“Keep your head in the Clouds” with FlightPlanME

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By gtorbet on Wednesday 4th Feb, 2015 at 10:24

FlightPlanME brings the Recruitment Day experience to various destinations around Europe. With experienced ex-Middle East Crew and trained roleplay coaches onboard, FlightPlanME coaches wannabe Cabin Crew in their preparations for the rigours of the recruitment process of the major Middle east airlines.

“We are unique in the industry for several reasons”, says MD, Gordon Torbet. “Firstly, we are totally independent and have wide experience of the airlines, the recruitment processes and the cultural differences across the region, so we can offer unbiased but fair comment and advice to those who attend our course. Secondly, we are the only company who offer individuals the opportunity to physically practise and receive coaching on the group exercises that airlines such as Emirates, Etihad and Qatar ask of their candidates.

We come to you

Which leads on to the 'thirdly' - we come to you! Our course dates and locations precede those of Emirates Airline's Open Days around Europe.”

This means that if Emirates are recruiting in Italy then FlightPlanME tries to hold their course some two weeks prior to the official Open Day in order that their training and advice is still fresh in the minds of their attendees for the 'Big Day' itself.

So what qualifies FlightPlanME to run these 1-Day Recruitment Preparation Courses?

Well, the two people behind the business are husband and wife team, Gordon Torbet and Anne Mortensen. Both have lived, worked and traveled in the Middle East for the past 9 years. In that time Anne was employed by Emirates Airline as Cabin Crew, and after working her way through the ranks she chose to remain in First Class while she dedicated her free time to working on the FlightPlanME business concept. “I'd heard so many stories from friends who knew people that had failed to progress through the recruitment days - and most of them were because they didn't know what to expect or what was expected of them”, says Anne.

Meanwhile, Gordon is an actor/workshop leader/corporate roleplay facilitator who has years of experience in the field of recruitment and personal development and has wide experience of the Middle East. Combined, their talents – as well as those of a close network of colleagues still working in the Middle East airlines – mean that their 1-Day Recruitment Preparation Courses offer Cabin Crew hopefuls exactly what the airlines are looking for.

“Of course, we can't be everywhere for every Open Day”, says Anne Mortensen. “We'd love to be, and that is the aim ultimately. But for now we plan to travel to around 8 cities per month and hold around 12 of the 1-Day courses during that period.”

1-Day Preparation Course

The courses themselves last one day – from 9am through to 5pm – and during that time the attendees are given:

- comparative information about the various Middle East airlines (including lesser known carriers like Air Arabia and FlyDubai) – such as the airlines' future expansion plans, salary expectations, bonus packages, promotion opportunities, accommodation, and regional cultural and lifestyle differences
- details on the amount and degree of training and knowledge the attendees will be expected to have once the job is theirs
- advice on the application processes for each airline and how best to impress with your CV
- physical practice and coaching in the all-important group exercises that recruiters use to shortlist candidates
- the opportunity for attendees to practice their 'final interview' technique – again with coaching and advice from the flightPlanME team.
- feedback at the end of the day on areas that the attendees are strong on and those they might improve

No substitute for practice

“There are many online courses forums that offer Cabin Crew hopefuls plenty of advice”, says Gordon Torbet. “Some of that advice is correct but a lot of it is subjective. They might offer advice on how you should approach the group exercises and final interview, but until you actually are put in the physical situation and have to work under pressure and with a group of strangers,you don't know how you will act.”

Anne Mortensen adds, “Nerves can play a huge part in whether you succeed or not, and those nerves come from not knowing a) what to expect and/or b) not knowing what the recruiters are looking for. That especially is where we help. The group exercises we do and the interview process we set up are extremely similar to that of the airlines.”

Under pressure

And there are sadly many people who don't 'make the grade' for one reason or another. Emirates Airline alone says that they receive over 15,000 applications for Cabin Crew every month – of which they only employ some 5%. So each year over 170,000 applicants are turned down – and that is not including those who apply to Etihad or Qatar Airways.

“We like to think that we make the recruitment process a little more fair,” says Gordon Torbet. “We try to demystify the recruitment process to help get rid of the 'nerves' factor and give you as much detail as we can. We tell it like it is: working in the Middle East is not a wonderland but it definitely has it strong points. And working for the Middle East airlines is not all plain sailing – you just have to have a thick skin!”

The courses as regularly updated on the flightplanme.com website and cost just over €100 to attend.

“We've tried to keep the course affordable”, says Anne Mortensen, “Because we know that a lot of young people are struggling to find work in the current economic situation. But at the same time, we are offering an invaluable experience and a gateway to a potentially very satisfying career, and we offer all our attendees email support and advice following the course.”

For more information contact: gordon@flightplanme.com +45 31 18 28 75 or anne@flightplanme.com