API In the News

In The News

business aviation insider talent shortage

What happened? Is the pilot shortage over?

What a difference a year – and a global pandemic – can make. It wasn’t long ago that many business aircraft operators were scrambling to find qualified candidates in the face of an ongoing personnel shortage. However, among the many changes wrought by COVID-19 has been a near-complete reversal of the employment market, with dozens, if not hundreds, of applicants – many of them furloughed airline pilots – seeking to fill each open business aviation job. “Of 182 resumes on my desk right now, 60 are from airline pilots,” said the chief pilot for a Fortune 250 company based in the western U.S. “And of those 60 applicants, I’ve got 27 different airlines represented.” Jennifer Pickerel, vice president of industry recruiting and consulting firm Aviation Personnel International, has seen a similar rush of applicants looking for placement. “Prior to this crisis, we might have seen a retired airline pilot who wanted to register with our services maybe three or four times a year; now, I would say 30% of our applicants are airline pilots.” See full NBAA Business Aviation Insider article

Skies Magazine logoKriya Shortt, senior vice-president of parts and programs at Textron Aviation and member of the FAA Women in Aviation advisory board, recently hosted a conversation with female industry leaders at the 2020 NBAA-VBACE. The discussion centred around the importance of supporting and retaining women in the workforce, and how companies can address the challenges women face.

The panel included Gail Grimmett, chief experience officer at Wheels Up; Sheryl Barden, president and CEO of Aviation Personnel International; Rene Banglesdorf, CEO of Charlie Bravo Aviation; Lindsey Dreiling, executive director of aviation strategy at Kansas State University (KSU); and Emelie Knobloch, talent management representative, K-12 programs at Textron Aviation.

Why we need more women in aviation

Shortt opened the panel with a look at how world events have impacted the working woman, referencing a survey released by McKinsey and Company, which offers “insight into just how significant the impact of COVID-19 has been on women. According to their research, one in four women in corporate America are contemplating downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce altogether,” said Shortt. For female mentors who have built their careers advocating for more women in aviation, this is cause for concern. “Across the broad spectrum, we are going to see a number of women pulled out of the workplace because of this situation,” added Grimmett. “[As well], not being able to walk that balance between being a mom, and providing for their family, and also being a professional.” Charlie Bravo Aviation’s Banglesdorf said she sees a similar pattern. Still, she is inspired by the “female innovator” trend seen in the business aviation community. “I’m really hopeful that as women leave the corporate workforce, they begin starting their own businesses, defining their own workspace and their own ability to manage their schedule,” she said. “We’ve been seeing a trend upward in female entrepreneurship for probably the last 10 or 12 years, and I think this is really going to spur that on.” While an unscheduled pause may be unavoidable, the panel unanimously agreed that this industry’s passion will persevere. “It’s a time for deep reflection,” said Dreiling. “[Women] may be leaving one area, but will show up in another area where they’re finding their passion.” Not all women want to be the pioneers or trailblazers — an honour that can also be seen as a burden. “I’ve long felt that it can’t just be women advocating for women,” said Shortt. “We need our male allies as well . . . to ease the burden.” While there’s a need for female pilots and engineers, there is also a need for female administrators and marketing specialists. It’s “an entire industry,” said Barden. In the past, a task’s importance had often outweighed the needs of the person completing it. The panel agreed that 2020 has taught us the importance of the “human factor” – creating workspaces and expectations that serve all. There’s a need for female administrators, marketing specialists, and HR professionals – not just pilots and engineers. It’s “an entire industry,” said Barden. “It’s easy to think of the obvious . . . the pilots and the mechanics and aerospace engineers who are all very valuable, but as we know, it’s an entire industry.” Mentors, both male and female, have a significant impact on the types of careers we choose. Going forward, to understand the shortage of women in aviation, success lies in the stories of those who have found their way. How can we build off of them? Learn from them, and utilize them to inspire? The solution is multifaceted. “If we could just find this silver bullet, we would have done it by now,” said Shortt. “But it is complex. It may take different practices and different language, and how we’ve done things before will not get us where we want to go. Sometimes it’s as simple as reframing the conversation. “How do we create this sense of belonging, inclusiveness? What language are we using? Is it inclusive to women? Is it not? We really have to take a critical look at the history of aviation. . . . We love our history, but it wasn’t that inclusive of women. Can we reframe some of those practices? . . . Reframe some of that language to get us where we want to go — not where we’ve been?” It’s about correcting the past with eyes steadily focused on the future, finding your voice and advocating for female co-workers. “Take yourself out of your comfort zone,” added Barden, “and if you have a mentor, you don’t just want to hear what you’re doing right. You want to hear what you need to do for the next step.”   Read the "women in aviation" original article
NBAA women in aviation share secrets to success The pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic have been particularly severe on women professionals, but in the face of those challenges, women in business aviation are finding new ways to support each other. They are seizing the moment, making positive career or life changes, and even innovating in new ways. A Thought Leadership Session on Dec. 3 for the NBAA GO Virtual Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (VBACE) addressed Women in Aviation: We Can’t Afford to Lose Them. A five-women panel moderated by Textron Aviation Senior Vice President of Parts & Programs Kriya Shortt offered an inspiring view of how women in the industry are pivoting and responding during the pandemic.

