Budget airline EasyJet has seen a sharp improvement in staff satisfaction after introducing a project to recruit European employees from their home countries.
The ‘Turning Europe Orange’ scheme, introduced in early 2007, has seen the airline recruit staff from across Europe under terms and conditions unique to the countries they live in, rather than relying on UK cabin crew to work on pan-European flights.
People director Mike Campbell said the project – which he claims is unique to the airline industry – helped satisfaction levels for the company’s 9,000 Europe-wide staff jump from 69% in 2005, to 82% in 2007.
He told Personnel Today: “Over the past 18 months, EasyJet has shifted from being a UK airline to a European airline. By recruiting staff on their own country’s terms and conditions, we can attract employees on a par with the flagship airlines across Europe, such as Alitalia [Italy] or Iberia [Spain].”
He added: “There is a definite link between this project and improving staff satisfaction, as we are seen as an employer of choice. Staff are able to talk to passengers in their own language.”
Campbell denied EasyJet’s UK arm was feeling the effect of the credit crunch, and said that Europe presented opportunities for expansion because it was not over-crowded with low-cost airlines.
“Traditionally, EasyJet was driven by a domestically-focused marketplace. But Europe is now a very opportune market for us low-cost travel is opening up, and we are now able to attract local people to work for us,” he added.