The engineering companies invest almost 5% of their annual revenue in digital operations solutions in a year and will continue to this for the next five years. Also, they are establishing ambitious targets to achieve high levels of integration and digitization.’ This is the key finding from a 2016 Global Industry 4.0 Survey.
The demand for highly qualified and skilled engineers is increasing while the supply is shrinking. As a result, engineering organizations and engineering recruitment agencies have to be savvy in the way they recruit top talent. It is essential for recruitment agencies to find the best match to an organization, ensuring that the requirements of a company are met to the fullest.
The engineering recruitment agencies need to ensure that they address each and every skill shortage of companies, appeal young and up-coming talent pool, and make sure that they offer the best pool of workforce to engineering organizations.
In order to help the engineering companies to work to the best of their potential and to help them face different recruitment challenges with ease, here we list the top engineering recruitment challenges and the best solutions to tackle them.
- Targeting and Attracting the Best Talent
The biggest challenge for engineering companies as well as recruitment agencies is to find well-experienced and qualified candidates. An increasing trend is the shift of engineering graduates to other sectors.
According to the survey of Royal Academy of Engineering, around 15,000 graduate engineers each year shift to other lucrative sectors and only 7,000 looks for an engineering job. There is a range of factors, which may be contributing to this increasing trend. The biggest factor heading towards this change is the lack of visibility of employers on campus during the study. In addition to this, while other sectors offer attractive remuneration to qualified engineers, the one offered from the engineering industry is quite less. For such reasons, young people perceive engineering as lacking a clear and concise career path.
Moreover, engineering graduates are not offered enough exciting opportunities to get exposed to lucrativeness of their own field. But they are exposed to exciting opportunities within other fields. Additionally, there is a large number of students who consider themselves as more creative than their academic and may discount engineering as a potential career at an earlier stage.
Solution – It is essential for engineering companies to communicate their story and challenges to recruitment agencies and why people must join them. Companies must try to get out their companies name in the engineering community as a place where new solutions and ideas are created.
Be concise and clear about the benefits and culture of your company, at the same time by being honest. Be sure to communicate well during the hiring process and make sure your candidates are well-informed about the hiring process. With the market being highly competitive, you must ensure that the candidates that you want to hire, are well-informed and engaged in the process.
- Stand Out as an Innovative Employer
In most of the cases, a quality potential candidate is not just looking for a firm’s attention, but it is also looking out for an innovative employer. With increasing demand for engineers and supply remaining low, standing out as an innovative employer can make a huge difference between securing and losing a quality candidate.
Besides your firm’s reputation and credibility, the other factors that are appealing to new recruits are company culture, company benefits, flexible working hours, and additional perks.
Solution – Make sure you list all the benefits and perks to a potential candidate. Also, let them know about your company’s work culture as this can be a great way to attract them.
- Skills Shortages
Over the years, there has been an immense shortage of skilled candidates for specific roles. For this reason, the Engineering Staffing Services are still struggling to fill the increasing number of vacant roles available.
There is no doubt in that engineering is suffering from a real crisis in skills and will require over a million new engineers and technicians by the next five years. It’s true that engineers make a significant contribution to our economy as well as its productivity, but presently it lacks the capacity to meet the demand for skilled engineers.
Solution – Companies need to offer a digital culture and training needed by engineers. Steps must be taken in order to identify shortages at professional levels and ensure that timely demand is met.
- Best Candidates Deciding Between Numerous Job Offers at Once
Another major challenge for engineering recruitment companies is that almost all candidates are actively pursuing multiple opportunities and seeking out to numerous job offers at once. If a candidate comes to you for an interview, then there are chances that he might be going for interviews with other companies as well.
Solution – The only way you can appeal the best talent under this situation is by making the interview a great experience. When a candidate is between numerous job offers, then interview is often the important deciding factor.
One way to make the interview experience great for the candidate is to answer all their business questions in the interview itself. Moreover, the interview that matters most to the candidates is the one they have with their prospective manager. Hence, rather than making it more like an interrogation process, try to make it a two-way conversation process.
There is nothing best than if you can ask any senior leadership of your company to talk to the highly sought-after candidate during the interview. Candidates always appreciate meeting the senior leadership of a company, even if it is for a while.
- Reaching Out to Great Talent
One of the biggest problems is skilled labor shortage and a poll shows it was a seller’s market, implying demand for developers, engineers, and other skilled IT professionals is more than supply, further implying the candidate has all the benefit.
Even the fresh graduates in IT are able to get a respectable sum of salary. If this situation remains in the engineering sector then the shortage will continue to hit the segment.
