In a recent report for The Five Fifty publication, McKinsey Quarterly explores the “Gen Z Equation” and how companies can position themselves to be more attractive to the emerging worker force.
Generation Z, aged 13 to 27, is emerging as a significant force in the aviation industry. By 2025, they are projected to make up more than a quarter of the global workforce.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the aviation industry can effectively engage and retain Gen Z talent.
Gen Z's Workplace Priorities: Compensation, Flexibility, Development, and Purpose
As Gen Z enters the workforce, their expectations and preferences shape the employment landscape. Factors such as competitive compensation, workplace flexibility, career development opportunities, and a sense of purpose all have an influence in their chosen profession. Implementing these generational imperatives will go a long way towards creating the conditions that will increase the number of female pilots in commercial aviation from its stubbornly low value of 6%.
When applying flexible career paths to the aviation industry, it seems like an obvious match. The aviation industry, whether through engineering, management or pilot jobs offer some of the best opportunities that align with these values. Throughout the industry, there is a constant focus on how to progress careers beyond an entry level and graduate jobs.
APC recently attended Fantasy Wings’ annual conference that featured several experienced speakers who entered the aviation industry not just because they enjoyed flying or wanted to become a pilot. It was because they were offered opportunities to think differently, solve new problems and see their work put into practice.
Impact of Work Environment and Mental Health on Gen Z Performance
It is not surprising that mental health and wellbeing feature so highly for “employed respondents who said a particular factor had a major impact on their ability to perform their work effectively.” Up to 30% responded that Hostile Work Environment and Mental Health Issues would have a significant influence on their work performance.
In recent years, the stigma around mental health has been confronted and, to some extent, removed. This is because more and more people feel comfortable discussing their mental health and employers are recognising that burn out is a very real phenomenon.
It is important to acknowledge the significance of providing a supportive and inclusive work environment that fosters well-being and mental health support for its Gen Z members, enabling them to thrive both personally and professionally. Aviation's commitment to Safety Management Systems, and in particular the Just Culture concept is aligned with a desire for a supportive workplace.
Social Media Influence and Building Supportive Communities
Gen Z is unlike any other generation who has come before them. They have grown up with immediate access to the rest of the world through social media. Platforms like YouTube, TikTok and Instagram have taken on another form for Gen Z. In their report, McKinsely Quarterly quote Gen Z as the highest influenced generation through social media with 39% of respondents saying that social media motivated them into buying a product or brand.
Sarah Perez from Tech Crunch wrote an article on the changing tides of search engines: “Google exec suggests Instagram and TikTok are eating into Google’s core products, Search and Maps”
In the article she highlights Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan, who runs Google’s Knowledge & Information organization statement:
“In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search,” he continued. “They go to TikTok or Instagram.”
So, what’s to stop them from looking for more education options, different career opportunities or a complete life change?
By leveraging social media platforms to build supportive communities, foster well-being, and provide valuable industry insights, we can ensure that Gen Z members are empowered to make informed decisions while navigating the influence of social media.
APC’s “LinkedIn for Pilots” platform has grown over 2000% since November 2021 when we initiated our Free-to-Use membership model. We are just now beginning to leverage this community to connect great students with great APC Partner ATOs, and recruiting airlines.
APC's Commitment to Gen Z Understanding and Engagement
How does APC fit in? We recognise the critical importance of understanding and embracing Gen Z's unique characteristics and preferences in the aviation industry. By aligning its programs, training approaches, and member support with Gen Z's values, APC enhances the experience for its members, flight training partners, and airline partners. This understanding enables APC to provide tailored solutions, anticipate emerging trends, and drive sustainable growth in the aviation sector.
APC’s Holistic Approach
APC operates as a community-driven platform that focuses on the development and support of aspiring pilots, student pilots, Approved Training Organisations (ATOs), and Airlines. APC's primary objective is to provide the next generation of pilots, regardless of their background, with the best possible start to their aviation career.
Here's an overview of how APC works:
- Community Engagement: APC fosters a community of aspiring pilots, student pilots, ATOs, and Airlines. Members who register with APC to gain access to various free services and resources.
- Free Services for Members: APC offers a range of free services to its members, including:
- Psychometric Assessments: APC provides free psychometric assessments to help individuals determine if a career as an airline pilot is the right fit for them.
- Reports and Feedback: Members receive free reports that highlight their strengths and areas for improvement, helping them understand their potential and areas for growth.
- E-Learning: APC offers free e-learning resources that allow members to enhance their skills, knowledge, and pilot competencies in areas identified through assessments and reports.
- ATO Recommendations: APC connects its members with APC Quality Assured ATOs, ensuring they receive the best training and maximise their chances of securing a job once qualified.
- Webinars: APC conducts free webinars where industry experts share their insights, experiences, and knowledge about the airline pilot career, providing valuable guidance and support.
- Technology Integration: APC utilises various technologies to enhance its services and operations. These include:
- Integrated Social Media Platform: APC leverages an integrated social media platform to facilitate communication, networking, and knowledge-sharing among its community members.
- Data-Driven Psychometric Tests: APC employs data-driven psychometric tests to help individuals assess their suitability and aptitude for a career in aviation, ensuring they make informed decisions.
- Artificial Intelligence: APC utilises artificial intelligence technologies to enhance its services, personalise experiences, and provide tailored recommendations to its members.
- Smart Recruitment Technology Platform: APC incorporates a smart recruitment technology platform that streamlines the recruitment process, enabling efficient selection and placement of aspiring pilots with airline partners.
- Collaboration with ATOs and Airlines: APC works closely with its network of APC Quality Assured ATOs and airline partners. By partnering with reputable ATOs, APC ensures that its members receive high-quality training and gain the best opportunities for employment once they are qualified pilots.
As Generation Z continues to shape the future of aviation, APC remains committed to fostering a supportive community, providing exceptional training, and empowering Gen Z members to excel in their aviation careers. By understanding and addressing the needs and aspirations of Gen Z, APC solidifies its position as a leader in the industry, driving positive change and innovation.