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Employment A Mixed Bag; Engineering And Technical Recruitment Remains Robust!

February 5th, 2016

Engineering and technical jobs remain strong

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported this morning that January’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since November 2007 at 4.9%! Please go to http://stats.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm for the full report from BLS.

Technical And Engineering Recruitment Remains Strong

Recruitment of top technical talent is increasing. Many online advertisements exist for engineering and technical vacancies. Not only our engineering recruiters at Strategic Search Corporation, but also many technical recruiters we have surveyed over the past 8 months confirm this.

Additionally, a recent salary survey by the technical recruitment site Dice confirmed that technical professionals saw their largest ever salary increases last year with seven new metro areas reporting six-figures for the first time in the history of their annual salary survey!

This has prompted many engineering and technical staffing and search firms to invent creative, new recruitment strategies to better attract key talent. This has included electronics engineers and mechanical engineers as well as information technology, quality assurance, construction, computer, Project Manager professionals. In general, most engineering, technical, manufacturing and science talent remains in short supply with job vacancies far exceeding viable candidates regardless of job function!

Jobs Report Was A Mixed Bag

The euphoria of engineering and technical recruitment has not carried over to macro level employment. On the positive side this was the 64th straight month of jobs creation. Furthermore, wage gains accelerated last month. The average hourly earnings of all private-sector workers grew by 12 cents in January to $25.39. Wages rose 2.5% in January from a year earlier.

However, only 151,000 new jobs were created. Most economists expected a rise by 185,000 jobs. Moreover, a broad measure of unemployment that includes Americans stuck in part-time jobs or too discouraged to work held steady at 9.9% in January, where it has been since November.

Some Areas Of Long Term Concern

Some reports in recent weeks suggest the U.S. economy lost steam in recent months amid recent stock-market turmoil and economic weakness abroad, including plummeting oil prices and a slowdown in China.

Also Friday, the Labor Department released its annual revision of overall employment in the U.S. It showed the U.S. had 206,000 fewer jobs in March 2015 than previously estimated.

Top Technical recruiter and Engineering Recruiter

The State of Engineering and Technical Recruiting for 2016

January 23rd, 2016
State of Technical And Engineering Job Market

My interview on WGN Radio’s “Opening Bell” on January 11, 2016

This is a summary of my interview with Steve Grzanich, host of WGN Radio’s Opening Bell, on Monday, January 11, 2016. We discussed the U.S. Labor Department’s first job figures for 2016. These provide a yearly outlook for jobs creation and technical and engineering recruiting, which my technical recruitment firm specializes in. Included are my comments and suggestions and an unedited audio clip of our discussion including many interesting nuggets that time did not permit to be included on the air. I hope you enjoy it.

State Of Technical And Engineering Jobs

In my fields of technical recruiting and engineering recruiting, the unemployment rate is a lot better what the U.S. Labor Department announced on Friday, January 8, 2016. They reported that overall employment increased by 292,000 jobs and the overall unemployment rate remained steady at 5%, which continued to be the lowest figure since April 2008. However, technology recruitment is doing a lot better with the unemployment rate for engineers at almost zero!

Can We Catch Up In Science, Engineering And Technical Fields?

I was asked if it was too late to catch up in science, engineering and technical fields? I shared a positive outlook for our future technical endeavors including that there is always time to catch up. If you look back at our history, we weren’t the first in space. The Russians beat us, but we caught up and passed them up. At the beginning of World War II we weren’t the premier military power, but we caught up because of innovation. So we can catch up to the rest of the world in research and development, scientific, engineering and technical endeavors, but it is going to take a lot of effort including a renewed focus on S.T.E.M. education.

The Overall Strength Of Our Economy?

I also shared that the Labor Department figures point to overall strength of our economy with the 63rd straight month of jobs creation. Many sectors showed jobs growth including: a) Professional and Business Services which added 72,000 new jobs b) Healthcare employment rose again with 39,000 jobs c) Food Services and Drinking Places added 37,000 jobs and d) Construction added people for the 3rd straight month at 45,000 new jobs.

