Around the Airport

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Which Employment Offer Do I Accept?

I’m sitting here at my desk perusing yet another offer.  Just yesterday I had four but with today’s mail came two others.  This is new territory for me, being in demand.
During the past few decades, commercial aviation jobs were hard to come by. But today that’s all changing.  The proof is in front of me.  All that is left to do is decide which cargo carrier or airline to work for and give them a call.
The choice is not easy.  They’re all offering first year pay that will be more than what I’m making now.  Each airline is rolling out new work rules designed to attract and retain pilots.  And more importantly, they’re offering huge signing bonuses.  Yes it’s a great time to be a commercial aviator.
Fourteen years ago I never imagined being where I am today.  Back then, 13,000 hours logged, a majority of it jet (sadly), 95% of that being PIC, four type ratings that span from DC-3 to 747, and international “heavy”experience flying into all corners of the world was something impossibly out of reach.  Yet, when I combine those stats with my also being psychologically certified to carry a gun in the cockpit, and my spotless virgin-white aviation record, I guess it’s not that unbelievable to sit here with six offers.  But, I guess I can’t claim it’s all because of me.  There is that looming pilot shortage.
Yes, it has arrived; the pilot shortage that everyone has been talking about.  We all knew it would happen.  Just like the days of the OPEC oil embargo, the current frenzy for gold, and even Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon, when something is in demand the prices go up.  And, when there’s a shortage, people knock down your door if you have what they need.  Like I said, it’s an interesting place to be, in demand.  Of course, it’s all a lie.
Interesting.  Look at that first year pay.  And that's for the world's best pilots?
When you’re in demand as a pilot, you don’t pay for training at your new job.  Ever wonder why first year pay is so much less than your last job, even at the majors?  That’s right; you’re paying for your training.  When there’s a shortage that doesn’t happen.
When you have what the airlines are desperate for they come looking for you.  There’s no dog and pony show applications to fill out after watching months worth of gossip forums just to get the secret handshake of when “the window” is open.  “The window”, for those of you outside the industry, is when a tiny window for applying is open and it’s equivalent to the time a female is ovulating except without the calendar to predict it.  When there’s a shortage companies ask you to apply and they don’t play 3rd grade level games with those they need.
Another great thing about being in demand is that you don’t have to put up with BS.   When times are tight and companies need qualified individuals, they don’t allow computer programs to choose the applicants.  Instead they have bright eyed intelligent people who know the industry making discovery based decisions; not some test the forum kids passed around online that enabled idiots to pass.
And finally, when you are in demand, you’re sought out.  Companies come looking for you.  If you’re one of a thousand or more applicants, you are not experiencing a shortage.
Did you catch that?  None of the indicators of a shortage exist.  Yet what’s really funny about all this is that I’m sure many people who are outside the industry read the first part of this post and assumed it must be true. After all, that’s what the “experts” keep telling them; there’s a pilot shortage.  Those in the industry though were likely sitting in disbelief.  Why would that be?  Because those in the industry know better.  There is no shortage, only an increased rate of hiring for a window of time.  If the mythical exhaustion of pilot resources truly existed the first three paragraphs would be true.  They are not.

1 comment:

matt erwin said...

Word on the street is that they were looking for people that would acquiesce to the management side's philosophies with that test. More 'party line' BS from that company. Why cant they all just get along after making more PROFIT than some small countries GDP's?!