The detailed results for all participants are presented in Table 1 while Table 2 reports the survey results by clusters; the first cluster consists of ‘tier’ 1 and of ‘tier’ 2 participants and the second cluster consists of ‘tier’ 3 and ‘tier’ 4 participants. Table 3 presents the clustering of participants by the four ‘tiers’ and reports on the national exposure of TC to national competition for attracting and retaining licensed aviation personnel.
Tables 1, 2 and 3 reveals that for all three benchmark positions, TC is at the lower bound of the market (0th percent rank) 13 times out of 21 under the correlation that we have analysed. (Three benchmark positions correlated against: (1) all participants, (2) by clustered tiers, and (3) tier by tier.
The closest position of TC to a market central trend is the Superintendent benchmark at the 47th percent rank of the clustered Tier 3 and Tier 4 participants. However since TC policy is to pay for the overtime worked while the survey participants do not generally pay for overtime, we could presume that the overall position of TC ought to be better aligned with the market practices.
Assuming that it is the practice of TC to pay 12% of base pay in overtime and taking into account that PwC compared total pay indicators5 and not only base pay levels, the current total salary levels of TC are still located at the lower bound of the market 14 times out of 21. Therefore, the survey results indicate clearly for the three benchmarked positions there is a large gap between the CAI base salary and those measured positions in the industry.
Other survey results that address non-monetary topics indicate that overtime paid is not a frequent practice on the market for any of the three benchmark positions on the market. Additionally, the vacation schedule generally stops at a 4 weeks maximum. After 1 year of service, the industry standard is to offer is 2 weeks of vacation. Finally, most of the industry requires an annual medical exam.
It must be concluded that TC needs to position itself as an employer who is both attractive and competitive. This can be achieved through the renewal of TC’s human resource practices, the effective promotion of the essential role of the inspector in ensuring aviation safety, and the creation of a competitive compensation and benefit package that recognizes the forces of a competitive labour market for licensed aviation personnel.
In order to begin this process of renewal, TC needs to develop a long-term strategy to provide it’s management with the tools necessary for the effective administration of the CAI population and the creation of the required working environment to attract and retain a skilled and motivated workforce TC needs. Additionally, it is essential that TC recognises that the labour market forces that the Department faces in regards to the recruitment and retention of licensed aviation personnel differ in magnitude across the various service lines that comprise the Civil Aviation Program.
The following dimensions should be taken into account when developing a long-term strategy:
The establishment of a compensation package with greater degree of flexibility that would take into account specific labour market pressures in the various segments of the aviation sector. This flexibility would include the widening of the salary bands between the different classification levels to distinguish between levels of responsibility and the degree of complexity but also the effect that these variables have on the competitiveness of compensation within the labour market. The compensation package must take the Department to a competitive level were the CAI’s role in aviation safety is perceived to be an attractive alternative to those individuals in the industry seeking a career change. Compensation packages could include measures beyond the basic salary structure and can include allowances or bonuses that are often found in the private sector.
Develop recruitment campaigns and policies that promote the positive factors of a career with TC. These include the level of responsibility, the working environment, and the uniqueness of the CAI’s regulatory role. These factors were noted in staff interviews as important in making the Department an attractive alternative to the private sector while noting the unique culture in which the licensed aviation personnel develop their skills and experience.
Target those individuals who have come to a point in their career where a senior pilot position on the line or a management position with the carrier no longer provides them with the lifestyle, working environment, or professional challenges they are seeking in their career.
Strengthen and revise existing exchange programs to again encourage exchanges within the Department and with the industry at large. Use these exchange programs to support the development of a career path for all inspectors that are achievable and affordable to the Department.
Address the hurdles that a manager must overcome in order to fill a vacancy. The issue around portraying the Department as an attractive and competitive alternative to the industry is as important as establishing the tools necessary for management to effectively interact with an increasingly competitive labour market. All efforts in managing the problem of recruitment will fail if management doesn’t have the flexibility to respond to potential candidates in a timely manner.
The Department should consider a strategy of complementing ‘off the shelf’ skill sets obtained through experienced industry recruits with the development and sustainment of essential skills internally through a diversified approach. This approach could include; traditional training provided by the Department, the strengthening of the line-flying program.