Clarification: Although Alaska Airlines was the first commercial airline to adopt the iPad for its cockpits, Asig, LLC announced at the end of 2010 that it had achieved an FAA Operations Specification A061 approval to use the iPad as an EFB for N-Jet, a charter airline. Its Part -135 fleet consists of smaller business aircraft. This was the first approval of its kind in North America.
Hello Teardown readers,
Welcome to our penultimate Teardown Report for 2012! It has been a big year for social media in aviation, and next week we’ll take a look at some of the best (and worst) uses of online communication by airlines and MROs.
American Airlines has been in the news again this week, but this time for a double-pronged social media infusion. First, it snagged FAA approval to put iPads in the cockpit during all phases of flights flights, and it also bragged that it would be introducing Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets in the cabin.
According to the ZDNet article, pilots will be using the iPads in the cockpit as soon as today. Alaska Airlines was the first commercial airline to adopt the iPad in its cabins to replace its flight manuals in February, so this isn’t a new concept. Even before that, Swedish cargo carrier Amapoloa made the announcement almost a year ago that it would be working with Fokker Services to develop a mounting solution for the iPad. There is definitely a trend at work to move to consumer platforms, but I still have a feeling that some airlines would rather opt to use electronic EFBs made by aerospace companies like navAero and Goodrich. What do you think? Is the consumer product trend strong enough to knock those traditional aerospace companies' EFBs out of the water?
According to this CNET article, the carrier will also be deploying Samsung Galaxy devices for an IFE solution for more than 70 movies, television shows and music. In Q1 2012, American will be offering Wi-Fi for the tablets. Again, nothing new here—companies like Airvod have perfected tablets specifically for IFE already. The difference is that the Galaxy tablet is, again, a consumer product. Have any of you had the chance of using the Galaxy before, for work or for play?
KLM also made headlines with its announcement that it will be offering “social seating” on its aircraft, an announcement that was reportedly made by one of KLM’s executives at a conference earlier in the week. The concept would be that passengers use social networks such as facebook and LinkedIn to find interesting people to sit next to on their flights. Apparently both people would have to voluntarily share their information to make it work, which would limit strange people from taking a look at others’ profiles without their consent.
When I heard about this, I had mixed feelings. As a journalist, I have been able to gather some of my best tips from sitting next to people on aircraft. People are usually more willing to share their ideas on an aircraft than in a formal setting, but people usually don’t open up initially unless they are from a place like my home state of Ohio. It takes some work. With this tool, that element of surprise is a bit lost. You already know about your neighbor from looking at their profile, and chances are they’re probably just like you. That’s boring! Call me crazy, but meeting quirky people at random is my favorite part of traveling.
Now let’s get to the best part of the Teardown Report: our guest interview! This week I have asked Angela Sinclair (@angie1915), an engineering recruiter from Airbus, to answer our social media questions. She uses social media to help the younger workforce find aerospace engineering jobs in Wichita, and she has some great things to say about using social networks for recruiting. Did you know that more than 36 million Americans say that they got their current job from social media? That’s a lot. Angie is one of those people who puts those jobs out there and makes some of those connections. I hope you enjoy her responses.
Q. Can you please tell our readers a little bit about your professional background and the type of work you do at Airbus?
A. I have been in the Human Resources field for about 15 years with the last six years in recruiting for the aviation/aerospace and transportation industries.
Q. Which types of social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) do you use professionally? What about in your personal life?
A. I use LinkedIn and Twitter the most for recruiting and networking. Our parent company – Airbus Americas uses Facebook and Twitter to promote Airbus, and I also have them assist in promoting our engineering positions because to their larger network.
My social media links:
Q. How did you first discover social media, and how has your use of it evolved since them?
I first discovered social media back in 2007 with LinkedIn while recruiting for a previous employer. Since then, I have been building my network using all the available sites. Letting people know who I am and what I do. I love using Twitter. It’s a great way to find tips, tricks and other useful information from others in your field.
Q. How do you use social media to enhance your recruiting work at Airbus? In which ways do you find it helpful?
Social media has been very beneficial with my recruiting efforts with Airbus Americas Engineering. We have created our own AAE page on LinkedIn, and we are increasing the number of followers each day. It’s a great way to show pride in one’s organization.
Another way is to find people who might not necessarily be looking for a new opportunity. Not everyone uses the major job boards, or if they do, they don’t update their resume as often as they would on LinkedIn.com. I see LinkedIn as a brag board to showcase what one has done in their career. I love the fact that you can post there and also have it post to Twitter.
Q. As a recruiter, how would you describe today’s young aerospace workforce?
They are motivated, eager to learn, and are creative thinkers. With the baby boomers retiring, there is a fresh, new vibe being brought into the workforce. They are looking for a challenging career.
Q. From working with young professionals, how would you describe the way that this generation uses social media for their professional endeavors?
Today’s young professionals are all about using social media for every aspect of their lives. They use it to build their professional networks, to get more information on a company and their culture, job search etc. That’s how they are connected to everyone and everything.
Q. On your twitter account, I see that some of your posts make mention specifically to job openings. Can you explain more about how you use social media to communicate about open positions?
For our direct hire positions we use Monster.com along with broadcasting on LinkedIn and Twitter. Our contract positions I use social media websites a lot to get visibility to help build the pipeline. Being able to get our job postings out quickly to the masses is vital.
Q. What is the importance of social networks for finding jobs when compared to more traditional methods, such as standard job sites like Monster or even a career fair? How does twitter or LinkedIn compare?
Social media is essential to anyone’s job search. With companies scaling down on the costs of advertising on the big job boards this allows us to use more cost effective methods of recruiting. More and more people have the capabilities to access social media websites from their phones so this allows them to find out sooner about a job posting.
Job fairs seem to be a thing of the past with more and more companies requiring electronic submission of resumes and applications. They are great for colleges, but seem to be an outdated source.
LinkedIn and Twitter are becoming tough competition for the major job boards. They are interactive, provide current employment information, and with Twitter it’s instant.
Q. If you had to give advice to another colleague or professional about starting to use social media in a work setting, what would you say?
Have fun with it first and foremost. Second, don’t be afraid of it - you can’t break it. Keep things short and sweet (140 characters or less).
Q. On your social networking sites, which profiles do you enjoy following the most? Do you have any favorite blogs or web sites that you share? Any examples would be great?
I enjoy reading profiles of people that list what books they are reading, what websites they like to visit, and find out what makes them tick. I also like reading profiles of our competition to find out what they are doing with their recruiting efforts.
I really like reading Laurie Ruetimann’s blog – http://thecynicalgirl.com/
Another great blog is Ask A Manager - http://www.askamanager.org
Q. Lastly, how does your social media effort fit into Airbus’ overall social networking strategy?
My efforts are in line with Airbus’ strategy. Anything we can do to promote the Airbus brand, along with how great of a company it is to work for. The company culture is amazing.