my experience on the line i think the percentage of "good folks" is through the roof here so they have to be doing something right.

as for the type well that is what it is. it saves the company a bunch of insurance money to have both typed and it goes right to the bottom line cost savings of the company. i have seen people hired without the type (pending it of course) but they are the minority. while SWA is loathe to say it, perhaps there is some truth that SWA like seeing some folks (although if you have a type from your previous job that excellent) gamble on the type and interview, because in a sense every employee they hire is a gamble on the very future of the company... we can destroy this place after all. but EVERYONE who gets a type has to know this: do not think getting the type will get you hired, what happens in the interview and what your peers think and say about you after the interview will get you hired. you should be comfortable with that knowledge before you decide to purchase a type if that is your situation.

i know you wanted to be here at one point and i am sorry you soured on it from what you have seen, but for those doubters out there... once your here it still is IMHO is the best place to work in the airlines to work for as an employee, QOL, pay and simply fun enviroment all summed up.
 
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canyonblue737

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blzr said:
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.

way more than 1 in 500. i would guess when i interviewed and the time around it at least 1 or 2 of the 16 interviews each day didn't have one. the chances to be hired for them once at the interview were IMHO equal to the rest of us. having the type simply made it more likely to get the interview.
 

FlyBoeingJets

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canyonblue737 said:
way more than 1 in 500. i would guess when i interviewed and the time around it at least 1 or 2 of the 16 interviews each day didn't have one. the chances to be hired for them once at the interview were IMHO equal to the rest of us. having the type simply made it more likely to get the interview.

I can vouch for this one. Some of my mil buds had applications in for SWA, pre 9/11, without types. I put mine in after 9/11 with type. I was called earlier than they were. Is it fair or right, I don't know. Just is.

In '99 and '00 the type had become optional for interviews and many, many folks were interviewed without them. After 9/11 competitive interviewing quals changed. And after the interviewing stopped from '02 until early '04, it got even harder.

Each hiring cycle is different. Even in the same cycle some get interviewed and hired at the beginning and others at the end. I'd rather to stack the cards in my favor and get interviewed in the beginning.
 

AlbieF15

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Clarifying...

No...I wasn't justifying the current hiring formats, just giving my 2 cents on what I think they care about.

And the side gig....I have met tons of pilots with them. Here are some...

Barber shop owner (sport cuts)

Realtors (a million of 'em)

Mortgage brokers (one VERY successful 727 captain I enjoy flying with has a multi-million dollar business)

ALL ATPs-- (yep...that guy...Derrick Dennis, was a FedEx Captain)

Retail Lacrosse store-- (one of our ACPs)

Land developer/home builder--

Lawyers--

City councilman

Car lot owner

Now...ALL of these guys are VERY interesting to fly with as I get to hear their perspective on business, life, and learn a little more about stuff going on away from ILS approaches, company negotiations, etc etc. I think these guys are fascinating to fly with and I enjoy learning about them.

Next question--how many of these guys do you think pick up extra trips? Dip into open time and grab a trip here or there at straight pay? They may do it sometimes, but more than likely they are tackling a problem on their other job during their time off. In the case of some, they will drop trips to go do more lucrative work than fly jets (hard to imagine, isn't it?)

So...you may or may not want to FLY with these guys, but how does a company like JetBlue (where you get 1.5 rate for hours over 70 hours) or SWA (extra trips picked up pay year 2 pay) or FedEX (if we call YOU for a trip its 1.5 x pay rate) view employee productivity? I think the pay scales obviously indicate they'd like us to be available for MORE work if needed. Why? Its cheaper to pay overtime than train and hire more folks, and when there is work to be done they'd like you to step up. That may be hard to do when you're selling mortgages, running the real estate office, or attending a trade show. So...if you want to brag about your real estate prowess in a job interivew, knock yourself out. My free advice is shut your yap and talk about how much you LOVE flying and want to fly the line (or teach, or be an LCA, etc). It's not BS...heck we all LOVE flying, and being an airline pilot is an awesome profession. However, one perk of this career is that if properly managed you may have time to indulge other interests too. I just wouldn't go into an interview advertising those interests...

As for "who is doing it right?"...how about this...

