A few days ago, we wrote an April Fool’s Day joke article about Emirates changing its cabin crew recruitment process – and while most of the article most definitely was just a joke, there were some elements of truth. We’ve now learned that Emirates has, in fact, changed its application method (yet again). Here’s what we now know.
When Emirates reopened applications for new cabin crew earlier this year the airline introduced a brand new recruitment process. Open Day’s had been ditched in preference for an entirely online application system in which candidates would have to complete a short video interview as part of their application.
The on-demand video interview was provided by a company called Hirevue – they’re leaders in an increasingly popular way to ‘digitise’ the cabin crew recruitment process. The system is used by a number of airlines around the world at some point in the hiring process.
Hirevue says on-demand video interviews can help recruiters save lots of time and money to help identify the very best candidates but Emirates had probably tried the most ambitious rollout of the system we’ve ever seen – allowing every single candidate to record an interview.
The system is meant to automatically shortlist candidates using sophisticated Artificial Intelligence to evaluate the interview and highlight the best candidates for recruiters. Emirates first tested the system in late 2016, so it was no surprise that video interviews featured in the relaunched recruitment process this year.
We know that Emirates had been having some technical issues with the system – but what’s happened has even surprised us. It would appear that recruiters have decided to ‘switch off’ the video interview and revert back to Open Day’s.
We’ve already seen Open Day’s organised in Beirut, Dubai and now Marrakesh. Expect more to follow soon.
As a reminder, you don’t need to submit an online application before attending an Open Day and if you’re not shortlisted you can technically attend as many OD’s as you wish. Although recruiters suggest you wait for at least 6-months in order to develop your skills and experience.
While the change will be welcomed by some candidates – who will see the reintroduction of Open Day’s as a way to maximise their chances of being selected, it does come with its own problems.
We’re not entirely sold on video interviews but we’d hoped the use of online video interviews would make the process fairer – allowing recruiters to shortlist candidates based on skills, experience, aptitude and attitude (and backed by evidence). Open Day’s, on the other hand, can see unintentional bias from individual recruiters making decisions an important factor as to your success.
The other big problem is that the onus is suddenly put on candidates to travel to an available Open Day in order to submit an application. An expensive and time-consuming exercise with no guarantee of success.
What’s really surprising, though, is that Emirates’ experience with Hirevue differs so much from the experiences of other airlines. For example, Cathay Pacific recently managed to reduce the hiring time by 90% when it implemented the system. Queenie Tsang, a talent manager at the airline said Hirevue allowed recruiters to “consider every interested student, not just those who get in line first.”
Not that Emirates is alone in running Open Day’s. Lufthansa has also run similar events which it calls ‘Castings’ – along with the normal recruitment process, candidates can also attend a Casting and be in with the chance of being offered a job the very same day!
For now, you can either attend an Emirates Open Day or submit an online application. We expect shortlisted candidates from an online application to be invited to either an Open Day or invite only Assessment Day – similar to the old process.
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.