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  • Writer's pictureRleflerova

HR Management in Aviation – How is it different from other sectors?

Is there the same human resource management in airlines as in other companies or is it a different profession?

A lot of people think that when you work in HR, you don't care what sector you work in, whether in IT group or for a retail chain or for a non-profit organization. Yes, it is true, in all fields the same laws apply in one country – for an IT guy, a Shop assistant or a Pilot. Yes, the Labor Code or tax laws apply equally to everyone. But what's next?

Every industry has its own specific aspects – and if you want to be a good HR Manager, you need to know them. I'm not saying that when you work in IT, you have to know how to program, but good HR professional needs to know what programming is about. Likewise in aviation. I don't have to be able to fly a plane, but to know what the work entails, what the people like and dislike about it – yes.

You get to work in an airline company in different ways. My journey led through small airports in the Czech Republic, where I used to do skydiving. Originally, it was a hobby. When I got my first offer to work for an airline, I was an experienced HR Manager who went through a lot of experience from big layoffs to building new companies - I thought nothing would surprise me. I wanted to combine what I had learned professionally with aviation and I enjoyed working in HR and aviation a lot.

To turn a hobby into a profession isn't it a dream? Actually, it is. You have to be a person who sees opportunities in all new or problematic situations, nothing will upset him/ her and he/ she can work with people from different countries. And then the ride begins!

Very soon you will realize that aviation is a beautiful field, but in addition to labor codes and other laws and decrees in this area, aviation regulations also apply to you. So, when you set the rules for the attendance of crews, they are governed not only by the labor law (different in each country), but also by the regulations for crews for time in service issued by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency EASA (and at least that they apply equally to the whole of Europe). And then you have to deal with the fact that you have a crew of people from two states, so the time on duty is governed by the same rules, but the Labor Code may look at the same situation differently. These "little things" accompany you everywhere in aviation - from the demands on meal vouchers to working hours. But a good HR Manager knows that everything that concerns people is not a small thing, so you are always looking for the most feasible way for all involved, employees and employers.

Another beautiful chapter is the posting on business trips and the whole area that follows it. Yes, people come to work in aviation because they like to travel – and each of them don´t forget to emphasize this during the selection process. But sometimes the reality is different. With the number of short-term or long-term stays, many crew members also have an increasing desire to be at home from time to time and have a regular regime. Simply what at the beginning seems to you like a super adventure, over time feels burdensome. Not necessarily for everyone, but a large part of the crew members. And then it is not only up to the management of the company, but also to the HR management of the company to fine-tune the situation in the company so that the company can prosper (and have enough crews) and, on the other hand, have satisfied employees who want to fly and look forward to work. Therefore, you need to adapt HR processes to this, from recruiting these people, where you have flexibility as one of the important criteria, to crew planning. This is a job where you have to react to all the momentary fluctuations in the state of the crews and constantly invite new colleagues to the service. This work never ends, and so many minor or major communication problems are the daily business.

Today, as the demand for new people in aviation is increasing, the work in HR departments in airlines is also changing. And in the future, when the demands on the safety and professionalism of crews on the one hand and work-life balance on the other are coming to the fore more and more – there are enough challenges for HR professionals. Let us wish them the best of luck, no matter what airline they work for!

Are you an airline or a company in aviation sector and are you interested in cooperation opportunities?

Do you want an external HR manager and what can be expected from him?

You can contact me by phone +420 737 234 142 or by e-mail:

I am looking forward to meeting you!

Renata Leflerova

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