The private aviation industry is faced with a pilot shortage that is straining operations.
This shortage is largely marked by generational differences. Older pilots are aging out of the industry without adequate replacement from the Millennial and Generation Z demographics.
Why is that?
Numerous studies and insider publications admit that a career as a pilot is not the surefire path to a healthy salary and as it once was. Pilots who are in the industry often find themselves overextended. The overextension tends to correspond with decreased job satisfaction, which leads to more personnel leaving the industry.
In short, the problem of pilot shortages will accelerate unless the industry takes adequate steps to overcome it.
Let’s examine some big-picture trends in the psycho-demographics of Millennials and Generation Z to find the best way to retain current pilot personnel while attracting new ones.
Millennials care about the following points when it comes to their careers.
- Good work life balance
- A positive social impact
- Employer loyalty
Let’s explore some aspects of private aviation piloting that are in line with these values.
Retain and Attract Pilots by Showing the Path to a Better Work-Life Balance
You can’t overcome a pilot shortage without adequate measures to prevent your current crew from moving on. Retention strategies will help build the foundation upon which you can build. Retention starts with proper internal reach. One of the easiest ways to develop a culture where employees love to stick around is through a series of corporate videos. Gear these videos towards retention by focusing on:
- The career arc of the pilot. When they can expect to control their schedules.
- The rewards of company loyalty.
- Education and training reimbursement options
- The positive initiatives your company is taking, whether that is through local volunteering, green technology, or any civic-minded activity.
Transparency builds the type of company culture that breeds employee loyalty. Tell pilots they can expect tight schedules early on in their work if that is true. However, show them the path towards the type of schedule they want. This could be done through a series of videos or podcasts about the ideal career path of a pilot. Most people know jobs get better over time. Producing media geared towards the major concern of young pilots create a culture where the company hears its key people and works to treat them well. That alone builds retention.
Focus on Green Technology and Initiatives in Private Aviation
Tap into the social impact dimension of Millennial career hunting by gearing your outreach and retention marketing materials towards green technology and initiatives. Even if your private aviation entity does not work with “green” jets per say, you can start or highlight volunteer days, donations to research and development, sustainable sourcing of in-flight supplies, your sophisticated recycling process, or any related subject matter.
Green aviation technology is a wonderful subject matter for your content marketing of all kinds, from blogs to articles and podcasts.
What’s the Best Marketing Tool for Overcoming Pilot Shortages?
Job research and career choice happen online. If you want to attract and retain pilots, you have to turn your online presence into a one-stop resource for aspiring aviators. These future flyers are Googling questions about their career path day and night. The right analytics tools can show you what they are asking, and how they are asking it.
This gives you an opportunity to create content that answers their questions. Imagine a series of videos or articles on:
- How long it takes to become a pilot
- Breakdowns of the types of jets pilots get to fly
- Interviews with industry veterans
- “Fun fact,” style videos with insider information about the industry
- …and more.
You can optimize your content to appear before people searching these questions if you work with people who know what they are doing.
Capitalize on the Obvious Lifestyle Benefits
Since the dawn of widespread commercial flight, being a pilot has been about the lifestyle it entails.
Social media has made us more hyper-aware of the lives and lifestyles of others than ever before. Private aviation entities have ample opportunity to capitalize on the glamorous world of a luxury service through highly visual online platforms. Millennials and Generation Z consumers grew up in the social media age. The incredible number of lifestyle-driven entrepreneurs in the social media ecosystem is more than enough data to tell you this is a career priority for many younger demographics.
How to Develop a Strategy that Overcomes Pilot Shortages
Offland Media is a team of marketing experts, aviators, videographers, influencers, and more. Overcome the challenge of pilot shortages with full internal and external retention strategy by emailing us online, where you can browse through our past work.