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Recruiting Blog

Engineering Recruiting Harder With Amazon’s HQ2 | 3 Job Tips

Amazon 2 new headquarters will make technical scientific and engineering recruiting more difficult as more employers recruit engineer, scientist, IT (Information technology), R&D (research and development) and manufacturing technology talent to fill more jobs
Engineering recruiting is already very difficult for most employers. Now engineer, scientist and technology job recruitment will be nearly impossible with Amazon's planned split of their second headquarters into two locations! I therefore offer some tips to enhance your engineering recruiting results.

As I shared previously, the U.S. Labor Department confirmed the difficulty of staffing with their most recent figures of 7.136 million unfilled jobs. Again, this is the first time in history employers surpassed reporting they had seven million unfilled positions!

Many technical, engineering, scientific, information technical (IT) and research and development (R&D) jobs will become near impossible to recruit for with Amazon now planning twin eastern regional headquarters. Especially since Amazon plans to recruit 25,000 staff for each of these two locations.

As announced, the new locations are Long Island City in Queens, New York and Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia just outside of Washington. Amazon made this strategic location decision in its plan to pursue more defense and intelligence sector deals. The availability of trained workers, transportation links and other infrastructure were central to their plans and final decisions.

I therefore forecast that talent battles will become very bloody in these two geographic areas! Especially for recruiting technical talent, scientists and engineers around the two new co-headquarters.

Recruiting ‘War For Talent’ Intensifying With Amazon Plans

Your recruiting efforts just worsened exponentially if you are an employer located near one of Amazon’s two new co-headquarters. This is already the case because defense companies near Crystal City, Virginia presently face a tough job market.

Critical positions are currently in short supply and high demand in northern Virginia. These vacancies include Software Engineers, Computer Systems Analysts, Network/Computer Systems Administrators and Computer/Information Systems Managers, Also included are Information Security Analysts, Computer Network Architects, Operations Research Analysts, Statisticians as well as Physicist and Atmospheric/Space Scientists

Silicon Valley giants like Facebook and Google parent Alphabet are also vying for defense and government contracts. This just adds to the tumult. Therefore, if you are in the area you must vastly improve your recruitment efforts to increase your chances of hiring engineers, scientists or other technical talent.

3 Recruiting Tips To Help You Combat Amazon’s Recruiting Efforts

Three tips can increase the success of your recruitment efforts. As I shared in a previous article, they are:

First, I recommend focusing on job Needs NOT Wants. This is especially true when recruiting an engineer, scientist or technical candidate as those mentioned above.

Three steps can help you focus on needs versus wants, including:
1. Studying current, successful employees’ jobs tasks and formulating them into a pie chart. For example, a Software Engineer may spend: a) 30% of their time on JavaScript programming b) 30% on Python programming c) 20% on Ruby on Rails and d) 20% on software debugging.
2. Focusing job descriptions only on those job skills most relevant to job success and what your pie chart uncovered - what you actually NEED.
3. Setting realistic goals and expectations. For example, don’t expect 10 years Software engineering experience when a candidate with a recent B.S.E.E. degree plus one or two software internships can successfully perform your job.

Second, surveying your company to see how it compares to your competitors. Research what your competition does to recruit key employees such as engineers. Consider salaries, benefits and unique perks competitors offer versus your offerings. How do they differ from your own recruiting efforts? What staffing improvements should you make?

Third, providing systems to anonymously survey your internal employees. Your own employees can provide a wealth of knowledge on what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. Encourage your employees to use these systems.

You may also provide rewards for best practices resulting in major cost savings for your company. Design the system so all employees can feel free to contribute without fear of retribution from managers. Your findings can aid in your recruitment process.

Remember, we are already in a ‘War For Talent’ for many key engineers, scientists and technical employees. Amazon’s two new co-headquarters only intensifies that recruiting battle. I have shared these three tips to help you improve your overall recruiting efforts especially for technology talent vacancies.

Need professional assistance? Feel free to contact me today at 312-944-4000 to discuss your goals in recruiting key engineer, scientist or other technical personnel. Or click here for my full contact information.


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