Staffing Up Digitally For MRO Work Surges

Credit: Sonja Brueggemann/Lufthansa Technik AG

Europe-based StaffNow will soon extend its digital platform for quickly getting mechanics into temporary assignments to the U.S and it hopes to extend to Middle East and Asian customers later.

StaffNow has worked for Lufthansa Technik (LHT) in Europe and for LHT Puerto Rico in the U.S.  Co-CEO Mariya Vinzenz plans to expand services in the U.S. in 2023 by working with the staffing provider Launch Technical Workforce Solutions.

“We are aiming to introduce the services of StaffNow to the U.S. market in a step-by-step approach, announcing different products at intervals, similar to what our approach was in Europe,” says Vinzenz. The U.S. product will differ slightly from its European version to align with FAA requirements, but will still deliver digitalization, speed, transparency and optimization, according to Vinzenz.

StaffNow has also had initial talks with potentially interested partners and customers in the Middle East and Asia. “We are evaluating possibilities and the required product adaptations,” says Vinzenz.

LHT has used StaffNow for its shops in Sofia, Malta, Budapest and Puerto Rico to source temporary technicians. LHT managers say the tool enables the MRO to quickly get job offers to interested mechanics, coordinate different departments in evaluating each mechanic’s suitability, evaluate competencies faster and more precisely, track fulfillment of positions and analyze its use of temporary manpower.

Manual LHT processes formerly run via email now run completely on StaffNow. “With StaffNow, we have a better control over who we want to work with,” LHT managers say. The MRO says benefits include a bigger pool of candidates, faster evaluation, less subjective decisions and higher fulfillment.

Vinzenz says traditional staffing for temporary assignments involved long communication via email and telephone, manual resume submissions, repeated loops of requesting required documents, no performance indicators and no time stamps on actions and decisions. Sourcing and evaluation could thus take two weeks or even more. Often contracting agencies would compete for the same candidate, doubling and tripling required work.

According to Vinzenz, StaffNow offers a better way and it is more than just a job-posting platform. The platform evaluates candidates, collects and stores data, and reports on and analyzes hiring trends.

Mechanics first register and create a profile. They upload a picture and a brief personal presentation. They indicate years of experience, levels of qualifications, aircraft worked on, regions eligible to work in, languages spoken and so forth. Candidates must also upload documents and certifications proving qualifications, and StaffNow back-office experts verify this information or request more from candidates.

At the other end, MROs or engineering organizations first enter the settings for their company, such as company logos and descriptions, employment agencies they work with, standard wage levels for different types of work and the individuals who represent quality assurance, human resources and production departments in contracting decisions. Identifying these individuals will help coordinate the evaluation process.

MROs can then make a public offer of temporary work, available to all registered candidates, or browse through the available candidates to make a private offer to selected candidates. They will name the job title and type, gross wages to be paid, start and stop dates for work, language requirements, number of mechanics needed and any additional information, such as payment of per diem, travel and local transport expenses.

When an applicant responds, the MRO can accept, reject or indicate more documents are needed. All rejected applicants are told the reason or reasons for rejection.

Vinzenz says this transparency is crucial. Two major pain points for mechanics seeking work are not knowing the status of their submitted applications and being given no reason for rejection. The platform enables registered mechanics to receive this information promptly, in addition to viewing all open public offers by MROs.

StaffNow also shows hiring MROs any bottlenecks in their own acceptance process, such as departmental approvals required but not yet given.

Once a match is found, the employee’s agency is notified and details for travel, specific starting time and so forth are worked out. The candidate’s calendar for the contracted work is also blocked out. Candidates can also list any of their special requirements, such as getting a letter of experience from the MRO when the temporary assignment ends.

Both MROs and candidates can search for suitable matches by filtering each other’s offers by name, type of aircraft to be worked on and other criteria. StaffNow collects search and contract data and generates standardized reports, which can be customized at user request.

Vinzenz says StaffNow is now aligned with both European Union Aviation Safety Agency and FAA regulatory requirements. The platform has so far worked chiefly in Europe and supported clients such as Lufthansa Technik.