Three Fields In High Demand?

As proof of technical and engineering employment vacancies, I shared three areas that are hampering technical and engineering recruitment efforts due to short supply and high demand are:

1.     In the confectionary industry, maintenance mechanics with high-speed packaging and filling equipment experience including Hayssen equipment.

2.     In the construction industry electrical engineers and Project Managers with commercial construction and renovation experience.

3.     Overall healthcare continues to grow including nurses and other healthcare professionals.

Are These Unemployment Figures Real?

Additionally, I was asked if 5% is the real overall unemployment rate? I said that it was not. If you add in figures for both: a) those who are involuntarily working part-time and b) those who have given up looking for work (and are not even counted in the BLS figures) then the real unemployment is almost double or 9.9%.”

In addition, I was asked if the figure of 93 million people being out of work, looking for work and not counted by the unemployment rate was an accurate figure?  I shared that it wasn’t because if you look at the recent figures from the BLS the total unemployment figures were only 15,700,000. That breaks down into: a) 7,900,000 unemployed b) 6,000,000 involuntarily working part-time and c) 1,800,000 who have given up looking. As a result, I think that the BLS figures of 15,700,000 are a bit low, but the figure of 93,000,000 unemployed seems very, very, very high.

Job Tips

I also offered a few suggestions for job seekers including the mantras:

1.     Resumes don’t get you hired, you do. Instead, focus on networking to generate interviews. There are two types of networking: a) traditional, which is telling everyone you know you are looking for jobs and b) Social media networking, which is the high technology version of networking, leveraging social media, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to generate interviews.

2.     Numbers, numbers, numbers. This means to seed your resume and your presentations with a lot of quantitative information. This can include: a) any ways you made money for past employers b) any ways you saved money for past employers or c) any awards or patents.

To help with networking, I shared the 30-second elevator pitch, which is an excellent tool to help you network. During this pitch you want to convey three things: 1) who you are? 2) What you are looking for and 3) your 2-3 greatest strengths. For example, if you are a technical candidate pursuing a technology job advertisement within a software engineering firm, you want to emphasize impact your software coding had on your past employer.

Employment Among Recent College Grads?

I was asked why recent college graduates having a tough time landing a job?  I shared that this directly relates to their school choices and the lack of good trade schools. For example, there is a shortage of good maintenance mechanics and building engineers.

Students and schools focus on liberal arts and pre-law training instead of S.T.E.M. skills. Our students rank very low worldwide in science, technology, engineering and math, which will adversely impact future innovation.

What are your findings? Please leave your comment below and I will reply.

Top Technical recruiter and Engineering Recruiter

Companies Filling Technical Or Engineering Jobs In Trouble

January 8th, 2016

U.S. Department of Labor Flag

The monthly Labor Department report released on Friday confirms our engineering recruiters’ findings over the past 8 months. Their figures showed 292,000 net new jobs created in December and an unemployment rate remaining steady at 5%. This is consistent with our surveys of employment opportunities among engineering candidates, other engineering staffing firms and engineering recruiters within client companies. All have pointed to increased engineering and technology job openings.

Technical and engineering vacancies are on the rise. Increased demand on R&D (Research & Development), engineering, technical and scientific aspects of all products, processes, operations and projects, has resulted in a new technical or engineering job advertisement posted every minute! This has put the technical or engineering candidate in the driver’s seat with more technical and engineering vacancies than good candidates.

The implication to companies looking to recruit engineering and technical talent is you need to take extraordinary steps to fill job vacancies. This is the case because both: a) the official unemployment rate is at its lowest level since April 2008 and b) the unofficial engineering unemployment rate is near zero!

For more details on the engineering market, please go to our engineering recruitment information page.

Above Economist’s Expectations

Many economists expected payrolls to rise by 210,000. For example, Beth Ann Bovino, economist at Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, said, “The jobs figures stand in sharp contrast to the negative economic news emanating from China. People are finding jobs and getting paid more for them.”

