What will it be like when Emirates starts recruiting cabin crew again?
You may not remember that back in 2015 Virgin Atlantic had a long 2 year cabin crew recruitment freeze. There were thousands of hopefuls on the Virgin Atlantic forums and facebook groups asking one common question over and over again "When will Virgin Atlantic start hiring again?" Many were reassured by others in the group not to give up, told each other to follow their dreams, not to despair, sign-up for email alerts on the Virgin Atlantic recruitment portal site. Other group members provided rumours that recruitment will start by a certain date and that date kept rolling forward. Aside from that, there was frustrating news for many in the holding pool only to receive the rejection email at some stage of their timeline. There was also mention by some, that training courses would re-start by such a date so they are likely to recruit before then, none came true. During the recruitment freeze, there were also parallel talks that Virgin Atlantic was investing and replacing their older 747s with the 787s and the new aircrafts required less crew members. All of the chats in the discussion groups kept the spirits up, most wannabes stayed positive and had not given up their dreams of being a Virgin Atlantic crew member.
After a long recruitment freeze of two years, Virgin then started hiring cabin crew again, and over 2000 people applied for a job in less than 48 hours.
If you manage to make it through that, the extensive training process actually looks really interesting. There will be loads to learn and numerous amounts of computer-based tests, but the trainees also get to have a go on the huge inflatable aircraft slides that the rest of us only get to try if we’re plummeting to potential doom. They also stagger through a turbulence simulator, and hold hands in a circle in a swimming pool, which looks far more exciting than the majority of office-based team bonding exercises.
This was screened as a fly-on-the-wall documentary on ITV (UK) in July 2015. The documentary was called 'Up in the Air'. 'Up In The Air’ followed staff at all different levels of the business, from founder Sir Richard Branson to a 58-year-old grandmother hoping to become a member of cabin crew and warehouse workers. It was such great news that after a lean period, financially (they had a big financial loss), new cabin crew were being recruited, for the very first time in a long while. In 2013, according to reports from Daily Telegraph (UK newspaper), the company posted a loss of £135m and blamed the loss on ballooning fuel costs and increased competition on transatlantic services. In view of that, the airline had to make tough calls such as avoiding pay increases in the following year, cut costs, imposed a group wide recruitment freeze. It then invested in more fuel efficient planes and increased revenues through introduction of new domestic flights. It went on and made a transatlantic joint venture with Delta which resulted in significant savings and brought Virgin back to profits. It was then that cabin crew recruitment re-started.
We are all aware that Emirates Airline have not been hiring cabin crew for nearly 14 months, and the behaviour among facebook group members are identical to those experienced by Virgin Atlantic wannabes back in 2013-15. Thinking forward, we can confidently say there will be a flood of applicants when Emirates re-opens their online recruitment portal. We can even expect tens of thousands to apply within 48 hours or less! This day can happen anytime in 2018 as no one knows. My advice is to start getting ready now with an updated CV that stands you apart from your peers, have impeccable professional photographs and a must have strong personal statement. It is not potential doom, we can help with CV, photo preparation and a strong personal statement that gives you an edge over the fierce completion that we know will happen when the recruitment portal re-opens. If you have any comments, please insert them below or feel free to PM me to discuss.