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Pilot Hiring

Jim Barnes, MEC Coordinator

The Leading Edge, Winter 1999


1999 Hiring Projections
Since the last report projections for the number of new hire pilots for calendar year 1999 have been revised many times, both up and down. The cause of the multiple revisions is not DENEV, or manpower planning, but changes from marketing. As the revisions have been frequent and not in any consistent direction, I will provide what information I do know to be fairly reliable.

 There will be 68 new hires in January, 1999. The rest of the first quarter is not yet firm, but a range of 50-70 new hires per month seems to be consistent. As to the remaining three quarters of the year, the projections are very inconsistent. The planned hiring has ranged between 500 and 870 new hires for the year.

 Interviews were suspended in December for the holidays. Based upon the current numbers they are planned to resume on Feb. 15, 1999 at a rate of 45 per week. The rate is how the company manages the time between job offer and class date. Therefore this number will vary based upon the success rate and the number of new-hires needed as determined by WHQ man-power planning.

 WHQ Manpower Planning
I must acknowledge that Claire Fitzpatrick has done a very good job of providing information to DENEV as soon as she is aware of changes that affect the hiring rate. This has allowed DENEV to do a much better job of planning interview rates, staffing, etc..

 Status Checks:
The ability of pilots to check on the application status of friends continues to be a large job. The enote system has eliminated the previous problem of pilots checking weekly, but it still requires almost two man- days of work each week. Though the vast majority of pilots checking on applicants are very professional, there have been some who have become belligerent to Captain Szakach, who is providing most of the responses. This is access to information that has never before been available to the UAL pilots, and to my knowledge is not available at any other airline. The continued access relies upon pilots' professional use of it. I have continued to advocate that the instances of unprofessional behavior be handled on an individual basis, verses discontinuing the access.

There continues to be discussions as to how to continue the access without it requiring the amount of manpower it has to date. ALPA is very much involved in those discussions. I will keep the MEC advised of any proposed changes.

The information that is provided to pilots is whether or not the applicant is in an active status, and his/her relative position to get an interview. Though this information is certainly nice to know, due to the highly dynamic nature of the process, the information is quickly stale. The only day that an applicant's standing is of importance is the day the computer run is done to send out invitations to interview. The pilot employment office receives several hundred pieces of mail a week, some of which are updates, some are new applications. Due to the scoring system, some of these will move to the top, thus changing the relative standing of all other applicants. The process to obtain an interview is the only competitive part of our process. For the first time since the early 1990s UAL has exceeded 10,000 active applications on file.

IC Reduction
Since interviewing resumed in August, the success rate of those interviewed has been very high, almost 40% successful. Due to the sustained success rate, and the current hiring projection, it has been determined that there are too many Interview Captains (ICs). Currently there are 58 active ICs. It would appear that based upon the most recent projections that only about 30 are required. The Flight Officer Selection Steering Committee (FOSSC) has asked for volunteers to go on inactive status until such time as more ICs are required.

Captain John Szakach
Captain Szakach assumed the position of manager of the ICs during the summer of 1998. Captain Szakach has done a very good job of providing Flight Operations input and presence for the pilot selection process. He has added a lot of support for the ICs, and provided significant input on the FOSSC.

The data has been collected for the DC- IO validation. At present the data is in the analysis phase. The FOSSC should have the completed analysis for the February meeting, and be in a position to take action at that time. I am hopeful that by the resumption of interviews in February the DC-10 will be the device used for the flight skills evaluation.

Assuming that the change is made to the DC-10, the next phase will be to determine what type of evaluation is necessary in today's airline environment. It is my intention that when this discussion begins that the FOSSC include members of ALPA's Air Safety Committee and Training Committee. I suspect that the development of a new flight skills evaluation will take some time. I will continue to keep the MEC up to date on progress and the direction the discussions are taking.

ALPA National has mailed "WestAir" stamped applications to the last known address of all WestAir pilots. These applications will be used to provide the priority processing that UAL has conmfitted to. As in other similar situations, I will monitor the process and provide the MEC with regular updates.

Mentor Program
The mentor program continues with Captains Tom Gareghty and Dale Lutz administering the program. Those eligible for the program, sons/daughters of company employees and current company employees, continue to realize a success rate better than the general applicant pool. #