Labor Department Revisions Show Even More Jobs

Moreover, Labor Department revisions showed additional jobs creation. For example, 50,000 more jobs created in October and November than previously estimated. November’s payroll gain of 252,000 was revised from an initially reported 211,000. October’s gain was raised to 307,000 from a previously estimated 298,000. This resulted in the fourth quarter being the best three-month stretch of job creation in 2015.

For all of 2015, the economy added an average of 221,000 jobs a month. That’s a slowdown from the 260,000 averaged in 2014, but still the second-best year for job creation since 1999.

Most of U.S. employment gains last year occurred in private service industries. Those jobs, including positions in health care, retail and professional services, tend to be more shielded from international pressures like the problems in China.

Jobs Creation Was Wide Spread

Professional and business services led last month’s job creation, adding 73,000 jobs. Construction jobs increased for the third straight month with 45,000 and also rose by 263,000 for all of 2015. Employment also grew in health care, food services and drinking places and on all levels of government. Retailers added a seasonally adjusted 4,300 jobs, a slowdown from November’s gain of 32,000.

Mining and Manufacturing Were Hurt

Inexpensive energy continues to hurt the U.S. mining industry, which lost another 8,000 in December and the industry has posted job losses every month since December 2014. The mining industry, including support services, shed nearly 130,000 jobs last year.

Manufacturing, a sector feeling the brunt of an export slowdown tied to a stronger dollar, added 35,000 jobs during 2015 after adding more than 200,000 in 2014.

The labor force expanded in December. The labor-force participation rate rose 62.6% last month from 62.5% in November, though it remains near a 40-year low. An expanding labor force could suggest that the unemployment rate’s decline this year is prompting some Americans on the sidelines to search for jobs.

Unfortunately, Macro Level Unemployment Remains at 9.9%

Unlike the engineering and technology fields our technical recruitment firm covers, the broader job market was not as rosy. If you include Americans stuck in part-time jobs or too discouraged to look for work stayed at 9.9% in December. This 15,700,000 figure includes: a) 7,900,000 unemployed (as reported by the Labor Department) b) 1,800,000 who have given up looking and are not counted and c) 6,000,000 who are involuntarily working part-time when they want to find a full time job.

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11 Signs To Spot A Bad Recruiter

January 1st, 2016

Happy 2016! With the new year upon us and many companies hiring again, a prudent job seeker’s New Year’s resolutions should include preparing for a job change. One avenue that can assist you is having a professional, executive recruiter in your corner. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad recruiters.

Eleven Signs Can Help You Spot A Bad Recruiter

11 Signs Of A Bad Recruiter

30 Years Of Technical Recruiting Experience Has Provided 11 Recruiter Red Flags

Though most of my 30 years staffing experience has focused upon technical recruiting and engineering recruiting, there are 11 universal signs that can help you uncover a bad recruiter. These signals transcend my personal focus on technical recruitment and engineering recruitment and apply to any staffing situation. Especially during your first call with a recruiter, here are eleven red flags to watch for:

1.    The recruiter calling you about a position that has nothing to do with your career path just because they spotted a few keywords in your resume. One technology candidate of mine shared, “one engineering recruitment firm repeatedly called and e-mailed me about jobs for different software gigs that have zero connection to my own experience.”

2.   The recruiter asking you questions that you clearly and definitively answered in your resume. For example, your resume clearly stating where you went to school, but the recruiter (not bothering to look) asking what school you attended?

3.   The recruiter asking you unrelated questions. For example, if you are an engineering candidate and the job vacancies are for either automation, design, process, manufacturing, or industrial engineering related, the recruiter asking you about your typing skills. This has nothing to do with the talent requirement and is a sign of a poor recruiter.

4.   Being a poor listener. Unfortunately, many recruiters just like to hear themselves talk. This is a sign of a poor recruiter. Instead, I have instructed all of my engineering recruiters and technical recruiters to listen carefully to a job candidate’s answers. These responses dictate whether this candidate will fit a given job vacancy or not. This skill also better meets your needs.

