The helicopter industry is hiring

Since its founding in 1999, JSfirm.com, an online aviation-only job board with resume database, has grown to become one of the most popular job search web sites in the industry. That position has given JSfirm.com unique insight into aviation hiring trends, which for the past five years it has shared in the form of its Annual Hiring Trends Survey.
JSfirm.com’s Annual Hiring Trends Survey is always a wealth of information and eagerly anticipated by Vertical readers. However, because JSfirm.com surveys a wide range of aviation companies, it is difficult to draw inferences about the helicopter industry from the overall results. Sure, the aviation industry as a whole may be predicting moderate growth, but is that a generalized trend, or the mathematical average of some sectors predicting significant growth, and others predicting no growth?
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This year, we asked JSfirm.com to break out results by sector, allowing us to compare the survey’s overall results with results for the helicopter sector specifically. And what we found was encouraging. Results for the helicopter sector track overall results closely, and suggest that most helicopter-related companies will be hiring in 2014. “This annual survey has proven to be accurate in past years at forecasting the hiring trends,” noted JSfirm.com manager Jeff Richards, who stated, “yes, the helicopter industry is hiring.” Already, he said, “January 2014 shows a 141 percent increase in job advertisements compared to January 2013. It’s going to be a record year for aviation companies advertising jobs on JSfirm.com.”
For its fifth Annual Hiring Trends Survey, JSfirm.com surveyed more than 400 aviation companies across various sectors, with 166, or approximately 42 percent, of those companies indicating an association with the helicopter industry. Among respondents overall, 91 percent expected to hire employees in 2014, while 90 percent of helicopter companies expected to do the same. That’s up from 85 percent of respondents overall in 2013.
As in previous years, skilled maintenance technicians are in high demand, with 19 percent of companies both overall and in the helicopter industry expecting to hire maintenance personnel — more than for any other single type of employee. (Among the companies surveyed, 11 percent overall and 14 percent in the helicopter sector expected to hire pilots.) Seventy-eight percent of companies overall and 76 percent of companies in the helicopter sector are predicting growth in 2014, up from 67 percent overall in 2013.
“Lack of experience” was cited most frequently as respondents’ biggest challenge in finding qualified aviation talent, with 28 percent of companies both overall and in the helicopter industry identifying it as an issue. (Other commonly cited challenges were “our location” and “candidate pay expectations are too high.”) With respect to minimizing turnover, the three most commonly cited retention tools both overall and in the helicopter industry included “recognition and appreciation,” “talent and skill utilization,” and “better-than-average benefits.”
Here are some more results from the JSfirm.com Annual Hiring Trends Survey, which can be downloaded in its entirety at jsfirm.com/2014hiring.asp.
Were any jobs cut from your company in 2013?
Overall: 68 percent of companies said none, 21 percent of companies said one to five, and 11 percent of companies said six or more.
In the helicopter industry: 66 percent of companies said none, 20 percent of companies said one to five, and 14 percent of companies said six or more.
How many people did your company hire in 2013?
Overall: 6 percent of companies said none, 42 percent of companies said one to five, 12 percent of companies said six to 10, and 40 percent of companies said 11 or more.
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In the helicopter industry: 6 percent of companies said none, 43 percent of companies said one to five, 13 percent of companies said six to 10, and 38 percent of companies said 11 or more.
How many people will your company be hiring in 2014?
Overall: 9 percent of companies said likely none, 42 percent of companies said one to five,
14 percent of companies said six to 10, and 35 percent of companies said 11 or more.
In the helicopter industry: 10 percent of companies said likely none, 40 percent of companies said one to five, 17 percent of companies said six to 10, and 33 percent of companies said 11 or more.

When do you expect your company to hire? (Select all that apply.)

Overall: 27 percent of companies said during the first quarter, 31 percent of companies said during the second quarter, 22 percent of companies said during the third quarter, and 14 percent of companies said during the fourth quarter.
In the helicopter industry: 28 percent of companies said during the first quarter, 30 percent of companies said during the second quarter, 21 percent of companies said during the third quarter, and 14 percent of companies said during the fourth quarter.

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