Southwest Airlines is keen to hire quality talent for about 4,500 posts, but is struggling to find suitable candidates. It is offering referral bonuses worth $300 to its employees who refer quality candidates.
At a time when the job market is really tight and other carriers too are on a hiring spree in the US, the Dallas-based airline had no option but to resort to this internal incentive scheme, which awards points via a rewards programme. Staff will earn Southwest Airlines Gratitude points or SWAG, for each candidate they refer.
As per the referral scheme, a total of 20,000 SWAG points will be offered, provided the referred candidates are selected and stay on at the Company for at least six months. The bonus programme will run for the next three months, till November 20.
The SWAG points allow Southwest employees to buy gift cards, catalogue items as well as trips. The Airline has been offering a minimum wage of $15 an hour since August 1 as part of its retention and recruitment efforts.
With people opening up to travel in the US, Delta Air Lines is also looking for talent to fill 5,000 vacancies, while American Airlines is looking to take on about 800 flight attendants and 1,350 pilots.
While domestic/leisure travel in the US seems to be picking up, globally, fear of the delta variant of the coronavirus is slowing down recovery of the aviation as well as the travel and hospitality sectors. With many pilots considering quitting for good or retiring or looking out for other job options, a dearth of quality talent is anticipated.
Elsewhere, in the UK, a recruitment agency is said to have received 400 applications for about 30 vacancies of Boeing Co. 737 cargo pilots! Most of the applicants were pilots who used to fly commercial passenger planes, which shows that there are desperate and jobless people in the aviation space out there.