Delta, NWA, AA, Alaska, UAL, Frontier, US Air, Airborne, and AWA are doing it wrong. They are not interviewing or hiring.

Continental, FedEx, UPS, JetBlue, SWA, AirTran, and the regionals are doing it right--they are hiring. If you want the "major" with pax and travel passes, a wide variety of plane types, and a good mix of flying...apply to Continental. You lose the A plan at SWA or JB but you get a growing company, rapid advancement, and enthusiatic employees. Airtran is similiar but boasts a pretty sweet B plan. Both major freight ops are hiring and offer stable long term careers with excellent benefits. Regionals give you a place to work for time or experience if you can't make the others work out for a while.

Just chewin' the fat boys...no intention to flame anyone....
 

Resume Writer

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Aaron,


I am going to have to disagree with your sentiment about which airline is doing it right based upon whether they are hiring or not. It was not too many years ago that people did not want to fly for Airtran. Continental just started hiring again, as did UPS a few months ago. Even SWA stopped hiring for a period of time and has significantly slowed down in the past few months.

As to the original poster's question, every airline has their method of hiring that they believe works best for them. Every airline has a unique corporate culture and the type of pilots they desire. To be successful at these airlines, you have to understand their culture and how you fit into it. Not everyone is a "SWA Type" employee, just as not everyone was a "Delta Type" when they were hiring.

Having been around this industry for almost two decades, I can say that a lot has changed, but a lot has stayed the same.

As an individual that has been in the employment consulting, resume preparation and interview coaching business for the same length of time, I have watched the interview process change to fit the needs of each company.

A good deal of it depends upon the market, i.e., supply versus demand. When the supply of qualified applicants is high, then a company can put into place more stringent qualifications. If the supply is low, then the quals become lax. Simple economics.

Kathy
 

DCitrus9

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Gotta disagree with some of ya' here. I think CA Megadeath has it right on here. I've turned down SWA interviews 'cause I wasn't gooing to foot the bill for a type. I also think she's got the best gig going. I am happy, but I feel jealous 'cause I didn't fill out my flight time summary. PS, how's your boytoy doing? As far as AirTran goes, I like their hiring practices. I think the 121 PIC is a good req. Much better than SWA or Jet blues time over 20000lbs or whatever arbitrary number they picked.
 

FlyBoeingJets

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AlbieF15 said:
As for "who is doing it right?"...how about this...

Delta, NWA, AA, Alaska, UAL, Frontier, US Air, Airborne, and AWA are doing it wrong. They are not interviewing or hiring.

Continental, FedEx, UPS, JetBlue, SWA, AirTran, and the regionals are doing it right--they are hiring.


Albie, you may have a point but that's not what I meant. But you knew that, right?

As far as the comment on SWA slowing down, it must be seasonal. I bet any slowdown is only temporary, maybe for people department vacations and such. SWA is putting folks in classes faster than I've seen since 9/11. April interviewees into July classes. I have been told classes WILL run until the end of the year. Classes will likely start again in January. SWA likes to run classes in the first and second quarter and trail off at the end of the year.
 
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FlyBoeingJets

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I think part of the equation is volume. SWA needs a lot of people. They can't rule out those without recommendations.

As was pointed out before, it is also a money issue. FedEx is using their ACP's spare time (read 'free') to do the work of a paid HR employees elsewhere. SWA's HR (people) department also hires F/A's. I'm betting FedEx's HR department is tiny compared to SWA's.

Does it have anything to do with complexity of the equipment? MD-11 is notoriously hard to land. 737 is known as less of a handful. FedEx pilots trade planes numerous times. SWA does not.

Is it true folks are leaving UPS the first year to go to SWA? Why? Anyone leaving the JetBlue experience?

Just comparing the 2 heavy weights. Don't know anything about JetBlue, UPS or Airtran.
 

Resume Writer

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FlyBoeingJets said:
As far as the comment on SWA slowing down, it must be seasonal. I bet any slowdown is only temporary, maybe for people department vacations and such. SWA is putting folks in classes faster than I've seen since 9/11. April interviewees into July classes. I have been told classes WILL run until the end of the year. Classes will likely start again in January. SWA likes to run classes in the first and second quarter and trail off at the end of the year.