5.   The recruiter talking to you in a very unprofessional way. This can include poor grammar, a lot of slangs or even profanity. These are all signs of an incompetent recruiter.

6.   The recruiter asking for references early in your conversation. (Caveat: Also, do not put your references on your resume). This faux pas is not only improper, but also, if they check your references without your written approval, can be considered illegal.

7.   Lack of earnestness. The recruiter interviewing you for a position that they have already decided not to present you for. This is usually done to fill interview quotas at their staffing agency.

8.   Unwillingness to communicate with you. This can take the form of dismissiveness. For example, you are well qualified for a key technical position, but they simply don’t even bother to try and arrange your interview. Additionally, if you’ve made it past the initial screening phase, but the recruiter is not in regular contact with you. As a rule of thumb, our technical recruiters and engineering recruiters usually contact our candidates at least weekly while they are still under consideration for the hiring process.

9.   The recruiter not working in mutual interest. This one is subtler and a little difficult to pick-up on, but the recruiter should be working to help both you and the company. If they don’t seem like they are, they probably aren’t.

10.  The recruiter not expressing an interest in your motivations, personal situation or what you are genuinely looking for in your new role.

11.  The recruiter not being current on recruiting trends. For example, I usually produce data on engineering recruiting or technical recruiting trends on my blog on a weekly basis.

As a result, you want to find someone who is honest, dependable, well connected, and communicative. Learn what their experiences are and which client companies they are going to recommend you for! Additionally, ask your friends and colleagues who have used recruiters in the past. These will all help you to avoid a bad recruiter who will be a waste of your time.

What are your thoughts?

5 U.S. Census Bureau Holiday Figures Confirm Improved Engineering Recruiting in 2016

December 25th, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at the technical and engineering recruiting firm Strategic Search Corporation.

Five U.S. Census Bureau Figures Confirm Improved Engineering Recruiting

On this special day, I wanted to share five key holiday-related facts and figures from the U.S. Census Bureau that point to continued improvement in engineering employment in 2016. Though the most recent figures from the U.S. Census Bureau are from 2014, surveys of other technical recruitment and engineering recruitment agencies by my staff of engineering recruiters and technical recruiters confirm that 2015 employment and business figures are even more robust than in 2014!

First: $24.5 billion

This is the estimated retail sales by the nation’s department stores (including leased departments) in December 2014, which is the last year available. This represents an estimated 41.2 percent jump from the previous month when retail sales were estimated at $17.3 billion. No other estimated month-to-month increase in department store sales last year was as large. Please go to the U.S. Census Bureau Monthly Retail Trade Survey link for more details.

Second: 14.2%

This is the estimated percentage of total 2014 sales for department stores (including leased departments) in December. For jewelry stores, the estimated percentage was 18.2 percent. Please go to the U.S. Census Bureau Monthly Retail Trade link for more details.

Third: 21.7%

This is the estimated growth in inventories by our nation’s department stores (excluding leased departments) from Aug. 31 to Nov. 30, 2014. Please go to the U.S. Census Bureau Monthly Retail Trade Survey link for more details.

Fourth: $48.3 billion

This is the estimated value of retail sales by electronic shopping and mail-order houses in December 2014, which was the highest estimated total for any month last year. Please go to the U.S. Census Bureau Monthly Retail Trade Survey link for more details.

Fifth: 31,112

This is the number of electronic shopping and mail-order houses in business in 2013, which is the latest figure available. These businesses, which employed 383,066 workers in the pay period including March 12, are a popular source of holiday gifts. Please go to the U.S. Census Bureau 2013 County Business Patterns link for more details.

As a result, it is our conclusion that engineering jobs will be even more plentiful in 2016. Technology continues to be an engine to drive our economy. As a result, the search for engineering talent will continue to grow. This can be confirmed by search for key words “job advertisement” AND “engineer” which will net a plethora of engineering job vacancies. These are from both engineering staffing agencies like Adecco as well as client companies directly looking to secure key engineering talent for their R&D (Research & Development), quality assurance, process, science, architecture, IT (Information Technology), development, health care, manufacturing, construction, operations, mechanical and electrical projects.

