The pilot and technician shortage hit more than the business aviation industry. Regional commercial airlines also suffer from a sputtering flow of qualified potential candidates. With Boomers retiring and Millennial prospects choosing traditional, four-year institutions over pilot training, Piedmont Airlines knew they needed to up their recruitment game.
To help Piedmont stand out as the best career option in the industry, we looked at the commercial airline career environment. Where were pilots online, and what were they doing? What does Piedmont’s competition looking like, and what were they offering?
We initiated a recruitment campaign strategy aimed at highlighting the airline’s key differentiators to a shrinking pool of pilots in a highly competitive space.
Piedmont’s Your Runway
Bold blue and red graphics, dramatic grayscale photography and straightforward calls to action made Piedmont’s recruitment campaign ads pop. Confident messaging proclaimed the regional airline’s advantages and dared applicants to find a better alternative.
With fresh creative in-hand, we launched Piedmont’s digital recruitment campaign across direct placements through aviation career sites as well as programmatic placements, which appeared to pilots where they were online – whether on a desktop, tablet or smartphone.
Awareness was key with our banner and 15-second video advertising. We then complemented the airline’s authentic social voice by boosting similar messaging on Facebook and LinkedIn to help researching pilots get a sense of their career path at Piedmont. Search ads completed our integrated strategy by collecting applicants already on the search for a new career.
Knowing pilots have a lot of career options and that the competition is thick, we needed to test our messaging and calls-to-action. We implemented A/B testing on our Apply Now and Learn More buttons and reviewed each ad message against delivery to the application portal. The results were fairly even, indicating the five creative messages we were running attracted pilots in both the research and ready-to-apply phases.
We developed benchmarks to determine how much monthly traffic we needed to get to the site and how many of those users needed to convert to the application in order to meet Piedmont’s overall new application goal.
Efforts paid off. More than 100,000 users saw our messaging in 2018, and 16.5 percent of those users clicked through the pilot application portal. Search advertising drove the most applications with 38 percent of users converting. Our campaign doubled monthly application goals in the first year for just $12 an applicant.
Where’s Your Workforce?
The aviation industry is staring at an immediate workforce shortage, made up of pilots, engineers, technicians, air traffic controllers and more. We know your industry also might be feeling the strain of searching for and attracting fewer and fewer qualified candidates.
Hire without a headhunter. Contact us.