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Recruiting Blog

Recruiting Difficult For Engineers | Interview With Crain’s

Recruiting Engineering, scientific, IT, R&D or research and development and manufacturing talent getting tough. Aggressive engineer and scientist talent recruitment needed
Recruiting is getting increasingly more difficult in general. It is especially tough for an engineer, scientist, IT (information technology), R&D (research and development), technical or manufacturing engineering candidate. This was the essence of my recent interview with Chicago’s top business magazine, Crain’s Chicago Business. I offer some additional suggestions here that were not published in the article.

What I communicated about recruiting difficulties was confirmed by recent Labor Department figures. Those numbers reported 7.136 million unfilled job openings among U.S. employers in their most recent monthly figures. This means that businesses are fighting a ‘War for Talent’ to recruit many technology and engineering workers in an already very tight labor market.

The Crain's article focused on hiring new job candidates for the fastest growing companies in the Chicago area. Many of those companies are doubling their recruiting efforts. Two examples were a) a company grew from 100 to 200 employees and b) another grew from 350 to 600 employees. Both growth spurts occurred in only the last 12 months!

Additional Recruiting Tips Not Mentioned In Crain’s Article

In addition to what appeared in the article, I shared many other job recruitment tips in my conversation with the Crain’s reporter, which included:
1. Over the past 12 months companies have been engaged in a ‘War for Talent’. This is especially true for engineering, scientific and technical talent in cutting edge fields such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics.
2. Our 12 Commandments of Recruiting were therefore developed to help our client companies in their efforts to better recruit key talent.
3. Two trends we noticed at my recruiting firm are: a) hiring companies have had to get more creative in recruiting. They are using Temp To Perm (hiring a candidate on a temporary basis, trying them out and then permanently hiring them) conversions and b) more quickly and aggressively converting summer interns into full time employees following their internship.
4. In some fields the hiring demand has far outstripped the candidate supply. This trend includes some cutting engineering, scientific and technical fields such as robotics, VR (virtual reality) and AI.
5. Converting interns to full time is not as simple as merely recruiting talent. You must focus on candidate retention including creative ways to attract and retain talent. You should review how much you pay the candidates, the perks you offer as well as how you treat those interns.
6. We have been increasing our staffing consulting division. We are now advising clients on better ways to attract and retain key talent. This includes going the extra mile to recruit and retain those job candidates.
7. Companies are starting to realize that job posting on jobs boards like Indeed is not enough to attract candidates. Instead, we recommend a 3-step process to recruiting key talent. In particular it is important to focus on “needs” NOT “wants”, especially the long-term needs of your organization.
This was particularly important for our most recent recruiting assignment for a Project Manager of Civil Engineering. We had to spend a considerable amount of time with the owner to focus in on his particular job needs before we were able to move forward with candidate recruitment.
8. To uncover what your actual job needs are, I recommend asking, restating and asking again: “What are your top 10 jobs tasks?” This will help you uncover what you truly need as opposed to what you want.
9. I recommend a 360-degree analysis of your staffing organization to help you recruit talent more swiftly.
10. Raising wages is not enough. You need to take a macro level view of what your competition is doing with respect to staffing. You need to look at the total picture. For example: a) can the work be done remotely? And b) what are the benefits being offered?
11. One big problem is many employers are not in tune with the fact that job candidates are in the driver’s seat. The arrow is pointing in the candidate's direction.
12. Good HR (human resources) people are in short supply because many have gotten into other fields due to past personnel cutbacks.

Call me today at 312-944-4000 to discuss these and other strategies and tactics to help with your key engineer, scientist or other technical recruiting efforts. Or click here for my full contact information.


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