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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Over the last seven months or so, most news concerning Pilot Flying J has been centered around the April 15 federal raid of its headquarters and allegations of fraud in its fuel rebate program. While it has been a tough road to travel, the locally based company is making all efforts to conduct business as usual, including recruiting the right mix of employees to carry on the day-to-day operations.
In a new interview posted on Pilot Flying J's rebate education website, rebateeducation.pilotflyingj.com, Robert Byington, the company’s senior manager of talent acquisition and administration, acknowledged that the first 60 days after the raid were "really tough."
"There were a lot of questions and a great deal of uncertainty. People were concerned about the stability of our organization. Initially, our applicant flow dropped off and some applicants that were in the interview process decided to discontinue their candidacy," he said. "However, after candidates became more informed about the issues surrounding the investigation, they realized that the vast majority of our team members have always done the right thing and continue to do so."
According to Byington, Pilot Flying J's applicant flow is actually higher today than before the raid in mid-April.
"In fact, it is the highest it has ever been at Pilot Flying J," he noted. "Because we have kept the lines of communication open and continue to update our employees, customers and the general public about our progress, it has helped us tremendously from a recruiting standpoint. New recruits recognize that we are a great company."
This news comes as Pilot Flying J is nearing a fairness hearing on a proposed settlement that would bring to a close the federal class-action lawsuit filed against the company over discrepancies in its fuel rebate program. If given the green light at a Nov. 25 hearing in the U.S. District Court in Little Rock, Ark., Pilot Flying J's settlement costs would be an estimated $72 million, as CSNews Online previously reported.
Family-owned Pilot Flying J has 650 locations across the United States and Canada, and more than 24,000 employees.