An interview with Vinna Tsang, Founder and Director of The V Executive Search Company Limited

1. Vinna, after many years working in the industry, you set up the V Executive Search as a specialist recruitment agency for the BA sector. How’s demand in 2019/20?

VT: The BA sector is a rather niche sector that requires a high degree of industry knowledge and network in order to accurately advise prospective employers and candidates on their hiring/job search needs. Although the demand in 2019/20 has slowed due to the macro-economic environment, there are still specific recruitment needs year-round across Greater China and SE Asia to the Middle East.

2. Based upon hiring trends, which jobs are most in demand?

VT: For subject matter expert roles, middle to senior level positions in Flight/Ground Operations, Quality Assurance, and Safety are still highly sought after. Specific type-rated pilots and engineers are also in demand. For non-subject matter expert roles, Commercial/Business Development positions are in high demand. And for companies that are expanding/growing in the region, Finance/HR professionals with exposure to BA industry are highly sought after.

I would like to highlight that in tough market situations, employers are still willing to invest into talent acquisition, as they would like to gear the team with the best possible members to “counter the storm” and get ready for the next up-turn.

3. For young people considering BA over the airlines, what are their prospects like in Asia?

VT: BA in Asia is still relatively young as compared to US and Europe, hence I believe the potential for development is much greater than the airlines. Macro-economic and geo-political factors certainly would have an impact on the growth rate of the industry. However, in the long run, I am confident that the growth in Asia would be prominent.

4. Do you perceive some markets e.g. in Southeast Asia as being more buoyant than others?

VT: Few markets indeed might have demonstrated a slightly more efficient development of the industry with the government’s support over the past 2 years (eg. Singapore and The Philippines). However, as aviation is highly regulated in Asia and very technical in nature, the rules can change overnight; the market needs would then be shifted.

5. For those having challenges moving or securing their next role, what advice do you have?

VT: Networking with the right association/people is essential if one were to consider moving into the industry without any prior experience. AsBAA Discovery, as an example, provides an excellent platform for young professionals to be engaged in internships and networking opportunities to get a flavor of what BA is like.

One needs to be very adaptive and agile if you were to choose a career in BA due to its unique nature. I strongly advise those interested in BA to go in with an open-eye and a fresh mind without any pre-judgement of the industry. BA is certainly an exciting sector as you are serving the UHNWs and also dealing with very technical people on a daily basis. How to balance between abiding to the rules and regulations and delivering what your customers want remains a major challenge for many industry professionals.