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Old 06-24-2006, 12:04 PM   #1  
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Default Letter from Alaska Chief pilot

Rob sent this out to all of us. It may answer some questions.

June 19, 2006

Just wanted to give our Pilot Group an update on the hiring practices, as a few things have changed in the past couple of months. Alaska is in the driver’s seat in regards to hiring right now. Even though many of the carriers are starting to call back furloughed pilots, it is apparent that many will remain off those carriers’ active rolls for a while. Until they have had a chance to recall these pilots, we, along with FedEx and Southwest seem to be the major players in the hiring game right now. This gives us the ability to actively search out the best, most qualified, and interested pilots who show the desire to make Alaska Airlines their future. We, along with the other carriers, have all raised the standards by which a candidate is considered.

All applicants submit their application online. They are then added to the database that we have created to identify those applicants who have the preferred qualifications for consideration. We just recertified the database, and all applicants were sent an email requesting that they validate the data they had previously submitted. Only those who have re-validated are being considered for an interview.

The Chief Pilots office actively reviews all applications. Only those with the highest qualification are being asked to participate in the process. Being the size that Alaska is, we ask only those pilots who have the best chance to be hired to interview. The candidates are chosen with regards to their aviation experience and background, with an eye towards diversity. The strength of our pilot group is that we have a healthy mix of pilots from all sectors of aviation: civilian, military, commuter, corporate, those with Alaska experience, those without, some with prior jet time, others who have slogged their way through the aviation trenches, some with ties to the company, some who just won the lottery. This has always been the strength of what makes this pilot group as versatile, diverse, and professional as it is. We also consider candidates who are members of a diversity group such as Women in Aviation and the Organization of Black Airline Pilots as well as current Horizon pilots. We are looking for the best: both as pilots and as someone who you would be willing to share a four-day trip with for the entire month.

Once the candidate successfully screens, they are invited to Seattle for an initial interview. These are normally held at Flight Ops, and you can tell who the candidates are by the uniform they wear: blue suit, white shirt, and conservative tie. They are the ones waiting nervously on the second floor right outside flight operations. (We are going to move them. Trust me, they’re nervous enough without feeling like they’re on display and having everyone wish them good luck.) The initial board consists of two pilots, both captains, and an employee services representative. This board will delve into their aviation background, educational experience, and technical proficiency to try to get a sense as to who these folks are and how they will fit into our group. They do a very good job in determining who is well prepared for the interview, as well as who presents themselves as being truly interested in working for Alaska. The interview normally takes approximately 1:30 to 2:00 hours to complete.

If successful with the first phase, the candidate is then asked to take an online assessment that is available only within the Company system. These assessments will measure each candidate against a base-line group of current Alaska pilots, looking for adaptability to training, flexibility in their decision making process, their compatibility with the base line group and try to identify their long term goals and perceptions. This information is only used to better gauge each candidate and provides the basis for refinement of questions in the next phase of the process. It is not a pass/fail test.

These candidates are then scheduled for what is being called the ‘Qualified Interview’. Qualified as in the candidates are considered fully qualified to be offered a position with Alaska. The Chief Pilot and a senior Employee Services representative conduct this interview. This portion of the process gives us the ability to get to know the person on a more personal basis: the questions are more geared towards who they are, not what they are. The technical aspect of their abilities has already been looked at. What I’m interested in is the person: how will they fit into our group? Why are they interested in coming to Alaska? What unique abilities will they bring to the party? What has sparked their interest and why have they worked so hard in this industry to get to the point where they are being considered for a position with the Company? How much do they know about our industry, our Airline and our Pilot group, and where we stand today? We’re trying to get a feel about the person as well as the pilot during this process.

If successful with this interview, the candidate’s complete application is then reviewed by a Fleet Captain with an eye towards suitability for training and to identify any potential areas of concern. The completed application packet then is returned to the Chief Pilot’s office. The Chief Pilot makes the final selection and those who are offered a position with Alaska Airlines receive a personal phone call from me congratulating them on successfully completing the application process. Well, most of the time. Successful applicants have recently been offered a position here by their sponsor, via ACARS and a PA by the crew as well as on a napkin handed to them while in-flight from the flight deck when I asked the Captain of the flight to make an offer. Uniqueness counts at times.

Now that you have an idea of the process, here are the preferred qualifications that we are looking for:

Education: 4-year degree required
Total Time: 3000 hours or 1500 hours (high performance military jets)
PIC: 1000 hrs > 12,500 lbs or 750 > 12500 and 2000 SIC or
1500 hrs high performance military jet
Currency: Consideration (if required for determination, simulator evaluation available on recommendation of Chief Pilot)


Many of you have asked about the Silver Bullet program: it is alive and well, just suspended for the time being. We are working through all the previous Silver Bullet recommendations and once we get them to a manageable level, we will bring it back online with some slight modifications. For now, if you have a recommendation you’d like to make, hold on to it until we get ready to reinstate the program.






Numbers so far this year far this year in regards to interviews:

106 applicants invited to the initial interview
66 offers of employment

We’ll have more of a breakdown on the process in the future as we capture the data.

