Southwest Airlines has never had a problem recruiting employees because good salaries, big bonuses, flight benefits and regular recognition as one of the country’s best workplaces were always enough.
Once among the country’s most coveted companies to work for, airlines are suddenly struggling to find workers, while at the same time needing thousands of new people to keep up with the new travel realities. Despite ups and downs, jobs are among the most stable, and turnover is low thanks largely to unions that have regularly guaranteed wage increases and living costs.
In March 2020, Southwest employees picked up an average of $ 11,190 extra in profit sharing, although there were no bonuses next year due to heavy losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. The median southwestern worker in 2019 had an average compensation of more than $ 101,000, including wages and benefits.
But oh, how things have changed in 18 months. Throughout the travel industry, airlines are competing fiercely for new talent after firing workers in the first year of the pandemic.
Southwest Airlines is in the middle of a hiring pressure to get 5,200 new employees by November, which hopefully provides some relief for tired employees before the holiday season. Fort Worth-based American Airlines has openings for about 4,000 jobs across the company in addition to the long-term need to hire thousands of pilots in the coming years to keep up with retirements.
Delta employs 3,000 flight attendants, and JetBlue needs 2,500 flight attendants. Airlines have turned to $ 300 to $ 500 recruitment bonuses in an industry where it was never hard to persuade friends to come and work with you.
Sydvest and other companies are actively recruiting mechanics – jobs that are crucial during peak periods.
Emilee Mayfield, who works with recruitment firm HSGI, Inc., said skilled mechanics and technicians get sign-on bonuses, higher salaries and even paid lodging to jump to new companies or take short-term and long-term contract jobs.
“There’s a desperate hunt for mechanics and technicians,” Mayfield said. “People still want to work for airlines, but there is a huge demand right now in the private and executive jet maintenance field.”
For the first time in more than a decade, aviation recruiter Sharon Ballgae said she received a request from a major regional airline to help find pilots.
Ballgae said airlines have long known there would be a need for new pilots. American Airlines will see more than 7,000 pilots retire between 2021 and 2030 due to mandatory age limits set by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Salaries have also increased pilots to jump from airlines to business jobs or charter services and rise from about $ 125,000 a year a decade ago to more than $ 175,000, Ballgae said.
But not all jobs are difficult to fill. Flight attendant jobs are still getting a lot of interest. Perhaps it is because of the frequent travel and the ability to set favorable schedules.
American Airlines opened for recruitment for 1,000 stewardess jobs and received more than 27,000 applications.
– Tribune News Service
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