The two-day gathering at the Beverly Wilshire for the 2024 edition of the Aerospace Event was the perfect example of the value of bringing leaders from different parts of the industry together. Joanna Speed knows how to put on a fantastic event. 

All those who were able to attend had the opportunity to absorb industry insights from the current state of the raw materials market, to perspectives from the middle-tier, the commercial OEMs, Advanced Air Mobility, the space sector, and everything in between.

Talent was a topic that arose several times over the course of the conference, so I wanted to share my thoughts on the theme of talent in the industry.

Attracting + Retaining Talent



The challenge of attracting and retaining talent was a theme shared by several speakers at the event, particularly given the importance of having a strong workforce to help the industry return to stability. Being on the front lines with our clients and candidates, discussions around compensation levels are a daily occurrence. When it comes to attracting and retaining talent, compensation will undoubtedly always be an important factor that candidates take into consideration, especially now with the continuing impact of inflation on the wallet. With the rapid changes in the cost of living, it is critical that companies keep a regular pulse on current compensation levels to ensure they can attract and retain talent. In the current climate, annual compensation surveys may already be out of date by the time salary bandings are adjusted and should be supplemented with live data to stay ahead of the competition.



Company culture has always been critical, but it has become an element that candidates bring up more frequently and with more weight. Candidates want to see companies not just talk about their culture, but actually live it. The interview process is often one of the only ways in which a prospective employer can demonstrate their culture, so it must be done right. A lengthy or inefficient interview process can lose great candidates very quickly in this market.


Training + Development

Training and development came up in relation to ensuring the industry has access to a suitably skilled workforce, particularly following the loss of skills and tribal knowledge to other industries during the pandemic. This is an area that companies must get right to ensure the industry has the talent it needs to succeed and thrive. Investing in the right training and development has multiple benefits, and one of them connects back to the topic of talent retention. Many employees want to join businesses where they can grow and develop, so retaining a talented workforce will largely come down to the training and development a company offers its employees.


Competition for Talent

Growth industries, such as Advanced Air Mobility and Space, are not just competing for some of the same materials that the commercial aerospace sector needs, but they are also competing for some of the same talent. To continue to attract the best employees out there, companies need to ensure they continuously improve their approaches to attracting, retaining, and developing talent. With a longer-term perspective in mind, we need to ensure that the industry continues to be seen as a viable and exciting career path for future generations.

About the Author

Aaron Griffin
Managing Director

Aaron Griffin serves as a Managing Director at McDermott + Bull and is part of the firm’s Aviation, Aerospace, + Defense Practice, based in Los Angeles. He has over 10 years of experience in executive search, supporting clients in aviation, aerospace, and transportation with their most critical hires. 

Aaron brings strong expertise leading searches on a global scale. His executive network encompasses the aerospace manufacturing supply chain, aviation airport services, and the wider transportation landscape, enabling him to provide world-class talent to his clients. 

Originally from the U.K., Aaron currently resides in Los Angeles and is fluent in German. He holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sheffield and a Master of Arts in medical law and ethics from King’s College London. In his free time, Aaron can be found skiing, hiking, and enjoying the outdoors.