Airport Business

APR 2018

The airport professional's source for airport industry news, articles, events, and careers.

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FBO MATTERS By Doug Wilson Accident Prone: The case for Pre-Employment Testing of Safety Sensitive Employees Screening employees to find their reaction to tough situations can build the foundation of a company's safety culture. Accident Prone. The very term might bring to mind the image of a relative, one with an ever-present injury from their latest misfortune. Or perhaps one thinks of a friend, whose latest story involves a weekend barbecue that went very wrong. That would after all, at least explain the elaborate bandages by the storyteller. With friends and relatives, it is human nature to be dismissive and not label loved ones as being, well, accident prone. Instead, as a society, we prefer use other, more friendly terms. Describing someone rather as "a little bit clumsy," sounds much more agreeable than calling them accident prone. But what if a clumsy individual- or an accident prone one- was applying for a job with a prospective employer in the aviation field, such as an FBO? How could an employer possibly know that the well-dressed, articulate candidate sitting right in front of them is accident prone? As "clumsy" is not often a skill listed on a resume, the answer is most employers have no idea what inherent safety behaviors a candidate will bring to the workplace. Instead, it is not until weeks after a candidate is hired does he or she begin to reveal behaviors that may not be conducive to a safety sensitive environment, such as an airport ramp. Worse, sometimes those traits are not revealed until a catastrophic accident occurs. That dilemma is about to change notes Mike France, managing director, safety & training, National Air Transportation Association (NATA). "Rather than relying on a hiring manager's gut instinct about a potential employee, NATA will soon be bringing to market an affordable, pre-employment screening tool for FBOs and other aviation businesses to give a better sense of a candidate's personal safety culture." First introduced at NATA's first annual Ground Handling Safety Symposium in September of 2017, the pre-employment assessment is already in beta test with an undisclosed NATA member FBO, notes France. The assessment is administered online to a prospective candidate in under an hour, and the areas of testing include Quality Focus, Leadership Potential, Positive Attitude, Process Monitoring, Applied Learning, Quantitative Problem Solving, Responsibility, Safety Orientation, Teamwork, Work Ethic, Work Tempo, Mechanical Reasoning, and Continuous Improvement- all areas of similar importance to FBOs and other aviation businesses. How exactly might these areas of concentration relate to aviation? At an FBO for example, imagine trying to determine if a potential candidate is one who can handle the stress of operating a fuel truck on a busy ramp, while quickly and safely handling multiple fuel orders under constant time constraints. Such a scenario is one in which gut instinct can fail a hiring manager-especially when the candidate in question has no previous FBO experience. But, because the pre-employment assessment measures factors such as work tempo, quality focus and quantitative problem solving, the output of the test will specifically highlight those areas of concern about the candidate, and call them to the attention of the hiring manager. In addition to the quantitative results found on NATA's soon-to-be released pre-employment assessment, statements such as "This individual's scores suggest that he/she is 46 airportbusiness April 2018

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