Holiday CardBusiness1

Labor Department Job Report: 211,000 New Positions Created; Engineering and Technical Talent In Short Supply

December 4th, 2015

DOL

Labor Department November Job Report

The BLS job report on Friday morning said that the U.S. economy had another month of robust job growth in November, by increasing a seasonally adjusted 211,000 in November. This marked America’s 62nd straight month of jobs creation.

The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5%, reflecting an expansion in the labor force as more Americans came off the sidelines and began searching for jobs. However, this unemployment figure still is the lowest since April 2008.

The Labor Department also reported jobs revisions for the past two months with 35,000 additional jobs over what was previously estimated. This raised October’s employment gains by 27,000 to 298,000 from the initially reported 271,000. This upward revision resulted in October being the strongest month of job creation this year. Also, September’s employment was raised 8,000 jobs to 145,000 from the initially reported 137,000 jobs created.

November’s solid employment figure lifted the average monthly jobs gain to 218,000 for the past three months, which is up slightly from the solid pace over the past year.

Real Unemployment At 9.9%

Unfortunately, a broader measure of unemployment that includes both: a) 6,100,000 Americans who are involuntarily working part-time jobs and b) 1,700,000 workers who are too discouraged to look for work was up slightly in November to 9.9%.

Additionally, Friday’s jobs report suggested some of the workers who had previously given up looking for work might be starting to come back into the workforce. The labor-force participation rose to 62.5% last month, from 62.4% in October. Still, the share of Americans looking for work remains near a 40-year low.

Proof That Technical And Engineering Talent In Short Supply And High Demand

Job growth was wide spread among a range of industries in November. For example, the sector of Professional and Technical Services rose by 28,000 jobs. This includes employment in the research and development (R&D), technical, engineering, scientific and information technology (IT) areas both our engineering recruiting and technical recruiting divisions cover. Additionally, over the past year, the professional and technical services sector has added 298,000 jobs. This confirms what our surveys of other engineering recruiters, technical recruiters, R&D recruiters, IT recruiters, scientific recruiters and manufacturing recruiters have been reporting over the past eight months. Namely, that demand for technical and engineering talent far exceeds the supply!

The only two major sectors that reported losses were: 1) The mining sector, which has been pummeled by low oil prices, fell by 11,000 last month, and has fallen for 11 straight months for a total of 123,000 lost jobs and 2) the Information sector, which includes motion pictures and sound recording, which fell by 12,000 jobs in November.

Improve Your Technical Recruiting By Hiring A Veteran

November 11th, 2015

The goal of most corporate management is hiring the best technical candidates to achieve company goals. Therefore, as a technical recruiter I am always trying to recruit the best technology talent for my client’s staffing needs. This includes recruiting development, process, automation, manufacturing, application, software, construction and civil engineers. Additionally, a cutting-edge specialist in audio signal processing, developer in Java or even a senior tech can be highly valued by a company’s recruitment teams that are seeking to improve their future technology prospects.

This Veterans Day November 11, 2015, is a day to reflect upon those who served our country and preserved our freedom. It is also a chance to share why hiring a veteran can improve your technical recruiting prospects.

Key Facts About Veterans Day

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary marking the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars. The day honors military veterans with parades and speeches across the nation. A national ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

Veterans Add Up To A Plentiful Talent Source

1.     19.3 million: The number of military veterans in the United States in 2014.

2.     1.7 million: veterans younger than 35.

3.     1.6 million: The number of female veterans in the United States in 2014.

4.     78.9%: non-Hispanic white

5.     11.4%: The percent of veterans in 2014 who were black.

6.     6.1%: The percent of veterans in 2014 who were Hispanic.

7.     Others: 1.5% Asian, 0.7 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.2 percent were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander and 1.2 percent were some other race.

Veterans Are Highly Educated

27.2% of veterans 25 years and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2014. In comparison, 30.3 percent of non-veterans had a bachelor’s degree or higher. Though this is a bit lower than non-vets, the wide range of both highly technical equipment currently used in the military combined with the diverse array of problems needed to be solved make veterans a wise choice for many technical recruitment requirements.

