Attracting the best engineers, generally speaking, is the same as attracting the best people for any profession, in any company, in any country in the world – people want a good work life balance, to work in a positive environment and get paid what they feel they’re worth. So, what do engineers look for most in a new employer?
1. Latest technology
Engineers want to work with cool technologies and on products or projects that are cutting-edge, the best engineers actively seek out companies at the forefront of the tech within their sector. If your business is an innovative market-leader then use this to your advantage, make sure you shout about it and that it’s clearly defined at the top of any recruitment materials – engineering job descriptions, adverts, careers page etc.
2. Work/life balance
This is coming to the fore in every sector. People want a good work/life balance – good holiday allowance, working from home, flexible working etc. If you offer any type of flexible working, make sure this is clearly advertised, towards the top of any material would be best.
If your company doesn’t offer any type of flexible working, it would be worth having a discussion with internal stakeholders to see if this could be implemented; you’ll notice that you find it a lot easier to attract and retain engineers. If other companies don’t offer the flexibility and perks you do, then you’ll attract staff easier and it will then be very hard for them to leave – no matter how much money the other company is paying!
3. Word of mouth
You would be surprised how much of an impact word of mouth can have on your employer brand. When making a decision on where to apply for a job, 84% of job seekers say the reputation of a company as an employer is important.
You can ensure your company has a good reputation by communicating with candidates at each stage of the recruitment process. For example: send an email to tell them that their application hasn’t been successful for instance. If your company has a good reputation, you’ll find it easier to attract talent.
83% of candidates check a company’s employee reviews and ratings on sites like Google and Glassdoor when deciding on where to apply for a job, so try to make sure your online reviews are top notch!
4. Money talks
You may be surprised that this is so far down the list, however in our experience engineers don’t usually leave because of money alone. It’s sometimes the main reason but rarely; people primarily leave because they don’t feel valued as an employee. With it being this far down the list don’t think it means that you can get away with paying less! To attract the best talent, you must pay well – like with any sector. The best possible candidates may be open to opportunities but it’s unlikely they will be actively looking for a new role. To attract those candidates - the money, combined with your hopefully wonderful tech and work/life balance, will do just that!
5. Positive change
With global consciousness dramatically changing we have seen a trend with engineers wanting to work for ethical businesses or businesses that benefit the world. If your technology creates positive change e.g. through renewable energy technology or medical advancements this is a fantastic selling point. Alternatively, you might give back to the community through charity or volunteering projects. Not only does your corporate social responsibility help strengthen your brand with customers and clients it also has a positive impact on your reputation as an employer.
Are you being seen?
As an employer you could offer all these things and still find it hard to attract top engineers. If nobody knows about your business or the latest exciting projects you are working on, then why would they want to work for you?
Ensuring potential candidates are aware of your business is essential to attract future talent. Use your social media to support your talent attraction strategies by regularly posting about the ground-breaking work the business is doing, this will make engineers want to work for your business. Maximising opportunities to feature in any relevant publications would also help.
Most of the time, people aren’t aware of other businesses or what they’re doing, if potential candidates have been exposed to your social media or industry content you may be at the forefront of their mind when they do start to consider a new role.
To attract the best engineers to your team you need to appeal to their motivations; technology, work/life balance, reputation, salary and corporate social responsibility. If you can’t tick off all these then promote the things you do well, the important thing is to be seen.
If you’re struggling to attract the best engineers and you want some market advice, please get in touch. We are more than happy to have a chat about your talent attraction strategy and provide some insight based on our experience of the industry.
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