Fly, have you heard the term SYWON (subject to change without notice)? :) What should be emphasized here is the last thing you heard was classes will run until the end of the year. Look at AWA. They were going really strong, and since the proposed merger with USAirways, they stopped hiring immediately.

I have to ask about the April interviewees being put into July classes. Was that a one time thing? Did they not interview enough people to fill a class? From what I have witnessed with my clients, it has been a six to seven month wait from the "your hired" call to a class date. Did something change?

Kathy
 

bafanguy

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Albie,


Just yankin' your chain about the "...side gig..." thing ( just couldn't resist ). Pilots have had side gigs for the entire 35 years I was in airline work; these days, you'd BETTER have one. And who would care if someone did because it has nothing to do with one's flying job, nor should anyone think it would.

However, while it doesn't make me an expert, having 35 years of airline work behind me does give me a functional concept of what it takes to do this work over the long haul. And the interview/selection process, AS DESCRIBED BY POSTERS ON THIS FORUM, involves elements that couldn't possibly be valid criteria in deciding if one person is a better choice than another. The fact that there's an oversupply of qualified applicants, allowing for allegedly greater selectivity, doesn't mean the criteria a particular company uses necessarily constitutes "greater selectivity". It just means it's their party so they get to decide what games are played and the selections get ever more arbitrary as quest for "selectivity" gets more fervent. The 800 pound gorilla isn't always right; he's just an 800 pound gorilla.

My biggest objection is this whole "...tell me a story..." stuff. The notion that a person who demonstrates a glib, polished ability to recite his carefully-crafted "...I'm really a swell guy after all..." tale is better than one who isn't so slick just doesn't float. And, his prepared statement indicates nothing about who he really is. In fact, my take is that forcing people into these "story times" actually covers up who they really are, putting them on the defensive by forcing them to hide behind what they think the interviewer wants to hear. As Typhoonpilot said, there's a big difference in telling stories at interview and actually being the appropriate person for the job in the cockpit. Maybe if one is choosing a date for the prom, a raconteur would be a nececcary trait; in flying, it's not.

So, they're hiring for a particular "corporate culture" ? I think the culture idea is vastly overplayed/overrated. Sure, there may be some differences, but the job is still what it is, the airplanes, airports, weather, FAA, consequences of failure, professional obligations, etc. are unchanged from company to company despite what the HR types try to tell us. The earth is NOT flat and no amount of saying it is will make it so. Delta used to have a great "corporate culture" and was THE place to work not all that many years ago. Now look at 'em. How quickly things change, which tells me that the whole notion of "culture" is a house of cards to start with. It's easy to be all giggly about your "culture" when the money's rolling in along with the shiny new airplanes. Show us the "culture" when things hit the fan; that'll show you what it really means/is worth. This is what invalidates the idea of hiring to fit such a notion. "Culture" is the Easter Bunny.

There are valid ways to determine if a person's fit for the job: put them in the sim, give them a written exam, background/qualification checks, LOR's ( I'm not even sure of the validity of this one ), etc. Basing a hiring decision on "...tell us why should we hire YOU ?..." or a storytime, organ-grinder's monkey dance simply doesn't float with what I know to be true about what it actually takes to do the job in question.

I'm just glad I got my last interview in back in '73 before the train derailed, and that I don't need to get one now. You poor guys have my heart-felt sympathy.
 
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canyonblue

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FlyBoeingJets said:
I'm betting FedEx's HR department is tiny compared to SWA's.

Maybe not. Don't forget they also hire all those people who drive the trucks.
 

joevollers

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People who complain about the good ol' boy network probably do not have the the people skills to have made the connections to get themselves looked at------ or they have made poor career choices putting them in a job where they come in contact with nobody on a regular basis----

One reason to go a Small commuter early in your career--- the connections you make. Networking seems to be a lot tighter at a company like Great Lakes than say AirWis
 

canyonblue

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DCitrus9 said:
I've turned down SWA interviews 'cause I wasn't gooing to foot the bill for a type.

You could always just bid 737 CA at Airtran and then you would not have to pay for it, they would.
 
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