Back in this July Teardown report, I took a brief look at whether social media helps influence students to pursue a career in aeronautical engineering. The results sent to me by Embry-Riddle Worldwide showed that 53% of those surveyed said social media is not influential when deciding on an academic program. Is this why aftermarket employers aren't jumping in on the act either?
Here in Madrid at Aviation Week’s MRO Europe conference, today's kick-off session - Manpower Paradigms - was standing room only. The audience was told that commercial aviation requires 650,000 new engineers to be trained over the next 20 years From the attendance in the room, it’s clear that recruitment of tomorrow’s technicians and engineers is at the forefront of the industry’s minds. Social media as a tool for recruitment is largely yet to be embraced though.
Someone in the audience asked today’s panel the all-important question: “Do you use social networks to attract new talent?” Virgin Atlantic sees the benefit, but it’s not something they’re doing. That’s really interesting when you consider just how active the airline is in recruiting for other departments such as cabin crew. Lufthansa Technik say they have no experience in it, and Boeing’s man on the ground wasn’t sure. But I know they definitely have a big careers presence, including recruiting for technicians, both on Facebook and Twitter.
To answer my own earlier question, I think the social media recruitment question mark is a double-edged sword. Students aren’t influenced by social media because there is no relevant social media content. If the largest aftermarket employers are not actively promoting entry-level apprentice roles and attracting and retaining new talent to this industry via an outlet where young people tend to congregate, is it any wonder that audience isn’t being enticed to the industry through social media?