The Challenges of Hiring Engineers.
The hiring process is never simple, but engineering roles are among the most complicated and challenging to fill.
The pool of elite engineering talent has diminished over the past two decades, due to expanding competition and the growing number of vacancies. Recent studies have shown that over 90% of companies in engineering-related industries are looking for new engineers at any time.
Hiring polls have consistently shown engineering to be a rapidly-growing field, and there are no signs the strong demand will slow down. The median annual wage for engineers was $92,000 in 2017—over twice as much as for all other employees. Engineers usually need a bachelor’s degree or higher education level.
The Talent is Out There
An engineering candidate with more than three years of experience is likely to be hired quickly. Hiring organizations need professional strategic assistance if they want to gain a competitive advantage and attract the best people.
There are many talented individuals out there right now who are ready for a change, but who are not actively looking. A professional, trusted recruiter with a large network of both active and passive candidates can provide you with access to a pool of qualified candidates that you would not otherwise have.
Engineers are Essential for Building
Due to evolving regulations, buildings and infrastructure can no longer be built without the help of highly qualified professional engineers. Today, engineers are essential for any business or industry.
The Six Main Categories of Engineers
There are many types of engineers, but most fall under the umbrella of six main categories:
Civil, Geotechnical, Chemical, Electrical, Mechanical and Management.
Civil engineers design infrastructure and solve infrastructure-related problems. They also oversee upkeep and maintenance.
Civil engineers design and build a large array of infrastructure, including roads, tunnels, bridges, sewerage systems, dams, and utility frameworks. Civil engineering employees usually split their between office and field work on job sites.
Civil engineers must always take government regulations and environmental risks into account when designing and constructing buildings and infrastructure.
Types of Civil Engineers:
- Planning Engineers
- Structural Engineers
- Environmental Engineers
- Transportation Engineers
- Marine Engineers
- Water Engineers
- Mining Engineers
Geotechnical engineers study how infrastructure interacts with the surrounding environment and forces of nature. Geotech engineers take local climate and geography into account to recommend appropriate construction materials.
Geotechnical engineers pinpoint environmental risks with the potential to threaten project execution and completion. Geotechnical engineers evaluate and test soil and rock to help companies choose appropriate building materials.
Some main types of Geotechnical Engineers:
- Open Pit and Underground Geotechnical Engineers
- Geotechnical Engineering Consultants
- Geotechnical Modeling Engineers
- Academic Geotechnical Engineers
With backgrounds in mathematics and science including chemistry, physics, and biology, chemical engineers design industrial processes to manufacture products such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, plastics, food, and more. They also help enhance product quality and manufacturing productivity.
Chemical engineers usually work in a lab, office, or industrial plant. Chemical engineers work in R&D (Research and Development), design, and operations.
Here are some specific chemical engineers:
- Process Design Engineer
- Environmental Engineer
- Plant Process Engineer
- Process Safety Engineer
- Waste Management Engineer
- Petroleum Engineer
Mechanical engineers create mechanical devices and systems including tools, machines, and mechanical instruments.
Mechanical engineers help industries design, create, operate, test, and evaluate industrial and domestic products and appliances. These include manufacturing equipment, heating and cooling systems, refrigeration units, vehicles, weapons, and more. Mechanical engineers work in production to analyze problems and increase performance and productivity.
Here are some examples of mechanical engineers:
- Manufacturing Engineer
- R&D Engineer
- Control and Implementation Engineer
- Maintenance Engineer
- Automotive Engineer
- Nuclear Engineer
Electrical engineers design and build electrical components, circuits, and systems. Production facilities use these in heating, cooling, and refrigeration systems, communications, computers, navigation, fiber optics, etc. Many industries, from entertainment to medicine, employ electrical engineers.
The skills needed to be an electrical engineer vary with the industry and business. Electrical engineers might design and test electrical systems, develop electronic products, create mathematical models to test designs, research, evaluate and enhance manufacturing methods, and oversee quality assurance processes, among other endeavors.
