Maintenance: Top Traits for Technicians

Oct. 21, 2021

When considering maintenance technician candidates, managers and HR experts look for certain traits to ensure that the new hires will fit well into their operation. While the resumes of many candidates may indicate they have the experience and credentials to do the work, the personal qualities of the candidates may be just as important.

“As a recruiter, I have the inherent interview conundrum of how to evaluate this candidate’s potential to complement an organization’s culture,” said Jennifer Pickerel, vice president of Aviation Personnel International’s Midwest regional office. “If we consider proven predictors of success and create interview questions to help assess them, we gain a stronger understanding of a candidate’s personality. For instance, ‘Is the candidate an avid reader?’ That would be analogous to those who are lifelong learners.”

For Fern Campos, Disney Aviation Group director of maintenance, being kind and humble are desired attributes because “no one wants to work with arrogant people or with a jerk.” Campos also said having integrity and always doing what is right is important, “even if it means you might lose your job.” Campos added that candidates need to demonstrate that they are hard-working.

“There are several traits I look for while considering the candidacy of an aviation maintenance technician,” said Shannon Hotchkin, director of maintenance for Nike. “They need to be excited to be here!” Honesty, integrity, a willingness to learn and teach, a good work ethic, being a forward thinker and maintaining a professional presence are also important.

Hotchkin added, “I also look for red flags such as an unwillingness to tackle tasks outside the anticipated work scope of an aviation maintenance technician: a lack of commitment to quality, safety, tool control and accountability when things go sideways.”

“A candidate’s underlying traits become apparent when we look at their resume history,” said Bryan Maloney, Jet Aviation’s central U.S. regional sales & recruiting manager. “For an entry-level candidate, they must be in the top percentile of their graduating class, which tells us they went above and beyond to excel in the classroom. For experienced candidates, we look at their tenure and stability, which can tell us they’ve been successful throughout their career in aviation maintenance.”

Maloney added that, first and foremost, a candidate who displays a passion for what they do demonstrates to a hiring manager that they love their job and are constantly working on their craft — learning, listening and adapting.

“Experience is always important for more advanced positions,” explained Maloney, “but the drive to learn and improve is a priceless characteristic that we are always searching for across all of our services. We are always looking for individuals who have high standards and a keen eye for detail.”

  • When considering technicians with little experience, look for those who graduated in the top percentile of their class.
  • Seek candidates who demonstrate honesty and personal accountability.
  • Candidates who express a lifelong desire for continuous learning are prized.
  • Being kind, humble and showing integrity are positive attributes.
  • Lengthy tenure and job stability are key attributes of experienced technicians.

Courtesy of NBAA

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