Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Everything changes, everything ends.

Kitsch got "The Call" from Air Canada last week, and will be starting with them at the end of July. He is a great pilot and a good person to be in the road with, and I'm really sorry to see him go, but I understand why - he's 30 and will have a 35-year career with them if he starts now. Unfortunately it does involve some sacrifice - the shameful truth about Air Canada is that the initial pay is just a hair over 35k/year and a new hire's schedule is best described as "often, and chaotic". However, after a few years the pay and schedule start getting decent, and after a few years more it gets downright lavish ;) That, along with free travel passes and the opportunity to fly heavy equipment across the planet really makes it a no-brainer for someone interested in those things. More power to him!

Anyway, that means I need to hire a new pilot to replace Kitsch, and I need to do that pretty quickly. The most-trafficked aviation website in Canada is AvCanada, so I put a job ad there. I took it down after a few days and am now starting to go through the 342 resumes I have in my inbox as a result of the ad, electronically sorting a small pile from the large pile. I tried to make the ad realistic and descriptive so that people would have an idea of what is required, and what is offered.

Here's what I wrote - I have edited out the identifying stuff because the application time has elapsed and I have enough resumes already ;)


Position: Citation 550 First Officer
Company Name:
Contact Person: Ops Manager
Street Address:
City: Oakville
Province/Territory or State: Ontario
Web address:
Email address:
Phone number: NO phone calls or drop-ins please.
Apply via: Email or snailmail only.
Aircraft Types: C550 Citation II

Hmm, the airlines are hiring again. That means it looks like we may need to refresh our resume pile for a Citation 550 pilot, specifically an F/o position.

Are you smart? Are you polite when appropriate? Are you willing to live within an hour of CYYZ Toronto Pearson Airport? Are you okay with an F/o position on a light corporate jet? Do you use soap? Do you promise to read the parts below about the extra office duties and especially the part about not offering to pay for your training? Could you stand to work a bunch of long days in a row with a sarcastic bald guy? If your answers are 'Yeah', 'Sure' and 'Yup' so far, then please read on!

Absolute Minimum requirement: Functioning cerebral cortex (preferably with 'sense of humor' addon), current CPL / Multi-IFR with the right to live and work in Canada. Also, a working knowledge of MS Office. As the plane is a 2-crew turbojet, you'll need an ATPL if you ever want to log PIC (we'll discuss that after a year or two). Current C550 PPC/Type Rating an asset, but we will train the right candidate.

About us:

We are a corporate flight department for a publicly-traded renewable energy corporation, based at Pearson Airport in Toronto. We fly 90% corporate, 10% charter. The successful applicant can expect to fly 200-250 hours per year, plus or minus. Please do NOT offer to pay for your training. We will pay all your training costs at Flightsafety and you, being an honorable person, will agree to stay for 2 years. We don't pay per diems, we pay all your meals and hotel bills when on the road, and we stay at decent hotels and have the option to eat at restaurants with actual utensils. We will provide you with a nice laptop, a generous mobile phone allowance and a full benefit plan, 'cause that's how we roll. Heck, we'll even pay for your pilot medicals.

Normal work-week schedule is Monday to Friday, with the occasional weekend trip. Realistically we fly once or twice a week. Most flights are booked well in advance - in the past 6 years we have had a total of 2 same-day trip requests. We mostly fly throughout Eastern Canada and the US, and sometimes down to the Caribbean - 90% of our trips are within a thousand miles of YYZ, with the other 10% of trips being company runs to Arizona.

There's more, and this is important - we are a small flight department (2 Citation 550's) and everyone here pulls their weight on the operational side as well as the flight line.

This means flight planning trips, organizing customs / airport slots, arranging hotels / ground transportation, helping with audit preparation, billing, picking up commissary and the thousand other tiny jobs that make up a corporate flight department. For example: I'm not gonna ask you to wash the boss's car, but I may ask you to help with an Ops Manual update, or to assume some Quality Assurance roles within the flight department. This means less spare time when we're not flying, but on the upside it will certainly keep you mentally active.

Pop quiz: Did you really read the part about not offering to pay for your training and about the extra flight-department-related duties involved in this position? How about the part where you need to have a current CPL / Multi-IFR? And especially the part about no phone calls or unscheduled visits to my office or home? Cool, then let's continue...

We have high standards, and that's a good thing. Our planes are maintained by an Air Canada connector, we don't cut corners, and we expect you to bring your 'A' game. In return, you'll get a good F/o job working with good people on a good-natured corporate jet. For real: You will get treated like a capable human being, with all the respect and expectation that brings. You in?

If so, please send your resume in .pdf or MS Word format to Ops Manager, or mail it to me.

Again, NO phone calls please, and no drop-ins (this is to see if you can follow instructions).

In return, I will do my absolute damnedest to reply to all applicants within a month.

Salary:$ 50k/year + expenses + full benefits
Closing Date: June 20th 2011. Possibly hiring for early July.


Some of the resumes I have gotten are truly spectacular - some in a good way, and some not so much. Can you believe that one guy actually sent me a resume offering to pay for his training and to work for free? I'm not even kidding, but that's for a future post.

What I think I'll blog about next is walking through the hiring process, from resumes to interviews and beyond. Hopefully we will end up with a candidate who can handle the requirements, and who doesn't hate being featured in the occasional blog post :) Wish me luck!


Anonymous said...

hire the cockpit conversation blogger!

Brendan said...

Out of curiosity, what sort of hours were you looking for, for a position like this?

Anonymous said...

Seriously give "aviatrix" a call. She taught my ground school way back when, and she's great. I swear I'm not her ;)


Giulia said...

Hey! There's an idea! :) That would be so cool if you hired Aviatrix...


Swedish fly guy said...

That's one ad I'd love to reply on.
Such a pity one lives on the wrong side of the big pond.

Looking forward to follow the recruitment process!

ScurvyDog said...

Remember the cruise ship magician Sully? He had a pic on his resume with him in a tux pulling a rabbit out of a hat. We were going to hire him for the xmas party.

Aluwings said...

I guess from that job description, you aren't hiring for Buffalo Airways!?

Good luck with the search.

5400AirportRdSouth said...

I'm going to join in on the peer pressure here and second giving Aviatrix a shot...