The success of any company in the aviation industry depends, to a great extent, on how well the employees are managed. This means that the task of hiring HR managers is one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Every effort needs to be made, to ensure that the individuals who are hired are of the right caliber. The worst mistake you can make, as a player in the aviation industry, is to hire mediocre individuals to work as HR managers. That mistake can, soon or later, lead to drastic falls in profitability: due to lack of motivation on the part of the employees. In the fullness of time, it can actually lead to total failure of the aviation company in question. Indeed, we have seen many aviation companies failing, and a good number of them fail due to improper management of employees. For when employees are improperly managed, they get demoralized. They start serving customers badly (and sometimes engaging in outright sabotage). The customers in turn start avoiding the airline in question. Then, due to fewer customers, the airline starts having revenue problems — ultimately leading to failure. Yet this would have been avoided if proper care had been taken while hiring the HR managers.
Now if you want to get it right when it comes to hiring HR managers for the aviation industry, you need to:
Advertise the job openings properly
The idea here is to have as many (relevant) people as possible to know that you are hiring. This would broaden the potential talent pool from which you would be recruiting. And that would in turn increase the chances of you getting managers of the right caliber. It is a game of numbers, really. Thus if you have a narrow pool to recruit from, you may not be able to get the right caliber of managers. So you first of all need to create a profile of the sort of person who would be an ideal manager for your aviation company. Then you need to figure out where you can place your job ads, to increase the odds of the job ads being seen by the people who meet that profile. Then you can proceed to do so.
Remember, there are instances where you may need to scout the international labor market, to further enhance your chances of finding the right candidate. If you can’t find the right candidate locally, there is absolutely no reason as to why you shouldn’t go to the international labor market — especially if yours is a major aviation company.
Consider the applicants’ qualifications
It is important to ensure that the people who are hired to work as managers in the aviation industry have the right educational and professional qualifications. So you definitely need to look at the applicants’ papers. You may then need to counter-check with the schools that the applicants claim to have attended, to be certain that you are dealing with genuine qualifications.
Consider the applicants’ interests
The ideal people, in this regard, would be those who have always had a desire to work within the aviation industry. You also need to be sure that the folks you are dealing with are individuals who have a passion for HR management. Those would, ideally, be folks for whom HR management is something of a vocation, a calling: not just something they do to earn a paycheck.
Consider the applicants’ personalities
The ideal people to work as HR managers in the aviation industry (or any other industry for that matter) would be those who have pleasant but firm personalities. If you hire someone with an unpleasant personality to work as a manager in the aviation industry, chances are that they would soon or later start having run-ins with the staff. And that would almost certainly demoralize the staff — which, as we noted earlier, is likely to have an impact on the company’s bottom-line.
Carry out objective interviews
The best approach here is to have a system where you award the (HR management job) applicants points, depending on certain objective criterion. For instance,you can award a maximum of 10 points for educational qualifications, another 10 points for professional qualifications, 10 points for personality, 10 points for interests… and so on. Then, a certain candidate may get 7 out of the possible 10 points for educational qualifications, 5 out of the possible 10 points for professional qualifications, 8 out of 10 for personality… and so on. Then you repeat the process, objectively, for each of the candidate who goes through the interview. And at the end of the exercise, you select the candidate with the highest number of points to work as the HR manager.
If you allow yourself to be influenced by subjective considerations, you may end up hiring less than ideal people.
Consider tapping internal talent
There are cases where you may be better off tapping internal talent, rather than advertising the job externally. The good thing with an internal candidate would be in familiarity. You see, this would be a person who is already conversant with how stuff is done within your company (and this, in some cases, can be a positive thing). So, for instance, if the former HR manager has left for another company, you can hire the person who was working as his assistant. This is a good idea if what you are looking for is continuity. Like if the HR management function has been successful so far, and you want it to continue being that way, you can just promote one of the people who are already working there.
There are cases where, rather than advertising the HR management job, you can opt to head-hunt. So you approach someone who is working in another company’s HR department, and try to persuade him to join yours. For instance, you may have seen another aviation company whose HR function is very well managed, and you want yours to be similarly well run. So you opt to headhunt one of the people who are in charge of HR at that other company.
There are, of course, people who may have concerns about the ethics of head-hunting. But when all is said and done,as long as the person who is being head-hunted isn’t being forced to join the new company, there should be no problems. In any event, you may not have to head-hunt the top HR person at the other company. Instead, you may approach one of the junior individuals (but one who is well conversant with HR operations at that other company), and try to get him to join yours.