Effective Onboarding Practices in Aerospace Companies

Effective Onboarding Practices in Aerospace Companies

By :David Cohen

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Starting a new job can be an exciting yet nerve-wracking time. You’re eager to dive in and make a good impression, but likely have many questions about processes, expectations, and how things actually function day-to-day. An excellent onboarding process helps smoothly transition new hires while laying the foundations for their success. For the complex aerospace industry, having robust onboarding is particularly crucial. This is where the expertise of an aerospace recruitment agency services can be invaluable, providing tailored guidance and support for both companies and new hires in this specialised field.

Acclimating Aerospace Engineers and Technicians

Aerospace encompasses intricately designed equipment and solutions where safety and precision are paramount. Companies must rapidly integrate technical staff to be operationally productive. Yet most equipment-specific training happens on the job over years. Thus, aerospace onboarding focuses more on broader corporate familiarity, safety protocols, quality standards, and key contacts rather than hands-on skills.

For engineers, also include overview training on designing for security, reliability, maintainability, supportability, and operability per aerospace’s stringent requirements. Ensure they understand documentation needs and change control processes for hardware and software.

Technicians benefit from learning inspection procedures, equipment troubleshooting basics, maintenance schedules, parts sourcing/lifecycles, and technical specifications for assigned products.

While individuals will specialise over time, giving a high-level understanding of production flows and management systems provides helpful context.

Reinforcing Culture and Quality Commitment

Aerospace companies convey profound cultural elements around safety, ethics, and quality during onboarding. New hires hear reinforcing messages through formal documentation, videos from leadership, training exercises, mentor pairings, etc. This aligns the vital behaviours and mindsets engineers/technicians must adopt for the role.

One creative approach is sharing select case studies with new engineers analysing how past disasters occurred from design defects along with lessons learned. This powerfully underscores how following protocols prevents such issues. Case studies make dry standards real and relevant.

Another technique is bringing in guest speakers who personally dealt with the impacts of accidents from lapses in quality, safety, or communications. First-hand experiences make procedures less abstract and more memorable.

Setting Clear Role Expectations

Well-structured onboarding delineates key objectives, responsibilities, and performance metrics for each function in the aerospace value chain. Individuals gain perspective on how their piece fits with interdependent teams to achieve broader project goals. Review job descriptions, but balance dry task lists with big picture reminders of the incredible feats teams accomplish together.

It also helps set checkpoints for managers to assess new hire progress at key intervals like 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, etc. Checkpoints ensure individuals assimilate well and get timely feedback rather than only receiving annual performance reviews. This prevents struggles accumulating unnoticed.

Onboarding Best Practices

Beyond function-specific training, follow these onboarding best practices for aerospace companies:

Assign designated peer mentors
Create role-relevant checklists
Conduct site tours highlighting safety elements
Share simple process maps/org charts
Overview commonly used systems and tools
Explain acronyms and terminology
Review quality certifications and auditing
Set expectations around security and confidentiality
Monitor new hire engagement and satisfaction

Well-executed onboarding better enables aerospace professionals to assimilate, align with corporate values, and safely apply their specialized skills. This accelerates productivity in mission-critical roles that literally have lives depending on it. Revisiting and improving onboarding based on feedback is key for continuous enhancement. What people learn their first days profoundly impacts subsequent performance.