There are many niches for electrical engineers, and they can work in any number of industries. Some types of electrical engineers are:
- Electronics Engineer
- Microelectronics Engineer
- Power Systems Engineer
- Control Systems Engineer
- Telecommunications Engineer
- Instrumentation Engineer
- Biomedical Engineer
- Signal Processing Engineer
There are also some related disciplines that, while often considered to be electrical engineering, that warrant a separate mention due to their special characteristics and roles.
Project Management Professional (PMP)
A Project Management Professional (PMP) is a professional with an engineering and management background that uses their skills and knowledge to meet the goals of specific, limited projects.
Once considered a branch of civil engineering, a Construction Manager is a specialized professional who bridges the gap between civil engineering and business management.
Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Engineer (MEP)
An MEP Engineer is a professional with qualifications spanning the three disciplines of mechanics, electrical systems, and plumbing. MEP firms offer all three of these services. MEPs collaborate with other experts to design buildings, facilities, and infrastructure.
A Landscape Architect develops land for peoples’ use through the optimal placement of structures of all types. Structures can include plants, small buildings, monuments, walkways, bike paths, etc.
How to Hire Great Engineers
Hiring managers should set aside adequate time and plan to find the best possible engineering professionals for their clients. There are a few essentials to always keep in mind when looking for any top employee. Since engineers are in such high demand, these essentials are more important than with any other type of hire.
Understand Why You Need the Employee
Have you thought about why you are hiring the employee in the first place? How can you be certain the type of worker you’re looking for is the right one? Do you have a precise idea of how the new hire fits into the company mission?
Companies seeking candidates should know the exact abilities, experience, and skills their new engineering professional will need to do the job. Having a strategic hiring plan will help define goals, and will lead to better communication with candidates.
Be a Great Place to Work
Companies that are excellent places to work and grow attract top employees. Engineers are very motivated by organizational cultures that allow them to develop their skills and abilities and make a difference. Good engineers value professional development and training opportunities as well as challenging projects.
Use your branding and marketing to show the positive aspects of your company culture. Use your website, social media, and other communications to showcase what a great place your organization is to work. Use whatever resources you have at your disposal to communicate this.
Create Top-Notch Job Ads
Well-written, in-depth, and honest listings describe job duties and expectations, but they also persuade qualified jobseekers that a position is a solid career move. A job ad should paint a picture of your organization as an engaging and dynamic work environment.
Engineers are very often motivated by a sense of greater purpose at work. Make sure you explain how important the role is for achieving the organizational mission.
Take some time to sell the job as well after describing the job tasks and expectations. Don’t forget to mention any benefits and perks. Job candidates vary in what they value most in a workplace.
Take Your Time
When hiring top employees of any kind, it is important to budget enough time to get a clear picture of who they are. Some of a company’s greatest potential human resource assets might have non-traditional backgrounds or strong personalities. Like Sales and Marketing Staff, eccentricities go with the territory.
Get to Know Candidates
Have frank, informal discussions with candidates on your expectations, the role’s importance and duties, as well as the candidate’s career goals. Assess their vision on how working at your company will help them achieve your goals.
To ensure engineers have the right skills, consider using customized assessments. Use communication skills tests to ensure engineers can get their ideas across.
Close the Deal Fast
When you know you have the right person, it is important to act fast. In areas like engineering, your ideal employee could easily be offered another position very quickly.
Talk to a Company That Knows Engineers
The best way to find elite engineering talent in a timely manner is to put your trust in an established agency that understands the industry and unique challenges involved in filling engineering positions.
At Relevante, we can help you with the most challenging and time-consuming aspects of your search for high-quality engineering hires.
Working with a firm like ours can minimize your risk of making a potentially costly decision. Relevante can help you reduce the time and costs needed to get elite talent on board and help you grow fast. We will uncover the best engineering candidates possible while diminishing staff turnover. Let’s talk today.