Selection and Training Process in Singapore International Airlines

Singapore International Airlines (SIA) is a global airline and was formed on 21 October 1937. SIA provides an impeccable cabin service standard to its customers. They also offer economy-class passengers a choice of meals, complimentary drinks and a set of headphones. Economy-class passengers can also browse through more than 1000 entertainment channels with a wider LCD screens and a touch screen handsets. Today, SIA is recognised as the world’s leading airlines and it is also one of the world’s most respected travel brands. They also recruit dynamic individuals, select them wisely, train them well by making sure they give out the perfect performance. 80% of employees are locals.

Applicants who are applying for cabin crews will need to go through a panel interview and are tested on their language ability. Unlike other airline companies such as China Southern which has both domestic and international flight, SIA has only international flight. Therefore, they are expecting cabin crews to communicate in fluent English.

The strict selection process enables SIA hires desire quality cabin crews from the applicant pool. Panel interview is an efficient method of selection however, there might be different views from different interviewer and sometimes the panel interviewing team is not a fixed team. The standard of panel interviewing team formed by different panel member might not give the same results for the same candidate and therefore the hiring decision can sometimes be unreliable.

According to Wirtz, Heracleous, and Pangarkar, SIA is able to make its success is through complete implementation of the human resources strategy consistently in which some companies failed to achieve.It is also important to select the right candidate from the applicant pool not only using the theoretical method but using the tailored method accordingly to fit into the job description of the position. In this case selecting ground position applicants do not need to go through a water confidence test because the requirements for positions they applied varied. Ground position staff should be good at communication and problem-solving skills and cabin crew staff should targeted on service.

Exceptional Training of Pilots and Crews

The newly recruited cabin crew, when admitted into SIA, must enroll in an intense 15-week training course-the longest and most rigorous in the airline industry. The focus of this training is to enable the cabin crew to provide confidence and warmth in gracious service. The curriculum modules include not only security and practical fields, but also gourmet food and wine enjoyment, as well as the art of communication. The internal SIA program, identified as the Transforming Customer Service (TCS), aims to build team spirit among personnel in key operating areas such as cabin crew, infrastructure, ground facilities, flight operations and sales support. This serves to remind employees of their overall business importance and that everyone has a role to play in customer service.

Investing in training can create outstanding service champions with suitable people in place. Successful service organizations tend to show commitment to training in terms of words, dollars and action.

Singapore airlines use performance management to analyze, measure and supervise the performance of its employees. It is used to clarify job responsibilities and expectations and align behavior towards the organization's mission. While appraisal, act as a guide to determine how employees are doing their jobs by evaluating their performance fairly and objectively.

Singapore airlines divided its employees according to the job functions which is the ground staff and flight crew. Two performance appraisals conducted by the unit manager every year for the ground staff. For those who did not perform well will have to be interviewed by the manager so that they can work closely to determine how their performance status can be improved. The appraisal is then used as a reference for some employees to go through training to make a progression career in the organization. From there they will be promoted from a passenger service staff to a supervisory role and move up to management positions. Employees with good appraisals will get an increment in their salary and bonuses.

Besides being a front line staff dealing with customer inquiries, there are four aspects that managers look when evaluating their staff which is administration, communication, decision making and they have to be knowledgeable of their jobs. They are required to understand the phases of the job, to have the ability to keep calm in distress situations and make a fast effective solution.

Meanwhile, the cabin crew does not have an appraisal system. They have a board of checklist conducted by their senior cabin crew every preflight. This is to ensure that their subordinates are fast and efficient at executing operational tasks. Being a cabin crew is not just about the way they groomed but also punctuality. Their working hours varies and they always have to arrive 2 hours before their flight for briefing and attire check.

In between before flight and after flight they will be evaluated by the senior stewardess. It is very critical to attaining a high level of service quality. The senior cabin crew will assess each of his or her crew using an iPad so that the stakeholders can review the results. The following are what senior staff looks for especially when passengers board and disembark the aircraft. They have to demonstrate properly and do an inspection routine before take-off and landing and be efficient in serving customers. They have to take initiative to overcome situations inflight.

Corrective actions will be taken towards those who underperform. But over time, it is tedious to track their performances as the results will not be constant for every flight they are in. Usually, cabin crew can get promoted every 5 years but if their performances did not meet the criteria. When feedback from passengers is taken into account, they will be dealt with case by case basis. Cabin crew can be sent to a retrain program if they are likely to be deemed as a lack of customer-oriented skills.

Singapore Airlines cabin crew are ranked according to their performances, the high skilled stewardess will get more incentives, a long layover, and more flights compared to those who have underperformed.

The organization used to have an appraisal system in which employee incentive points were dock and were discouraged to take leave unless critical conditions. It is not effective and fair to be appraised every single flight. Also, evaluation might differ depending on the relationship of senior cabin crew and it's subordinate. Having a high rating performance is good as customers will return and generate earnings for the organization.

It is fair to assess each of the crew equally and not based on the relationship they have. Customer feedback is also a fair rating for the cabin crews as they are not associated personally and the evaluation is legitimate and honest.


To conclude, in order to fulfil all the necessary training requirements for Singapore Airlines’ employees, SIA company’s training academy has vigorous aerospace-related training programs. Singapore Airlines is considered to have one of the best and the toughest training academy for cabin crew in the world, they believe in helping all employees achieve their full potential.

01 August 2022
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