4 Tips for Recruiting Engineering Talent

Currently, the lack of talented engineers is causing headaches for recruiters and hiring managers. Unemployment is low across the board, but the STEM sectors are seeing especially low unemployment figures. With a large inventory of unfilled engineering jobs and a minuscule number of engineers out of work, there’s naturally a talent shortage. Making recruiting efforts more challenging for those seeking engineering talent, engineers are infamously passive and aren’t actively seeking out new opportunities.

Due to these factors, recruiting engineers will require a fresh approach. Here are four tips to help you land your next engineering prospect.

1. Sell Your Opportunity

Engineers have a unique skill set that leads to their problem-solving prowess. To catch an engineer’s eye, your job description cannot be a bland list of qualifications for prospective candidates to check off. Make the job description come to life by presenting exciting and challenging possibilities the position will offer.

Like most professionals, engineers are drawn to challenging and engaging workplace culture. They’re looking for an environment that will test their abilities and present them with new and stimulating problems to solve. Instead of focusing on what your next engineering hire needs to possess for the job, focus your job description on selling the opportunity, and your company, to candidates.

2. Incentivize Employee Referrals

Few people have a greater understanding of what it takes to thrive at your company than your current employees. In their time working for your company, they’ve seen the types of workers who fit in with the company culture and workplace demands, and the types of workers who don’t. If you’re not currently encouraging your employees to refer candidates to your engineering vacancy, start a referral program.

Employee referral programs allow you to take advantage of the expansive and talent-rich networks your employees possess. Former co-workers, classmates, and other talented people in their networks may not be looking for a new opportunity but may represent the perfect fit for your company. All they need is a little nudge from your employee for them to apply.

To encourage your employees to refer qualified candidates, offer incentives for successful referrals. Popular referral programs models feature a hiring bonus, then an additional bonus if the employee remains at the company for a prolonged period.

3. Boost Your Employment Brand

In today’s competitive labor market, the engineers you’re trying to recruit to your company are likely having conversations with other shops. If your company has an attractive employment brand, you’ll stick out from the pack and be a more appealing destination to engineers.

Your company’s employment brand is the perception of the experience of working for your company. That perception can be a hard thing to shed in the age of online reviews like Glassdoor, which is great if your employment brand is strong, but a hurdle if your employment brand is negative.

One way you can boost your company’s employment brand is by encouraging your current staff to write employment reviews online. If you only have three online reviews, and one is negative, you have a serious branding issue on your hands. However, if you have 28 reviews and only two are negative, the negative reviews will get diluted.

4. Partner with a Specialized Recruiter

By following the previous three tips, you’ll improve your odds of filling your vacant engineering role with a qualified engineer. However, it might take some time to find the right candidate, and your demand for an engineer might not come with the luxury of time.

If you need a qualified engineer and you don’t have time to conduct a thorough search yourself, your best option is to partner with a recruiting firm who specializes in recruiting engineers. A recruiter who exclusively places engineers has a massive network of talent available to them. Using their previous relationships, they’ll be able to find your company the perfect engineer to fill your opening.

Looking to jumpstart your hiring process? Learn more about our engineering division at Smith & Wilkinson.

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