Thursday, November 30, 2006

In Canada, Air Canada is the largest carrier and lots of people consider it the ultimate aviation job. The hiring process is long and involved - first you have to get a few thousand hours, then you have to get your application noticed by the hiring board - They will be hiring roughly 600 - 700 pilots in total over the next few years, and they have a resume pile of 5,000.

Once you get noticed, you get scheduled for an interview and extensive cognitive and personality testing. The interview panel is composed of training pilots at Air Canada and psychologists from the HR department. The personality and cog tests take half a day and are composed of more than 800 questions and individual tests. Yeah, that's right, more than 800. Then the hiring board gets the results from the interview panel and from the cog/personality tests, and they make the final decision. Most pilots will have been in the industry for 10 years or so before they get to this point.

And then they either get a phone call saying welcome to the mothership, or a single piece of paper in an envelope with a 51-cent stamp, saying "Thanks but no thanks".

My friend got a PFO letter from Air Canada yesterday. This is what it says:



Name and addy of victim


Dear victim:

Air Canada's Pilot Hiring Board has considered your application for the position of Pilot.

The Board has determined that we are unable to offer you employment at this time.

Please be advised, Air Canada does not provide an explanation for its decision.

All applicants are welcome to re-apply after six (6) months by keeping their online application up-to-date.

I wish you success in your aviation career and future endeavours.

Yours very truly,

Name of person in hiring department


Just a very few words to let him know his life will be profoundly different than he had thought when he first started to fly.

The note about applying again after 6 months is nice, but it is unlikely that they will consider his application again.

He has a decent job already, but nobody likes to be told they didn't make the cut, so he's kind of bummed.

And no, I haven't gotten a PFO letter from AC. Yet ;)


jennifer said...

Damn, I shouldn't even have read that. I threw mine in the garbage without even reading it.
Their loss. That person would have been a great AC pilot.

Aviatrix said...

Oh so this isn't like when your "friend" has a problem with a strange rash, eh?

He must have responded incorrectly to the question, "Would you prefer to grow a vegetable garden or make wooden toys for children." Clearly a lunatic unsuitable for the cockpit.

Anonymous said...

I'm out of the business now after 36 years on the job and 39 years of flying. big red is a great long term job but take it for what it is.....a collection of people sifting through piles of resumes, who may or may not have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed on any given day. no one has ever been able to make sense of their methods. how many great people have I seen ''pfo'd'', and yes, others who are somewhat ''unique'' shall we say, win the big prize. there really is no heads or tails to it, and all of that psycho babble stuff is only to disqualify that tiny tiny percentage of the population who truly have serious issues.

I have been pfo'd 3 times, it's hilarious! yet, have flown the big stuff in both seats at other operators and happy to say that I never bent any machinery.

Take it all with a grain of salt, if you get turned down, you are NOT the problem.