At BizJetJobs, we talk with corporate pilots, contract pilots and corporate pilot employers on a daily basis. Over the years, we’ve noticed some patterns.
Many charter companies and corporate flight departments hire a contract pilot for the short term, meet someone they like working with and continue to call that person for work going forward. Corporate pilot employers may even be using the contract position in lieu of an interview, and hire whoever works out best for the long term.
BizJetJobs.com is world’s largest and most active hub for seasoned contract pilot jobs. Contract pilot employers rely on BizJetJobs to source their corporate pilots and contract pilots by posting pilot jobs on our service. The employers we work with tell us time and again that they can’t believe how quickly we found them the right contract pilot for their quick-turnaround contract pilot jobs, so they keep coming back.
Negotiating Your First Contract Pilot Job
Pilots: put yourself in your employer’s shoes for a moment. Until your employer gets to know and trust you, you’re in the “headache” column of their mental spreadsheet. But as a relationship is built, they’ve worked with you and trust you, you move over to the “aspirin” column. You’re no longer just a cost, you’re an asset. They’re familiar with your enjoyable personality, you show up on time, alleviate stress and make things better in your unique way.
Let’s say your goal is to make $1500/day, but you’ve been offered $1000/day for your first contract pilot job. It’s good to have a daily rate goal in mind, but keep in mind the person who’s doing the hiring may not have any control over the pay. It may be part of a budget set by someone else. Or, your prospective employer has put out a request for contract work because they’re in a bind, and should have hired someone full-time a long time ago. Your contract pilot pay is a cost they shouldn’t be incurring in the first place. Because of all these unknowns, you should tactfully use your first few contract flying opportunities with a new employer as a chance to build a relationship and get your foot in the door.
From the Employer’s Perspective …
The typical staffing agency makes money by finding candidates who will agree to a low rate, then charging the employer a little more. This is known as “margin,” and some staffing companies will always try to maximize it. Connecting directly with pilot employers via BizJetJobs can save them hundreds, even thousands of dollars because we connect you directly with the employer. If you can’t do the job, offer to help them out by passing on job leads to your friends. Your value to this employer has just risen, again.
When You’re Hot, You’re Hot
Pilots who are working are more likely to keep on working. So after you take that first contract pilot gig, you’ve got a leg up on the competition. You might now be listed on the employer’s insurance policy. You’ve done their required paperwork, so working with you saves them the step of having to put a job posting out publicly in the future. Depending on aircraft availability, you might also be the obvious choice for any full-time work with that employer.
Be transparent. Let those you work with know what your ideal situation would be. If your goal is a full-time job, let your employer know you’re looking. Treat any contract work like a job interview, or a networking gig. Not only will it get your name out there, but you’ll be more likely to get help from people who appreciate your value.
Have questions about getting your first Contract Pilot Job, looking for full-time corporate pilot work or becoming successful as a Contract Pilot? Call us today! We are here to help.