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When hiring a new member of the flight department, do you use a staffing company, or are new employees recruited directly by your company? What’s the selection process like?


Our process starts by analyzing the candidate’s experience and licenses. Candidates are interviewed by the flight operations director. Recommended finalists are interviewed by our principal, whose recommendation is analyzed. Finally, the selected crew member is called in for formalities.

Jorge Lara
ATP. Falcon 7X
Flight Ops Dir
Quito, Ecuador


We hire directly by posting job opportunities on various job sites, and also via networking.

Jeppe Christiansen
ATP. Gulfstream G650
Chief Pilot
New Windsor NY


New employees are hired directly by my company after a written exam and simulator sessions.

M Abah
ATP/CFII. Citation II/SP, King Air 350i & Pilatus PC-12NG
Aviation Mgr
Yaoundé, Cameroon


To date, we’ve been able to attract talent by word of mouth. We try to keep potential candidates in mind for future opportunities, and vet them as to how they will fit with the team both inside and outside of the flight deck. There is a lot of time spent together, and it’s a must that they are professional, flexible, and work well with a team.

Jeff Schneider
ATP. Falcon 900EX/2000
Dir of Flight Ops
Chesterfield MO


Recruiting is mostly by word of mouth and recommendations from current employees. We review résumés and interview candidates that we feel have the qualifications and experience that we need at the time.

Andrew Maroney
ATP/CFII/A&P. Citation Excel/Sovereign/CJ2/CJ2+ & Learjet 45XR
Dir of Ops
Burgess Aircraft Management
Springfield MO


Sometimes, if we have the right person inside the company, we try to use them. We also look outside the company and make sure that the person has the necessary ratings and licenses for the aircraft our flight department operates.

Sávio Montenegro Zamboni
ATP. Phenom 300/100
Chief Pilot
RotorFly Air Táxi
São Paulo SP, Brazil


We recruit directly from known candidates – usually people who have been long-term contractors with us. For example, I contracted for 6 years prior to coming on full-time. When it’s time for a transition, there is already a plan in place for existing contractors who we’ve known for more than 15 years, and have been contractors for 4 years, to be hired full time. From there, we will look to backfill our contractor candidates from a widening pool of area contractors.

Chris Rozum
ATP. Hawker 800XP
Kaman Corp
Windsor Locks CT


Have used both methods, and have experienced both success and challenges with each.

Greg Woods
ATP. Gulfstream G650ER
Senior Director
San Diego CA


Just hired a new captain recently. The process started within our personal networks and eventually expanded to online forums and groups. We found the best candidate from bizjetjobs.com. The first 2 methods led to great candidates who unfortunately did not meet our insurance requirements. If we were to hire again, we would follow the same process.

Cory Schow
ATP. Citation XLS+
Chief Pilot
Logan UT


We do not employ anyone or any staffing company to find pilots. We are a small flight department with 2 full-time pilots that currently recruits part-time pilots as needed. We have been able to find pilots directly through former associates.

Jeff Jones
ATP/CFI. King Air 350i
Chief Pilot
Texas Pacific Land Corp
Dallas TX


Based on our experience, we’ve found that hiring and promoting within is the surest method of ensuring the right person is filling that position. It promotes a positive image of trust and encourages pilots to perform for their own internal growth within the company.

Rob Boyle
ATP. Embraer 145/135
Chief Pilot
Redondo Beach CA


If there is a need to hire new employees, candidates are recruited and interviewed directly by our company.

Javier Hinojosa
ATP. Citation Latitude
Chief Pilot
L&F Arrow
Brownsville TX


In order to hire a new flight crew member, I contact the company’s HR department, and supply them with the employee profile that we need, along with the minimum requirements. They create a job listing and place it on several employment websites, including a couple of aviation job sites that I give them. They receive the applications, narrow them down to what I asked for, and then forward them to me to review. I select several to interview, and HR arranges to bring them in for those interviews, after which we decide on the top candidates. Then HR contacts them and makes them an offer of employment. If they accept, I contact them by phone and answer any questions they may have, and get the ball rolling.

Keven Christopherson
ATP/CFI. King Air B200
Chief Pilot
South Jordan UT


One of my previous companies used a recruiter to hire 2 aviation directors on 2 separate occasions, and they both lasted between 3 and 4 years. We had lots of issues. My current company prefers referrals only, but is willing to hire anyone who meets the company requirements. The best process is to have the last 2 or 3 candidates spend time with company crew members on an overnight trip to have an idea of their personalities and to find out if they would be a good fit. The whole team can be involved in the decision-making process to choose the best candidate, based on company employee feedback.

Raul Barboza
ATP. Gulfstream G550/G450
Acworth GA


Directly by personal reference is how we recruit employees. We only interview candidates with a recommendation from pilots who are current or past employees.

Donald Sjoblom
ATP/CFII. Beechjet 400, Citation 650 & King Air 200/90C
Chief Pilot
Aviation Charter
Eden Prairie MN


We do our own in-house hiring. Finding quality candidates has become quite a bit harder and time-consuming over the past 2 years, though.

