British Airways Uses YouTube To Recruit 800 Pilots [Video]
"America's Got Talent" has used it for recruiting purposes. So have American presidential candidates, in fielding questions during their quadrennial debates. And now, British Airways (BA) is getting in the act as part of the airline's quest to find new pilots.
By its fifth year anniversary in 2010, YouTube was the platform for more videos over a 60-day span than had been created by the three major U.S. television networks in 60 years, according to a Time magazine report.
Diving headfirst into that ocean of content, BA will be seeking to aid its drive to recruit 800 new pilots by 2016 with a YouTube pitch to potential pilots. The advertisement is just one part of an initiative known as the British Airways Future Pilot Programme, which is seeking to increase the airline's stable of pilots by 25 percent.
As Bloomberg reports, BA needs the new pilots as it prepares to add Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Airbus SAS A380 superjumbos to its fleet starting in two years.
BA's YouTube pitch to potential pilots comes as the airline confronts a challenging recruitment environment. Says the Daily Telegraph: "There have been fears within aviation of a pilot shortage, with many potential recruits being put off entering the industry by the cost of training."
And so to combat the barrier to entrance, BA is also facilitating a loan program of sorts. The cost of training, which tends to run some £100,000 ($161,000) per pilot, will be financed as part of the program. In exchange, the pilots will accept a lower starting salary, beginning at £40,000 ($64,700), and have seven years to pay back the loans.
According to a report by the BBC, the remaining spots will be filled by pilots poached from rival firms and veterans of the British armed forces. The move was heralded by those working in the industry as a way to level the playing field for aspiring pilots.
"We believe that the pool of pilots should be made up from the most able and talented, not from those who can afford these huge fees," read a statement released by the British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA).
Indeed, the program is even opening its doors to potential applicants who have no prior experience in flying.