From finding qualified candidates to standing out from competitors, engineering recruiters face a list of challenges. The reality is that the best tech and engineering talent is still hard to come by. In fact, a survey by Indeed showed that 86 percent of hiring managers and recruiters agreed it’s challenging to find and hire engineering candidates.
This blog explores six difficulties engineering recruiters face—and how to solve them.
1) Talent Shortages
The first, and most obvious hurdle recruiters face is a simple lack of engineering talent. This is especially true in specialized fields like embedded engineering. The scarcity of talent becomes even worse for small to mid-sized employers that have to compete against large companies or even tech giants.
These big enterprises might be more attractive due to cutting-edge work, higher salaries, and more job stability.
You can overcome this hurdle by broadening the geographical search area when looking for candidates. With more and more employers allowing remote work, it’s easier to find talent outside of tech hotspots like Silicon Valley.
For example, you could focus your recruitment efforts on the Atlanta or Boston Region—or you could look overseas, for example at India.
2) Long Hiring Process for Engineers
The hiring process for engineers is, on average, 58 days. That’s 15 days longer than for other talent. The reason for this is that in addition to the regular screenings and interviews, most employers require candidates to take at least one skills test.
And the upshot of the lengthy hiring process is that candidates might accept a position elsewhere before you have the chance to hire them.
Try to shorten the hiring process by speeding up the initial screening and skills test sections. Define a timeline, and commit to it. Be clear with the candidates that you want to move quickly, and let them know what the next steps are and when they’ll take place.
3) A Lack of Knowledge of New Technology
The world of technology evolves at a rapid pace. Not all companies jump on board with new developments right away—nor do all educational institutes. That means some engineering candidates won’t have sufficient knowledge of the needed skills.
To circumvent this challenge, list required skills and experience in the job listing and screen candidates’ résumés for them.
If you’re having trouble finding talent with the right skills, talk to the employer about offering a candidate a course so they can upskill ahead of getting started with the job. Alternatively, the candidate could learn on the job by shadowing more senior employees.
4) The Best Engineering Candidates Are in High Demand
Let’s face it: When you’ve found a brilliant candidate, you’re probably not the only one vying for their attention. First of all, you’re probably already talking to passive candidates—i.e. engineers who are already employed.
On top of that, if you’ve found them on LinkedIn, so has another recruiter… who might have a better offer.
You can solve this problem by offering great remuneration and benefits and making the interview process a wonderful experience. Provide details about the responsibilities of the role and expectations of the person filling it.
Facilitate a meet and greet with the team they’d be working with every day, as well as the company’s senior leadership. By doing so, you can already make the candidate feel as if they’re a part of the company.
5) Many Recruiters Don’t Know How to Answer Engineering Talent’s Questions
Many recruiters have little to no knowledge about the day-to-day technical responsibilities of a job. As such, it’s frustrating for engineering candidates when they ask questions during the interview process—and don’t get them answered right away.
Even if you get back to them with the answers afterward, it’s hampered the flow of conversation. And that impacts the candidate’s experience of the interview.
Before you sit down with any candidate, spend an hour or two learning from the hiring manager what the role is all about. Take notes. Ask the hiring manager what questions the candidates are likely to have—and how you should answer them.
In addition, ask about any sector or job-specific terminology or jargon the candidate will expect to hear, and write it down. That way, you’ll have at least a foundation with which to converse with the candidates.
6) Hiring Managers May be Too Specific With Their Requirements
Another hurdle we often see is that hiring managers are extremely specific about the skills the candidates must have. They won’t even consider somebody with transferable skills—although that person could be brilliant in the role after an initial ramping-up period to learn the ropes.
You can overcome this obstacle by establishing a strong relationship with the hiring manager and discussing what types of experience would be acceptable. In addition, make sure you’re clear about what are hard requirements and what are nice to haves.
Work With a Staffing Partner to Find Top Tech Talent
You can circumnavigate all these problems by working with a specialized technology recruitment partner like OSI Engineering. Our team all comes from a tech background, so we have the knowledge and contacts to source and attract the very best engineering talent. Contact us for more information.