Airline Talent Assessment and Talent Management During Times of Organizational Change

Airline Talent Assessment and Talent Management During Times of Organizational Change

Insights in Seabury Human Capital’s “State of the Industry” Analysis Reveal How Airlines Deal with the Challenges, Process and Importance of Properly Managing Talent During Periods of Change

NEW YORK – November 14, 2016 – Assessing and managing talent should be a continuous and integral part of managing an airline. Often it is forgotten until an external shock triggers the process. A “State of the Industry” analysis from Seabury Human Capital (“SHC”), a subsidiary of Seabury Capital, a leading global advisory and professional services firm, shows how large-scale organizational change can provide the impetus to launch the assessment process and talent management initiatives.

Organizational change can take on different forms for an airline: a change in leadership or ownership; implementation of significant expansion (or reduction) plans; preparing the organization to go public; or other M&A activity. Regardless of what form it takes, organizational change impacts employees and their ability to fulfill the company’s mission.

“In the face of organizational change, effective talent assessment can empower leaders to better manage their talent by addressing newly identified development opportunities and implementing targeted training programs,” says Seabury Human Capital President and Chief Executive Officer Martin R. Kuehne. “SHC’s extensive experience with clients in the airline industry shows that unless the airline implements talent assessment properly, the post-change organization may be at risk.”

Approaches to talent assessment vary and are primarily influenced by the situation facing the airline and the objectives for the assessment process. In SHC’s experience in leading talent assessment efforts, four key objectives have been identified: (a) Right person, in right place; (b) Succession planning; (c) Managing flight risk; and (d) Exposing development gaps and training needs. Beyond simply understanding the current state in terms of talent haves and needs, talent assessments are best run separate from HR administered performance reviews and relying on a combination of inputs to provide a rounder picture of the individuals involved.

In the examples of SHC supporting airlines, the talent assessment efforts focused on senior leadership, usually direct reports to CEO or other senior executives. In supporting aircraft lessors, on the other hand, SHC focused on the organization as a whole, engaging with employees at all levels.

Seabury Human Capital Senior Vice President Kevin M. Horan added, “Using 360 reviews, external competency evaluations, self, and management evaluations allows both current and incoming organization leaders to gain a deep understanding of their current talent and potential development needs.”

To access the findings in Seabury Human Capital’s “State of the Industry” analysis, visit For more information on SHC’s human resources solutions, contact Kevin M. Horan, Senior Vice President, at +1 469 323 9783 or email:



Seabury Capital LLC is a global firm founded in 1995 with two principal groups, Seabury Advisory Group LLC (“SAG”) and Seabury Capital LLC (“SeaCap”). SAG is a global advisory practice with professionals on five continents and more than 15 countries covering Aviation, Aerospace & Defense, Financial Services, Government Services, Logistics, Maritime, Transportation and related industries. SAG has partnered with more than 300 clients located in more than 50 countries on more than 1,300 engagements to solve complex challenges requiring consulting, investment banking, restructuring and/or information technology solutions.

SeaCap owns and operates a number of specialty finance companies providing innovative cross-border financing for equipment and trade receivables as well as insurance-backed auto service and financial obligations. SeaCap recently launched a merchant banking business to take minority equity positions in, and to provide debt financing to, middle market companies. SeaCap also owns software companies providing enterprise solutions to airlines, aerospace companies and provides a range of electronic trading solutions to buy-side and sell-side firms in the Foreign Exchange market.