Veterans In America’s Workforce

As the most recent statistics indicate, there were 7 million veterans aged 18 to 64 years old in the labor force in 2014. Due to their wide range of military experiences, highly technical equipment now being used in the military and the extreme discipline required for military service, these vets are an integral part of the talent pool in general and technical recruitment in specific.  That is why you should seriously consider interviewing and hiring a veteran for your specific technical recruiting vacancies.  This will greatly improve your significantly improve both your professional and executive ranks now and in the future!

For more extensive statistics on the makeup of veterans please go to the U.S. Census link1

 

Employers added 271,000 jobs in October, Engineers Remain Scarce!

November 6th, 2015

2The Labor Department reported this morning that U.S. employers added jobs at their strongest pace this year last month. Nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 271,000 in October. Additionally, government revisions showed employers adding 12,000 more jobs in September and August than previously estimated.

The unemployment rate, which is obtained from a separate survey of U.S. households, fell slightly to 5.0% in October. This was its lowest reading since April 2008 and down from 5.1% the prior month. Many economists had predicted job growth would only rise by 183,000 in October, but they did correctly predict that the unemployment rate would fall to 5.0%. October’s vigorous employment growth and Labor Department revisions bring the average monthly job gains for the past three months to 187,000.

Wages Also Increasing Particularly Among Engineers

Wage growth showed signs of increasing. Average hourly earnings of private-sector workers rose last month by 9 cents to $25.20. From a year earlier, hourly wages have risen by 2.5%, up from the 2.0% average pace during the six-year expansion.

Anecdotally, our engineering recruitment division has found during the past 6 months that wage increases are particularly acute among engineers. As a result, it has been common for hiring companies to induce employment for their engineering talent vacancies with both: a) salary increases of over 10% and b) other perks (e.g. sign on bonuses)!

Employment Increases Centered on Professionals

Job growth in October was concentrated in the private sector, which added 268,000 jobs, while government payrolls grew by only 3,000.

Many of those jobs were in professional and business services, a sector that added 78,000 jobs in October, and a notable increase from an average of 52,000 per month over the prior 12 months. Administrative and support services accounted for 46,000 of the jobs added in this sector. The health-care sector continued its growth, adding 45,000 jobs in October to bring the total over the past year to 495,000.

Engineering Recruiting Particularly Robust

Both our engineering recruitment division and many other engineering recruiters we surveyed this morning have found that high quality engineers continue to be in high demand and short supply across many industries and job functions including mechanical, quality assurance, design, electronics, computer, architecture, construction, information technology (IT) and many other science and process related applications of engineers. This is confirmed by plentiful online advertisements for engineers on CareerBuilder, Indeed and other niche engineering job boards. Increasing technology projects in many fields have created many of these engineering vacancies. Unfortunately, engineering resumes are in short supply.

The surge in engineering recruitment over the past several months has caused stress for company management teams, internal technical and engineering recruiters and external services such as engineering and technical staffing firms. All have had to become more aggressive in their search for high quality engineers and technology professionals. As a result, one can no longer just place an advertisement and hope a lot of engineering talent will respond. Instead, new techniques need to be applied in the search for engineers to fill your engineering staffing vacancies.  Then when a good engineer is uncovered, one needs to provide substantial rewards to induce them to fill your employment vacancy.

What are your findings?

Improving Your Technical And Engineering Recruitment With The “Mirror” Question

October 28th, 2015

Engineering and technical jobs are the lifeblood of most engineering recruiting and technical recruiting firms. Technology and engineering breakthroughs are also the essence of what drives marketplace success for both startups and established companies. As a result, the entire technical and engineering talent recruitment process needs to be precisely planned. To that end, it is essential that top management get involved early on. This should begin with the technical or engineering job description. Then progress to the design of the job application procedure, including how a candidate is asked to submit their resume. Followed by oversight of the entire interview process. Lastly, what salary the candidate is offered and final employment specifics.

