Remember the ‘good old days’? You know the ones, when the chance of becoming cabin crew with Emirates, Etihad or Qatar was as simple as turning up at one of the many global Open Days held each month; with preperation and a little luck you could get past the CV Drop, be on your way to Final Interview and potentially a new career and life in the Middle East.
Okay, okay… It was never that simple but that hasn’t stopped some people reminising about the countless opportunities this system provided.
But those days are seriously numbered. Emirates held it’s last Open Day in November 2016. Etihad hold a very limited number of Open Days each year whilst FlyDubai has never had Open Days. Only Qatar continue to operate a largescale system of global recruitment events open to all to attend.
Emirates has now followed FlyDubai in only accepting cabin crew applications via their online careers website. It’s a daunting prospect; if you fail to get shortlisted you may be barred from reapplying for at least 6 months.
There is a famous number that puts this into perspective: 200,000 – The number of cabin crew applications that Emirates received in a single year. Just imagine trying to sort through, filter and select new recruits from such a huge pool of candidates. And it’s not just Emirates that faces this challenge. Etihad, Qatar and FlyDubai are all in the same difficult position.
The solution? Like many global companies, these airlines use Applicant Tracking Systems to help them the find the right candidates. The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is an online tool that organises the entire recruitment process and makes the job of the recruiter a lot easier.
The most popular ATS is a system called Taleo which is owned by IT mega company, Oracle. It’s the system of choice for both Emirates and FlyDubai. Etihad employ a popular competitor called SuccessSytems by SAP whilst Qatar uses SniperHire – developed by a local GCC company.
These ATS systems make the whole recruitment process a lot easier for the airline’s Human Resources department but so what? Why is this all so important? Here’s the problem: the ATS can be the deathknell for you, the jobseeker, without a recruiter ever having taken a single glance at your CV or photos.
These systems scan your resume and decide whether you’re a good match for the job. In a matter of seconds, your application will either be sent for human review or thrown in the garbage. And scarily the vast majority of applications (some suggest upwards of 75% of all applications) end up in the trash can even when the candidate would be perfect for the job.
Suddenly, the focus has shifted. During an Open Day, the idea was to create a highly edited and easy to read resume that the recruiter could easily read and digest in a matter of seconds.
Now, your resume will be ‘read’ by a computer. You need to create a resume that convinces the computer that you have the right education, work experience and personal interests to be a perfect match for the job – Then and only then will your resume and profile end up in the shortlisted batch of candidates for human review.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.