I plan on continuing to interview into the foreseeable future with no end in sight. We are also planning on regional hiring events, with the team going to both Anchorage and Los Angeles. We are looking for the best pilots, as well as the best possible people that will make an excellent match and addition to our pilot group and employee work force. The bottom line will always remain that Alaska Airlines hires the best possible pilot candidates who will be our Captains of the future. I do not hire just Pilots. I hire Captains.

As with all successful programs, this one will remain flexible over the long run. Modifications can be made to required qualifications as well as the interview process. I will keep you up to date on any changes as they are being made.

Fly safe, fly smart.

Rob
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Old 06-24-2006, 03:49 PM   #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike734
Rob sent this out to all of us. It may answer some questions.

June 19, 2006

Just wanted to give our Pilot Group an update on the hiring practices, as a few things have changed in the past couple of months. Alaska is in the driver’s seat in regards to hiring right now. Even though many of the carriers are starting to call back furloughed pilots, it is apparent that many will remain off those carriers’ active rolls for a while. Until they have had a chance to recall these pilots, we, along with FedEx and Southwest seem to be the major players in the hiring game right now. This gives us the ability to actively search out the best, most qualified, and interested pilots who show the desire to make Alaska Airlines their future. We, along with the other carriers, have all raised the standards by which a candidate is considered.

All applicants submit their application online. They are then added to the database that we have created to identify those applicants who have the preferred qualifications for consideration. We just recertified the database, and all applicants were sent an email requesting that they validate the data they had previously submitted. Only those who have re-validated are being considered for an interview.

The Chief Pilots office actively reviews all applications. Only those with the highest qualification are being asked to participate in the process. Being the size that Alaska is, we ask only those pilots who have the best chance to be hired to interview. The candidates are chosen with regards to their aviation experience and background, with an eye towards diversity. The strength of our pilot group is that we have a healthy mix of pilots from all sectors of aviation: civilian, military, commuter, corporate, those with Alaska experience, those without, some with prior jet time, others who have slogged their way through the aviation trenches, some with ties to the company, some who just won the lottery. This has always been the strength of what makes this pilot group as versatile, diverse, and professional as it is. We also consider candidates who are members of a diversity group such as Women in Aviation and the Organization of Black Airline Pilots as well as current Horizon pilots. We are looking for the best: both as pilots and as someone who you would be willing to share a four-day trip with for the entire month.

Once the candidate successfully screens, they are invited to Seattle for an initial interview. These are normally held at Flight Ops, and you can tell who the candidates are by the uniform they wear: blue suit, white shirt, and conservative tie. They are the ones waiting nervously on the second floor right outside flight operations. (We are going to move them. Trust me, they’re nervous enough without feeling like they’re on display and having everyone wish them good luck.) The initial board consists of two pilots, both captains, and an employee services representative. This board will delve into their aviation background, educational experience, and technical proficiency to try to get a sense as to who these folks are and how they will fit into our group. They do a very good job in determining who is well prepared for the interview, as well as who presents themselves as being truly interested in working for Alaska. The interview normally takes approximately 1:30 to 2:00 hours to complete.

If successful with the first phase, the candidate is then asked to take an online assessment that is available only within the Company system. These assessments will measure each candidate against a base-line group of current Alaska pilots, looking for adaptability to training, flexibility in their decision making process, their compatibility with the base line group and try to identify their long term goals and perceptions. This information is only used to better gauge each candidate and provides the basis for refinement of questions in the next phase of the process. It is not a pass/fail test.

These candidates are then scheduled for what is being called the ‘Qualified Interview’. Qualified as in the candidates are considered fully qualified to be offered a position with Alaska. The Chief Pilot and a senior Employee Services representative conduct this interview. This portion of the process gives us the ability to get to know the person on a more personal basis: the questions are more geared towards who they are, not what they are. The technical aspect of their abilities has already been looked at. What I’m interested in is the person: how will they fit into our group? Why are they interested in coming to Alaska? What unique abilities will they bring to the party? What has sparked their interest and why have they worked so hard in this industry to get to the point where they are being considered for a position with the Company? How much do they know about our industry, our Airline and our Pilot group, and where we stand today? We’re trying to get a feel about the person as well as the pilot during this process.

If successful with this interview, the candidate’s complete application is then reviewed by a Fleet Captain with an eye towards suitability for training and to identify any potential areas of concern. The completed application packet then is returned to the Chief Pilot’s office. The Chief Pilot makes the final selection and those who are offered a position with Alaska Airlines receive a personal phone call from me congratulating them on successfully completing the application process. Well, most of the time. Successful applicants have recently been offered a position here by their sponsor, via ACARS and a PA by the crew as well as on a napkin handed to them while in-flight from the flight deck when I asked the Captain of the flight to make an offer. Uniqueness counts at times.

