Where is the Engineering Talent?
With unemployment at record low rates for engineers specializing in Mechanical, Electrical, Manufacturing, Quality, Design and Industrial skills and new positions becoming available daily, employers are facing even greater competition in finding, developing, and retaining top engineering talent. Here are some reasons for the shortage of engineers and ways employers can still fulfill their hiring needs.
Increasing Challenges in Finding Candidates
One reason for the lack of engineers is that the last recession forced many layoffs. As a result, many laid-off engineers found employment in other industries. Also, engineers who remained in their positions are now seeing some of their past salaries and benefits returning, along with some opportunity for growth within their company. Therefore, the decision to leave their organization and seek out a new role is not as urgent.
Another reason for the engineer shortage is that a large number of engineers are retiring and taking their decades of experience with them. As a result, two or more engineers may be needed to support the workload and develop the knowledge for filling the shoes of the retirees.
A third reason for the lack of engineers is schools aren’t adequately preparing students for engineering roles, and fewer students are graduating with engineering degrees. For example, many high school students don’t excel in math and science and are less likely to pursue engineering degrees. Also, while a larger company can develop shadowing, rotational, and training programs for graduating candidates, a smaller company may not have the resources to do so. As a result, a smaller company may expect an engineer to hit the ground running, potentially ruling out recent graduates. In addition, many engineering students work as interns throughout their schooling and secure jobs with the company before graduating. Finally, many students move away from the local market, in pursuit of roles within new industries in other parts of the country, decreasing the candidate pool even further.
Creative Ways of Retaining Engineers
With over 30% of engineers being open to considering a new role, employers need to find more innovative solutions for keeping their engineers rather than finding new ones. For example, employers are increasing engineers’ salaries and benefit packages, offering greater flexibility in work schedules and providing increased opportunities for advancement. Global companies are encouraging employee transfers and relocation both at the national level and globally to encourage retention. Also, because some engineering skills can be taught, employers are cross-training workers in other departments based on their personality traits and motivation, which cannot be taught. In addition, employers are focusing on their branding, especially on social media, so that current employees and potential candidates view those companies as employers of choice and want to work with them.
Partnering with a Professional Recruiter
As a recruiting firm, Next Level Professional provides a local network of talented passive Engineering candidates who could fulfill your company’s hiring needs. We’ll advise you on each potential hire’s skill sets, career expectations, compensation structures, and more. We also know where to find passive candidates who won’t respond to job advertisements or are too busy to search for a new position, yet may be open to interviewing with you. As an added bonus, we give potential hires insight into your business, such as what your corporate culture is like and what career advancement opportunities you provide and share your company story to help improve your branding and be displayed as an employer of choice.
Find top talent by partnering with us for all your engineering and other professional recruiting needs. Get in touch with Paul Ladson at Next Level Professional today!