In this exclusive interview with InBusiness.ae, Aeeb Al Ameri, Head of Emiratisation Development, Etihad Airways gives insight into some of the recruitment approaches they follow as an airline.
How do you select the right candidates?
We always look for a character, we don’t hire an experience. We look for a character that suits the organization. One that has the ability to learn, grow and accept working in a team, because we believe these are the strongest factors of success for any organization. We look for experienced people with knowledge, however, our main focus is to get the right character for the organization. The reason is that there are no trainings for soft skills. Trainings usually focus on the core competencies that one has; it is either about IT, finance or computing competencies.
Do you implement employees’ development programs?
Of course, that comes as a second step after the recruitment. We have different programs that accommodate young talents, experienced professionals and executives. The most common element between these three levels is the character. We always look for a person who has the ability to learn. We believe that learning comes in two ways. We need to learn from employees as much as much as we need to manage them. Moreover, we emphasize on team building and team efforts and this is what drives success in our organization.
How do you support Emirati fresh graduates starting their career at Etihad Airways?
Six or seven years ago, we put a plan for them to help them grow within our company. Today, we have an Emirati managing the stations as a director of sales in the USA, and an Emirati lady working as an airport manager in Nagoya, Japan. We also have an Emirati business manager in Tokyo that speaks Japanese and another one working as an assistant country manager in South Korea who speaks Korean. So we believed in them, we supported them and we equipped them with the knowledge they needed. During the programs and after the milestones they achieve, we always make them feel that they have an impact on the organization; and that is how we gain their loyalty and make them future leaders.
Is there a particular position that you struggle to find the right candidates for?
The airline industry is very complex when it comes to recruiting the right talent and covering all the needs. We don’t always find a candidate who has all the set of skills that we are looking for. However, we find a candidate that has the basics, the requirements and the personality that suit the organization. Then we elevate their knowledge and personality to step up and grow to the next level.
What keeps you going in your role?
The belief in management.