Women in Business Aviation are Growing Careers

Sheryl Barden has seen many industry trends as president and CEO of Aviation Personnel International, but she feels the pandemic has made it more important than ever for women to stretch themselves “out of your comfort zone.” “Take this time to learn how to advocate for yourself. Get your own seat at the table,” encouraged Barden, who also noted the importance of having a mentor for support. View full article on NBAA's website
NBAA Flight Plan Podcast - onboarding airline pilots

Onboarding airline pilots

Airline furloughs resulting from COVID-19 have led to a rise in the number of air carrier pilots now seeking new opportunities in business aviation. How should flight department managers prepare for onboarding airline pilots? “In addition to flying proficiency and quantitative experience, it’s also important to look at the applicant from a holistic approach,” noted NBAA Domestic Operations Committee Chairman Jason Herman. “What type of experience and skills do they have, both inside and potentially also outside of the cockpit?” In this episode of NBAA’s “Flight Plan,” host Rob Finfrock speaks with:
  • Lisa Archibald, CAM, Delta Air Lines first officer and a volunteer on Delta’s Master Executive Council
  • Jason Herman, CAM, chair of NBAA’s Domestic Operations Committee
  • Jennifer Pickerel, vice president at Aviation Personnel International
  Podcast Episode Direct Download
  flight global logo bizav operators covid Bizav Operators have been impacted by COVID since March 2020. Here, FlightGlobal's Kate Sarsfield shares from industry leaders, including Sheryl Barden, on the impact. “Before Covid-19 typically trips would take a couple of days and involve a hotel stop-over and dinner with clients. Now, senior executives are fitting the itinerary into a one-day trip, which tells you that people are still a little fearful of being exposed [to the virus]. It could be like this for some time.” He says. Lack of confidence may be a major obstacle to the resumption of corporate travel, but market forces, driven by the need to create new business opportunities, will eventually drive demand, says Gallagher. “You can’t go visit a facility via Skype, you can’t go look at a piece of land via Skype, and you can’t hold a roadshow or close a multi-million-dollar deal by Skype. These interactions are far more effective in person,” he states. In a recent blog post, Sheryl Barden expressed her concern at the reluctance of companies to resume business travel and called on, corporate flight departments – which often use a mixture of company owned and third-party party aircraft – to actively engage with their organisations to stress the important benefits of flying privately in the current environment. They need to offer “an end-to-end solution that focuses on safety – one that delivers significant value to your corporation,” says Barden. This is particularly important as corporate legal executives remain concerned about “duty of care” for their employees, she continues, noting that flight department executives can stress that business aviation has much lower risk, with only about 20 touch points versus 700 for commercial travel. “It’s unrealistic and unfeasible for a Fortune 500 company to ban travel altogether,” Barden says: that’s why “you’ve got to get creative”. View original article here
your best foot forward outplacement service - Aviation International News people in the newsAviation Personnel International (API) has updated its “Your Best Foot Forward” aviation outplacement program to support virtual platforms and incorporate the latest technology. The program helps companies provide support to employees who are facing layoffs. These updates were designed to enhance the platform to meet the challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, API said. Along with enabling career coaches and participants to meet virtually in small group workshops, the updates let coaches work with each outplacement participant in developing a job-seeking strategy. The new virtual delivery platform includes online video capabilities and provides access to workshop training materials through a secured website. At the same time, API said, it has “honed its focus” on emotional support to ensure coaches understand the unique factors in each situation. Recognizing that many outplacement participants haven’t been in the job market for a decade or possibly longer, the API coach will help review and update the job-seekers’ social media footprint and the company offers resume templates that will help “make it past an electronic scanner.” Video interview and cover letter support also are available. “When a company hires API for outplacement, they demonstrate to their flight department employees that their departure will be handled with great care and concern,” said API president and CEO Sheryl Barden. “We’re a specialized aviation outplacement firm, so it’s a win-win. The displaced employee reaps the benefit of aviation-specific career coaching, and their employer is able to do the right thing. Additionally, the employer can shed a positive light on their brand.” View original article about "Your Best Foot Forward"