Now that you have an idea of the process, here are the preferred qualifications that we are looking for:

Education: 4-year degree required
Total Time: 3000 hours or 1500 hours (high performance military jets)
PIC: 1000 hrs > 12,500 lbs or 750 > 12500 and 2000 SIC or
1500 hrs high performance military jet
Currency: Consideration (if required for determination, simulator evaluation available on recommendation of Chief Pilot)


Many of you have asked about the Silver Bullet program: it is alive and well, just suspended for the time being. We are working through all the previous Silver Bullet recommendations and once we get them to a manageable level, we will bring it back online with some slight modifications. For now, if you have a recommendation you’d like to make, hold on to it until we get ready to reinstate the program.






Numbers so far this year far this year in regards to interviews:

106 applicants invited to the initial interview
66 offers of employment

We’ll have more of a breakdown on the process in the future as we capture the data.

I plan on continuing to interview into the foreseeable future with no end in sight. We are also planning on regional hiring events, with the team going to both Anchorage and Los Angeles. We are looking for the best pilots, as well as the best possible people that will make an excellent match and addition to our pilot group and employee work force. The bottom line will always remain that Alaska Airlines hires the best possible pilot candidates who will be our Captains of the future. I do not hire just Pilots. I hire Captains.

As with all successful programs, this one will remain flexible over the long run. Modifications can be made to required qualifications as well as the interview process. I will keep you up to date on any changes as they are being made.

Fly safe, fly smart.

Rob
Additionally, we will require papers, signed by you, that give us custody of your first born child.

And joining a highly sought after elitest group, we have decided that we will no longer pay you for your pilot services.

You will pay us for the privelege of flying our airplanes.

In order to join this elite group, send a money order in the amount of $10,000 to

ROB

c/o Alaska Air

3245 Halibut Way

Anchorage, Alaska

56930


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Old 06-24-2006, 05:19 PM   #3  
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I think Rob forgot to mention that CAL is hiring more than most of the pax carrying Majors. Found that letter to be quite pompous although Alaska seems to be a great place to work.
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Old 06-24-2006, 05:43 PM   #4  
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Originally Posted by 757Driver
I think Rob forgot to mention that CAL is hiring more than most of the pax carrying Majors. Found that letter to be quite pompous although Alaska seems to be a great place to work.
I tend to agree that’s why I asked for permission to publish. Alaska is a good place to work even if it is not the "good old days" before our latest contract. I believe we will win significant pay raises in the next contract and the future looks bright.
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Old 06-24-2006, 08:27 PM   #5  
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What is the consensus on Twin Otter PIC time? After reading this letter by the Chief, it seems null and void. However, in recent post by other members it was said turbine time is turbine time no matter what it is in. Can someone please enlighten me! Thanks.
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Old 06-24-2006, 09:03 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike734
I tend to agree that’s why I asked for permission to publish. Alaska is a good place to work even if it is not the "good old days" before our latest contract. I believe we will win significant pay raises in the next contract and the future looks bright.
How do you guys plan on getting a pay increase? Won't Alaska, like everyone else, try to save costs by looking at their labor costs first. . . besides charging what they should be charging for their services?
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Old 06-24-2006, 11:04 PM   #7  
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Originally Posted by surreal1221
How do you guys plan on getting a pay increase? Won't Alaska, like everyone else, try to save costs by looking at their labor costs first. . . besides charging what they should be charging for their services?
Alaska has already cut costs. We are profitable and have pretty much been through out this downturn. The company has publicly admitted the pay cuts were too much and have offered a TA to raise them but with unacceptable strings attached. Through negotiations I hope to see pay brought back to the old levels or close to it. Also, SW pilots are paid more than us now. We simply point to them and say, "If they can do it, you can do it." We'll see how simple that really is of course.
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Old 06-24-2006, 11:06 PM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burkec
What is the consensus on Twin Otter PIC time? After reading this letter by the Chief, it seems null and void. However, in recent post by other members it was said turbine time is turbine time no matter what it is in. Can someone please enlighten me! Thanks.
I believe twin otter time will not hurt you but it won't help beyond a certian point. In other words 7000 hours twater time is probably no more help than 3000 hours. If it gets you in the door, that's all you need.
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Old 06-24-2006, 11:18 PM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike734
Alaska has already cut costs. We are profitable and have pretty much been through out this downturn. The company has publicly admitted the pay cuts were too much and have offered a TA to raise them but with unacceptable strings attached. Through negotiations I hope to see pay brought back to the old levels or close to it. Also, SW pilots are paid more than us now. We simply point to them and say, "If they can do it, you can do it." We'll see how simple that really is of course.
Okay, makes sense. I wish your union boys luck!
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Old 06-25-2006, 08:10 AM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike734
Rob sent this out to all of us. It may answer some questions.

June 19, 2006



Education: 4-year degree required
Total Time: 3000 hours or 1500 hours (high performance military jets)
PIC: 1000 hrs > 12,500 lbs or 750 > 12500 and 2000 SIC or
1500 hrs high performance military jet
Currency: Consideration (if required for determination, simulator evaluation available on recommendation of Chief Pilot)


Rob

what have been the actual times of the guys hired and how many of their resumes were walked in?
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