Aviation Business News

More than just jobs

Ian Reece tells Air Cargo Management about the approach ASL Aviation Holdings is taking to create a work environment where its team members can grow and advance their careers.
photo_camera Ian Reece

Ian Reece, group HR director at ASL Aviation Holdings, tells Air Cargo Management how the company is creating a work environment where its team members can grow and advance their careers.

What key challenges do you think the air cargo industry is currently facing in terms of attracting and retaining workforces?

At ASL, we have restructured our approach to recruitment to countermand the specific challenges being faced by the air cargo industry today. A reduction in the number of people entering the air cargo industry aviation career strands during Covid-19 has added a sharper edge to what is generally a very competitive employment market. As a global aviation group with eight airlines, we can see that even the propensity of air crews to travel for career opportunities has not weakened demand from airlines.

Employers are competing for the same talent pools, which has created new norms in the recruitment cycle. Potential staff recruits have choices and employers must offer an appealing working environment. It’s not just about salary; employment candidates have choices and will de‑select an airline as a potential employer if they are not being offered the terms and conditions they want. This is particularly true in areas such as work-life balance and the ability to work from home.

Social issues such as housing cost and availability will naturally be a factor in the work-life balance agenda as, of course, will be the performance of the business. Employment candidates can shop around and be very risk averse in their employment choices.

How is ASL addressing these challenges to ensure it has a skilled and stable cargo workforce?

As we continue to attract the best people to our airlines, we do more than offer jobs; we offer the opportunity to build a career. We recognise that our people are our greatest asset, and we launched our employment innovation, the ASL Way, to enable wider talent development and succession planning within our career structures.

ASL has successfully completed many great acquisitions, which have, in turn, created the global airlines that we have today. However, each airline acquisition brought its own set of job titles and job evaluation systems. To assist our people in developing their competencies and career paths, we simplified job titles and descriptions across all ASL group airlines. We also introduced a single transparent method of job evaluation so our staff can see where their role sits relative to others within the same Job Family and among different Job Families.

At ASL, we strive to build teamwork and loyalty and to support this we have introduced a custom designed performance recognition programme reinforced by a specially designed syllabus of education and training. We introduced the ASL Learning Academy, where staff can study and achieve in their own time, developing their talents and qualifications as they move along their career journey.

This feature was first published in Air Cargo Management – November/December 2023. To read the magazine in full, click here.


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