Jeff LaSalle
ATP. Gulfstream V
Chief Pilot
LFT Flight Services
Lafayette LA


Hiring new members is done directly by the company, mostly by HR, although the flight department has some input in the process.

Jeffrey Klyzub
ATP. Citation Sovereign
Chief Pilot
JAK Enterprises
Waterford WI


Our new-hire pilots are typically referred to us from within the corporate aviation network of professional aviators and operators. They usually know someone who’s looking to fill an open professional pilot position. When well-regarded, highly-experienced pilots put their reputation on the line referring a fellow aviator of the same caliber, it carries a lot of influence and has always proved to work well in finding a dedicated and committed new-hire pilot for our company.

Greg Valdez
ATP/CFII/A&P. Gulfstream G550/IV & Learjet 60
Dir of Ops & Chief Pilot
Weidner Property Management
Mukilteo WA


All our hiring is done internally. Our process is phone screening followed by an in-person interview.

Jeff Perry
ATP/CFI. Challenger 650/300 & Beechjet 400A
Garvin Promotion Group
Scottsdale AZ


We manage the process as a partnership between HR and the flight department. External vetting is done using background checks and psychological/aptitude testing.

Dirk Van Der Meyden
ATP. Gulfstream G650
Standards Captain
Mente LLC
Issaquah WA


Our company does the hiring directly, plus we have our own HR department. We don’t have the need of a staffing company.

Wilhelm Muschka
ATP. Pilatus PC-24
Chief Pilot
Gerhard Schubert GmbH
Crailsheim, Germany


New Part 135 employees are recruited directly by our company. The selection process involves placing an ad online and paring down résumés of those who do not meet the stipulated requirements. The few remaining résumés are then referred to the director of operations (DO) and chief pilot (CP), who talk about the candidates and select the ones to interview on the phone. Typically, the CP speaks about the nature of the work, schedules, and training, and the DO speaks about the salary with the candidate. When both the DO and CP agree, the candidate is hired over the phone, and then he/she is sent a new employee packet containing a drug testing order, website access to begin studying the GOM, and other training materials.

Thomas Gorski
ATP/CFII. Cessna 414A & 182 Skylane
Company Instructor
Skyroads Aviation
Aurora OR


In general, the company will try to get people from the inside. This is how it has been done for a couple of years. And I agree with this policy – we know the people already and they have relevant knowledge.

Paulo de Marco
ATP. Airbus A330
Azul Brazilian Airlines
Curitiba PR, Brazil


We hire directly. We prefer to hire someone who is already established in the area. Therefore, we usually either know them or know someone who can provide a reference.

Jim Bell
ATP/CFII. King Air 350i
Chief Pilot
Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Co
Ridgeland MS


Hiring process is done directly by the company. Normally, candidates are called in for an interview after being selected from submitted résumés.

Kenneth Gonsalves
ATP. Falcon 10
Mississauga ON, Canada


We use both methods, and also review résumés sent in by regular applicants.

Dwight Quenga
ATP. Learjet 45
Dir of Ops
Tulip City Air Service
Holland MI


Our company has a screening process to hire new members of our team directly. First, potential candidates are selected through the skills and ratings they currently have that meet the criteria for the job they’re applying to. Second, should candidates be qualified they go through a series of interviews and meetings with managers and other team members. Finally, an economic offer and packages are provided. After that, the hiring process is mostly paperwork.

Paris Garcia Calderon
ATP. Global 5000
Flight Dept Mgr & Chief Pilot
Aerolíneas de Tehuacán
Tehuacán, Puebla, Mexico


We do the hiring directly. It’s usually done with known candidates, or those who have been recommended.

Matt Tilghman
ATP. Citation Latitude
Chief Pilot
Eagle Railcar
Crawford TX


Hiring directly is what we prefer, usually from word of mouth within the organization. We meet with candidates several times to make sure they are a fit, then slowly integrate them into the organization.

Joe Frey
ATP. Challenger 300 & Learjet 45XR
First Call
Fallon NV


New flight department employees are recruited directly by our company.

George Afordakos
A&P. Gulfstream G650ER/G500 & Falcon 7X/2000EX
Dir of Maintenance
Comcast Flight Operations
Philadelphia PA


When hiring crew members, we use flightleveljobs.com. We find it helpful for our process.

Michael Bronisz
ATP. Challenger 604
Chief Pilot
Ajenat Holdings
Clearwater FL


A new pilot has been hired recently. He was a local pilot known in our area. We didn’t have the need to advertise.

Rob Staib
Comm-Multi-Inst/CFII. Citation XLS+
Weis Markets
Bloomsburg PA


Chief pilot and company owners vet and hire. After 30 years, we are about to have to do it for the 3rd time.

Monty Gerwig
ATP. Citation CJ1
Chief Pilot
William Barnet & Son
Greenville SC


We prefer to use a staffing company when possible. Otherwise, we go to the market.

Luis Torresan
ATP. Embraer Phenom 300
Chief Pilot
São Paulo SP, Brazil


New employees are hired directly by the company. Process is normally based on referrals by other flight crews, and then we select prospects based on experience. Selection is also based on minimum hours, licenses, and ratings.

Gavin Watson
ATP. Global Express
ExecuJet Aviation
Johannesburg, South Africa