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3 Common Engineering Recruitment Pitfalls To Avoid: And How to get Engineering Recruitment Right

The quality of your engineers can directly impact the competitiveness of your organisation. Hiring the wrong engineering talent can lead to inferior products, poor manufacturing processes and costly project overruns. That’s why it’s vitally important to get your hiring process right. Unfortunately hiring engineers is filled with many pitfalls.

Pitfall 1: Getting the Technical Skills Mix Wrong

Engineering roles are diverse. So are the skillsets required to fulfil them.

Engineers may be required to be creative, great at problem solving, and knowledgeable in several areas. These include C++, Lean, FEM,  R&D, mathematics, finance, management, business practices and fundamental science.

In addition to technical skills, engineers also need to be strong communicators who can work in a team. Without these skills no engineer can function properly since they are often required to work in teams.

That is why it is important that you perform a detailed role analysis on the activities you need your engineers to perform everyday. You should be able to determine exactly which skills your engineer needs to be successful in the role.

Pitfall 2: Going Cheap

Engineering skills are expensive. It takes many years of dedication, study, and on-the-job experience to become a competent engineer. Engineers expect to be rewarded for their skills – and rightly so.

That is why you must offer a market related salary. A salary that will appeal to the type of engineer you are looking to hire. That does not mean you have to have the best salary in the market, but rather a salary which is commensurate with what others are earning + 10%, to motivate a change of company.

Remember people change jobs for more money, so offering the same as everyone else will make you insufficiently attractive to the right calibre of people.

Pitfall 3: Getting the Wrong People to Find Your Engineer

Just as engineering is a specialist skill, so is recruitment.

A common mistake most hiring managers make is to confuse a hire, with a good hire.

Always remember, it does not mean because you made a hire that you were successful in your hiring. You are only successful when you made the best hire possible within your salary range.

This is a key distinction many companies forget to make when hiring.

They farm the task off to a junior HR person or the In-House recruitment division. This can work for unskilled roles, but is not advisable when it is a crucial technical role.

Further, if they do choose a specialist engineering recruiter, they try and pay them the same rate as CV spamming recruiters, who do no work and 90% of the time don’t even understand what the role is all about.

The smart companies do it different. They look for a specialist engineering recruitment company who understands the role, can filter out pretenders from real engineers and knows the difference between finite element method and lean six sigma. They build a long-term relationship with this recruiter, because they know it is hard to find quality recruiters.

They pay this recruiter a reasonable fee like 15%-17%. This recruiter then focuses on their role and helps them to find the ideal engineer.

A highly competent and skillful person.

The best engineer available within their salary range.

Also if there is a problem with finding the right person (as engineering skills are so scarce and expensive), the recruiter can provide practical advise on how to make things work.

That is the minimum you should expect from your recruiters. Anything less, such as CV spamming, ignorance of technical matters, or asking you to decide who is good, should not be tolerated.

Dawning Truth is a specialist engineering recruiter. We have been recruiting top engineers since 2010. We have placed engineers at engineering firms such as Babcock, First National Battery and RCC Namibia. We have qualified engineers doing our recruiting.

We know engineering recruitment. Contact us today to hire your next engineer.


Engineering Jobs, Engineering Recruitment

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