Hiring great engineers can be challenging. Roles are highly specialized, and there’s high demand. In this comprehensive guide, we explain how an engineering staffing agency can help you source and recruit the best engineering talent to take your business to the next level.
When you need to recruit top engineering talent, you might be uncertain whether to work with a general recruitment firm or a specialized engineering staffing agency. That’s why it’s important to understand that engineering staffing agencies offer several distinct benefits.
Because they specialize in sourcing and placing engineering workers, they have a large network of top talent. In addition, with their many contacts at educational institutions and organizations, they have access to passive talent, as well as people who can make referrals.
Engineering staffing agencies possess considerable market knowledge, so they’re better able to evaluate a candidate’s skill level and personality fit for a position and company. This reduces risk.
All these factors combine to reduce the time to hire and the costs involved with talent acquisition.
An engineering agency has the resources and knowledge to help you fill a range of jobs, including software engineer, full stack developer, data engineer, embedded software engineer, design engineer, and firmware engineer. Let’s take a closer look.
A software engineer or software developer creates software for applications and computers. They know which programming languages, platforms, and architectures to use to develop everything from network control systems to computer games. Along with building systems, they also test, maintain, and improve existing software.
A full stack developer works with both the server side—or back end—of the application and the client side—or front end. They’re skilled in a wide range of coding niches, from databases and UI management to graphic design.
A data engineer is a software engineer who prepares data for operational or analytical uses. They’re generally responsible for building data pipelines to collate information from a variety of source systems.
An embedded software engineer develops software that they then integrate with non-computers to form embedded systems. In addition to significant knowledge of computer languages and various operating systems, an embedded software engineer also needs to understand the influence of the environment on a device.
A design engineer designs, creates, and analyzes products and components to optimize them for reliability and performance. They work on a product throughout its entire lifecycle, from conceptual design and development to testing, installation, and support.
A firmware engineer integrates hardware and firmware and conducts system tests using almost completed hardware and firmware. They work closely with hardware engineers to resolve any problems or bugs in the most efficient manner possible.
Before selecting an engineering staffing agency, make sure they offer the expertise, experience, and access to the talent you require.
Ideally, the staffing agency has someone on staff who has a background in the role(s) you’re looking to fill or in related roles. That means they’ll know what to look for in top candidates for your company. Check their job placement ads to see what type of roles they’re recruiting for.
You want an engineering staffing agency with a proven track record of successful placements. Ask for references from other clients, and follow up with those organizations to find out what their experience was like with the agency. Make a list of the pros and cons, and evaluate the firm against the other agencies you’re looking at.
Every good staffing agency has at least one differentiator. Perhaps they work with one of the tech giants or a one-time start-up that made it big. Maybe they focus on sourcing talent remotely to expand the talent pool.
The founder of the agency might have decades of experience working in the tech industry themself and bring not just a deep understanding of the roles, but also of the various companies to the table.
Or perhaps the agency focuses on diversity because diverse teams are more innovative than non-diverse ones—and innovation is key in the tech industry.
It’s important to ask outright, “Why should I work with you and not another staffing firm?” If the engineering staffing agency has a robust foundation and a solid mission statement, they’ll be able to answer your question easily and convincingly.
It’s non-negotiable that the engineering staffing agency must have access to a pool of top engineering talent. Find out how they source their candidates. Do they approach colleges and universities, contact job seekers on LinkedIn, use professional organizations to make connections, and leverage their networks?
What will the agency do if you can’t find somebody in the geography you’re looking for? Are they nimble enough to broaden the search and engage in a virtual recruitment process? Can they advise you on what to look for in a virtual employee if that’s the only option? How do they run background checks on international talent?
Now you know how an engineering staffing agency can help you find top tech talent. And you might be curious as to what types of companies are best served by working with one to build a first-class technology team.
Global tech companies need a lot of top-notch engineers—and they’re very challenging to find. But one of the reasons a tech giant is a market leader is its pace of innovation. That means that if there’s an opening on an existing team, or if the company’s building a new team, there’s no time to waste.
Working with a strategic engineering staffing partner to find the right engineering talent accelerates the sourcing, interviewing, and hiring process. The staffing agency has access to a large pool of talent and knows exactly how to position the benefits of working for a global tech company.
Once the engineering staffing agency has worked with your business, it’s better acquainted with the company culture. That makes it easier to source talent who will be a good fit in the future.
In addition, the agency knows how to put together a competitive salary and benefits package that’s likely to attract top talent without too many negotiations.
Tech startups not only need world-class engineering talent—they need that talent to be able to roll with the punches of a startup. Typically, startups in the tech space are agile and ready to change directions when needed. This means that their employees must be entrepreneurial and nimble enough to meet the high pace of change at a startup.
A good engineering staffing agency knows what traits to look for in candidates for a startup. They know how to administer personality and skills tests to determine if a candidate possesses the right characteristics and expertise to help drive the startup to the next level.
The agency also understands what type of remuneration and benefits package to put together to attract that talent. While a startup might not have the same financial resources as a tech giant, it can offer other competitive benefits that top engineering talent value.
For example, a startup could offer remote work arrangements, unlimited paid time off, the opportunity to work with some of the most brilliant minds in the field, and stock options.
On top of that, an engineering staffing agency knows how to communicate a startup’s mission statement in a manner that appeals to top engineering talent. It can also explain how the company culture offers more room for collaboration, as well as the opportunity to build a team and product from the ground up. Many engineers are attracted by these factors.
To get started with an engineering staffing partner, first, make a list of all the skills and characteristics you’re looking for in a candidate.
You should also make a note of what you can offer prospective employees. Think of things like interesting projects, a collaborative work environment, remote and/or flexible work arrangements, and access to continued education. Then determine exactly how much remuneration and what types of benefits you can offer.
To select an engineering staffing partner, find out what its track record is like. Have they placed talent for a company like yours before—regardless of whether you’re a global tech firm or a startup? Request references, and follow up with those earlier clients to find out what their experience was like.
It’s important to know how the staffing agency sources talent. Do they source both active and passive candidates? Are they able to search beyond your immediate geography for more dispersed and diverse talent? Do they know how to approach candidates on LinkedIn and Reddit to pique their interest?
Find out what recruitment methods the agency uses. Do they leverage video interviewing, personality assessments, and skills tests? At what point in the process will they hand the interviews off to your people? Do they negotiate remuneration, or do they present the final offer in one go?
When you’re satisfied that the agency has the resources and knowledge to do a good job, negotiate payment with them and finalize the deal. Then they can get to work finding your new talent while you focus on your core business.
At OSI Engineering, we aren’t recruiters who know a bit about the tech industry. We’re all former engineers and other tech workers who understand the recruitment space. We can advise you on how to attract the types of talent you’re looking for—and we can ensure the interview and negotiation process go quickly and smoothly. Get in touch with an expert!