Solution – The recruitment agencies need to use the data in order to find the best places to recruit. One great example is LinkedIn’s talent pool that reports the supply exceeds the demand, and hence, it is an advantageous place to recruit.
Also, the recruitment agencies must follow a more data-driven approach to hiring, which can help you find the best places to find top talent.
- Establishing Connection with The Candidates
Most of the recruitment agencies and engineering companies encounter the challenge of not able to identify potential hires as well as not able to connect with them. Firms interested to attract the top talent experience on-going demand to leverage social channels like Twitter and LinkedIn to successfully engage active candidates as well as passive candidates too.
There is a skewed perception of engineering and hence organizations that do not exploit social media to represent the company and challenge such perceptions are missing out on attracting potential new hires.
Solution – You need to be aware of the perception that engineering professionals are available on social channels, and hence, there is an urgent need to utilize social media to represent their company and target potential new hires. Even, you must have your name available on social platforms for passive candidates so that when they become active you are available to them on the topmost priority.
- Targeting the Younger Demographic
Most of the times, engineering firms are focused on hiring more experienced engineers and technicians. As a result, they miss out an entire pool of young talent. Companies that compete to win over experienced talent, increasing salaries and offers in accordance with this are presently narrowing the margin for upcoming and new hires.
Solution – In order to avail the benefits, it is essential for companies to widen their recruitment efforts. They must include and target young engineers from apprenticeships or university, including the opportunity to train as well as develop these individuals in a way that is fit to the organization. In fact, young hires bring with them lots of enthusiasm and the desire to prove their skills to the world. Hence, organizations and recruitment agencies must focus on appealing the experienced as well as younger demographics.
- Too Much Buzz in the Market
Another problem that engineering recruitment agencies experience is the competition among recruiters to connect with the candidates. This creates lots of noise as around 2,000 recruiters are trying to reach out to the same candidate. As a result, candidates can get annoyed and might show disinterest to get hired to any of the organization.
Solution – The best solution to overcome this challenge is to build a strong employer brand. Though you cannot cut through the noise with emails and cold calling alone, by building a strong employer brand you can actually demand top candidates. This way, you no more have to chase them and they would love to be a part of your organization.
So, how can you do that? There are lots of resources available that can guide you throughout the process and help you build a strong employer brand. While building your brand you have to remember two important things. First is to define a purpose that really matters. Secondly, to make it clear to people that they can advance within the organization. Hence, they no more have to look out to external opportunities.
Another solution in this context is to develop an excellent employee referral program. Nothing is better than a friend telling you about the new position.
- Hiring Companies Get Too Picky with What they Want
The biggest problem recruiter’s encounter is dealing with the clients who do not understand that their search is a collaborative process.
This is true, particularly in technical fields. Most of the hiring managers tend to have the opinion that it is not worth their time to share the feedback or information with the recruiters. This is a severe problem because, without proper feedback, results will almost be nil.
Solution – The relationship of a candidate with the hiring manager is the biggest factor in the overall performance of a recruiter. The key to having a strong relationship is to have a conversation with each hiring manager before the search begins and set clear expectations for the same.
In this situation, the data can be highly useful, especially with the level-setting hiring manager who tend to be too picky. If you are able to show the hiring manager the lack of talent pool in the very first conversation, the hiring manager is more likely to adjust his expectations.
Throughout the entire process, it is crucial that both the sides hold each other accountable to that initial agreement.
- Easy and Fast Process of Hiring
The applicants nowadays are millennial, and for this reason, the attention span is really very short. Further, the applicants do not want to wait for your response regarding the application. Though recruiters have an increased volume of hiring, the applicants need a quick and fast response. At the same time, they require the process to be hassle-free for them
Solution – If you are not able to make the process fast enough, at least make it convenient and easy enough for them. You can establish an easy access job application on your site. Also, you can search into using recruitment marketing technology housing candidate job portals, offboarding portals, and employee onboarding. At the same time, engineering recruitment agencies must use specialty tools that include sourcing through job boards as well as employee referral networks.
Despite these increasing challenges, Alliance Recruitment Agency holds a reputed position in the market, which implies that we can source top talent for organizations. We understand that organizations require the best fit for a flourishing business. At Alliance Recruitment Agency, we can help you identify, attract and retain the top talent in order to help you achieve the long-term goals of your business. We are one of the best engineering recruitment agencies that can help you select the best candidate that fit your working environment and corporate culture and proves as an asset to your team.
Kyra is a Hiring Director at Alliance Recruitment Agency – an IT Recruitment Agency. She specializes in helping with international recruiting, Executive Recruiters nyc, staffing, HR services, and Careers advice service for overseas and international businesses.