Several months after the coronavirus pandemic brought commercial aviation and related hiring to a virtual standstill, job seeker activity is showing a marked increase with interest in positions for maintenance technicians, corporate pilots, medical evacuation specialists and certified flight instructors.
JSfirm.com chief executive Abbey Hutter said the company was “eager to see what 2021 brings” after a devastating year that saw thousands of aviation industry layoffs, business service cuts and growth retardation in other aviation sectors.
“January alone saw a record number of job postings on JSfirm.com, even compared to pre-pandemic numbers,” the company said, drawing attention to a 19% increase in job postings. vacancies compared to the previous quarter. Additionally, traffic to the job seeker website has been steadily increasing since the new year. Job seeker activity in January increased 48% compared to December 2020, and the number of pilots “who joined our website as job seekers has doubled in the last year”, noted Hutter.
She pointed out that filling the ranks of aircraft mechanics and avionics specialists “is always crazy” because of attrition. Hutter also emphasized that the need for CFI “never strays from our website. It’s that rotation that’s always been there,” as flight instructors gain time and experience before moving on to higher-paying positions in other areas of aviation. As more people get out of their homes and travel, the demand for air medical evacuation specialists is also growing.
Business aviation activity has been surprisingly robust, Hutter said, with jobs being filled ahead of their official release. “When one of those part 91 corporate jobs [opens] most of the time, companies don’t have to advertise it” before the position is filled, Hutter explained. JSfirm.com has a confidential posting service that only shows the job description, but not the company name, location or type of aircraft used, as job seekers have become adept at identify the company through these clues. “Those [positions] seem to be very active. The business aviation sector is undeniably strong.
Hutter added that administrative roles, engineering positions and avionics jobs are very active right now.
“I think the way to look at it is that I don’t think there’s an industry that’s not hiring except for some of the major airlines,” Hutter added. She said this is a situation where businesses realize they need to be in a strong position when travel returns so they can quickly ramp up operations. “Some of them say, ‘Either we have to grow or we’re going to close,’ so they hire again.”
Overall, the JSfirm.com website currently has around 19,000 jobs posted, roughly double the 9,000 jobs the website saw during the height of the 2020 economic recession.
“I think we’re still in the tunnel, but we can see the light at the end,” Hutter said. “You can’t stop the world forever.”