Recently, I have some concerns from my students stating if SIA will stop recruiting cabin crews. With the news of SIA encouraging pilots to go on ‘no-pay-leave’ and even agree to wave their contracts.
This is understandable because as you know, when it comes to the interview, we need to plan if its the right time to go as we don’t want to sit waiting for an interview that never comes… especially if we are hoping to join the industry and didn’t want to go for other job interviews. =)
Well, to address that, let us understand a few “truth” in both the industry, human psychology and… well… hard facts.
First, in a typical crew configuration, there are many cabin crews. The pilots position usually range between 2 – 4, 4 in the sense that its a long haul flight and the pilots need to switch duties in between.
In other words, no matter what size of the airplane… be it the A380 or the future B787, the number of pilots won’t increase or decrease in a certain flight, whereas for cabin crews, the position ranges and a possible increase is always there. (In the “olden” times, a typical B744 flight requires 17 crews to operate but with the introduction of A380, more crews are require to run that flight, thus, an increase in recruiting numbers)
Second, if you are a pilot for SIA… do you think you are likely to quit your job after say… 2, 3 or even 5 years ?
So.. if nobody is quitting the job and the number of pilots don’t increase per flight… how is it that the company is going to sustain the number of pilots that they have working in SIA’s capacity ? Of course, the more experience the pilot the better but until SIA is ready to take on more flights, the pilot recruitment will be affected greatly.
Unlike the tech crew however, the cabin crew industry is a different one. Frankly speaking, there is a pretty consistent attrition rate from the cabin crew department. Some are there for the “experience”, and left the job after 2 or 3 years. Some left because their 5 years contract are up and didn’t get renewed. Some left because they just find flying unsuitable for them.
In a nutshell, the fall out rate is a lot higher than the tech crew side. Thus, in order for SIA to maintain their flights, they have to continue recruiting the new ones in order to replace the old… ahem.. more experience ones. =P
With this fact in mind, The Tech Crew department and the Cabin Crew department, while closely related are very much different in its own special way. And I think its fair to say that it is very unlikely for SIA to stop recruiting cabin crews if things are “normal”.
Of course, there are always exceptions as all these are based on “forecast”, and if these “forecast” go out of “tune” or beyond the normal gradient, exceptional cases will arises.
1) First, they could increase the number of cabin crews if the airplane they buy requires more crews to operate, thus, increasing the number of quotas they take in during the recruitment.
Just like when A380 first came in, the cabin crew department needs to recruit more crews to cover the “shortfall” of positions for the required aircraft configuration.
So say, if the norm is an attrition rate of 10 crews every month, they need to recruit 12 or 13 crews to cover for the increase in “crew position” for the new, much bigger aircraft.
Depending on the aircraft the new dream-liner, B787 is replacing, this could very well happen again (Mass recruitment)
2) Another major reasons that could affect the SIA cabin crew recruitment is if the industry or rather, the economy is hit by a financial crisis.
Think about this, if financial crisis hits… do you think the “old” crews will tender their resignation ? Quite unlikely… as most will probably stay on until the crisis is over… just to be safe – as no one outside is recruiting anyway.
With no attrition from the cabin crew department… do you think the airline will conduct interviews to take in more crews ? Very unlikely… as it, in any way, does not seem like a very wise business move.
In addition to that, SIA, being one of the best company to work in (reportedly), does not force cabin crews to quit, instead, still allow them to stay employed, though encouraged to take no-pay-leave. All in all, its understandable because if no one is flying, the flights have to be cut down… and if flights are to be cut down, no one is required to operate in those flights, thus, an imbalance in manpower supply.
So… what does this have to do with you now ?
First, the New B787, which could indirectly help in your chances. Second, the economic landscape of Singapore.
If you have been following the news, the economy seems shaky recently… and if the country or the world falls into a mini recession, it could mean that SIA will cease opening any new position and recruiting any new crews – (In the last recession, SIA cease recruiting for an entire year)
So… are you ready for your next interview ? =)