bizav execs - Aviation International News people in the news As many companies remain reluctant to travel, bizav execs need to actively engage with their organizations to stress the important benefits of flying private and to ensure they have a “seat at the table” when shaping health and safety protocol, according to Aviation Personnel International CEO Sheryl Barden. Recently stressing her concerns in a blog and during an NBAA webinar, Barden noted many corporations remain in stand-by mode on travel and said, “Quite frankly, it’s unsettling.” Many aviation leaders are awaiting directives from headquarters, she said. “Let me be perfectly clear: Waiting for the phone to ring is not an effective strategy. If you’re not flying, I encourage you to disrupt the status quo.” Aviation directors need to “lean in” and request to be part of any Covid-19 response efforts, including the development of health management policies to ensure a seamless and safe travel environment, she said, suggesting bizav execs consider expanding their aircraft-use policy. “You need an end-to-end solution that focuses on safety— one that delivers significant value to your corporation.” Barden cited the example of a corporate flight department executive who remained actively involved in his company’s Covid-19 conversations, concerned that otherwise employees would travel by airlines. His task was to convince company executives of the need to travel aboard company aircraft for health and safety reasons, she said. His team further developed travel go-kits that contained items such as cleaning products for rental cars and hotel rooms. “I realize, of course, that we’re not infectious disease experts. But we can offer our learned perspective on current practices,” she said, noting business aviation teams already have been focusing on the protection of environments, from the FBO to catering and baggage handling. “It’s all about providing an ‘end-to-end health corridor’ for the executive traveler.”  

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Press Releases

Aviation Personnel International Celebrates 45 Years in Aviation

nbaa bace 2016 panel WIIFM

CEO Sheryl Barden to Celebrate 45 Years in Aviation, Lead Recruitment Panel at NBAA’s BACE  ORLANDO – Oct. 31, 2016 – 2016 has been a banner year for Aviation Personnel International (API), […]

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Business Aviation Pioneer Janice K. Barden Dies

jan barden

SAN FRANCISCO Aug. 2, 2016 – Sheryl Barden, President and CEO of Aviation Personnel International (API), today announced the passing of the company’s chairman and founder, Janice K. Barden, who started the […]

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Barden to Lead Millennial Think Tank at NBAA15

NBAA API Panelists

Young bizav professionals in a NBAA15 Millennial Think Tank will share personal experiences and challenge current thinking related to internships, mentoring, training, compensation and professional development. SAN FRANCISCO (Updated) November 12, 2015 […]

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Jennifer E. Steele Joins API as Director of Candidate Services

Jennifer Steele Joins API

SAN FRANCISCO July 2, 2015 – Sheryl Barden, President and CEO of Aviation Personnel International (apiaviation.com), today announced the addition of Jennifer E. Steele as Director of Candidate Services, who will […]

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Aviation Pioneer Inducted into Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame

Janice K Barden Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame Award

Founder of Aviation Personnel International honored for decades of leadership SAN FRANCISCO June 5, 2015 – Janice K. Barden, chairman and founder of Aviation Personnel International, was inducted into the Ohio Senior Citizens […]

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