Upper Manage Needs To Be More Involved

Unfortunately, few companies invest the necessary time and resources to make the technical and engineering recruitment process function smoothly. If much time is spent, it is usually on researching either: a) recruitment advertisement options or b) salary and benefits. Other parts of the technical and engineering staffing process are often overlooked. For example, rarely is upper management involved in the strategic planning of the interviewing process. That is why many executive recruiters we have polled recently have found that technical and engineering talent vacancies are lasting longer in 2015 than at any time since 2001! This is not only the case in Chicago where are headquarters are based, but also for many of our clients worldwide!

Mirror Question Can Help Improve Recruitment Process

All the mistakes of the engineering recruitment or technical recruitment process cannot be cured with one suggestion. However, one technique can significantly improve your interview process. As I have shared in the past, open-ended questions tend to elicit a lot more information from technical and engineering candidates during the interview. One such question is the Mirror Question (click on #7 below). Let me demonstrate this by an example. Let’s say that: a) you are interviewing a candidate b) you ask this job candidate who their best friend is and c) the candidate’s response is Joe. Then you might ask them, “If I were to ask Joe what type of person you are, what would they tell me?” Do you see what I did?

My over twenty-five years of recruiting experience demonstrates that most candidates will try hard to “mirror” that person’s actual response (e.g. Joe’s response). You can also plug in a wide range of people into the mirror question including past employers and co-workers. Regardless of whom you plug in to this interview question, this job candidate’s answers will tend to a lot more truthful. This will help you save time and money during your interview process. So remember to employ the mirror question during your technical and engineering job interviews.

What technical and engineering recruiting tips have worked well for you?

To learn how Strategic Search Corporation can help you to improve either: 1) your technical recruiting process, please go to our technical recruitment informational page  or 2) your engineering recruiting process, please go our engineering recruitment informational page.

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Technical Talent Recruitment Continues To Expand

October 2nd, 2015

3The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning that the U.S. economy had its second straight month of less than 200,000 jobs created at only 142,000 in September. These consecutive months ended a streak of 16 out of 17 months where 200,000 net, new jobs were created. Many economists expected payrolls to rise by 200,000 and the jobless rate to remain 5.1%.

The job-market slowdown appears to be driven by factors tied to weakness in the global economy rather than weakness within the U.S. Those factors include a strong dollar and an economic slowdown in China, which have hurt demand for U.S. exports and might be damaging business confidence.

Technical Engineering Recruitment Growing

On a bright note, the September jobs numbers marked the 60th consecutive month of job growth, which is an all-time record! The longest stretch on record. Additionally, the jobs gains occurred were across many sectors including:

  1. Professional & Technical Services, which rose by 31,000, jobs in September and has as risen 45,000 per month in 2015.
  2. Health Care employment rose by 34,000 jobs.
  3. Retail Trade added 24,000 jobs.
  4. Food Services and Drinking Places added 21,000 jobs as well as 349,000 over the year.

Within all sectors there has been a major increase in technical recruiting. As more industries push to automate, the need for increased technical staffing is paramount. This includes R&D (research & development), scientific, engineering, IT (Information Technology) and all sorts of technical talent from service to manufacturing fields. For example, software engineering hiring is at an all-time high. Other technology talent is also in high demand and short supply.

This has pushed companies seeking to recruit key technical talent to try new techniques to try to secure this scarce talent.

Technical Talent Recruiting Tool

One tool our technical recruitment staff recommends is our 6TH magical interview question, “Why did you join?” We recommend that your technical recruitment team ask this interview question for each job a candidate lists on their resume. This is a companion interview to our previously suggested technical recruitment interview question, “Why did you leave?”

This will help you gain even further insight into this job candidate’s mindset and prevent you from making an employment blunder. So remember to ask, “Why did you join” for each job a candidate held. This will help save you time and money during your technical talent search.

Please go to our 12 Commandments of Recruiting and click on #6 below my introductory video to view a short instructional video on this tool.

Can you recommend any other technical recruiting tools or techniques that have been helpful to you?