Recruiting Blog

Traffic Signal Design Engineer | High Demand | Short Supply

Traffic Signal Design engineer jobs high demand short supply
Traffic Signal Design engineers are in extremely high demand today. The catalyst is highway, tollway, transportation, structural and civil engineering projects are continuing at break net speed despite COVID-19.

Bridges, streets, parking lots, schools, tollways, highways, Phase I and II design engineering and ADA (Americans With Disabilities) transportation engineering projects are being funded. That is why most ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) members are increasing their technical, engineering, scientific and R&D (research and development) job recruiting.

This is particularly true in the field of traffic signal design. An engineer with a PE (Professional Engineer) license who is experienced with traffic impact studies, traffic signal design and traffic signal coordination can quickly write their own ticket to a better job!

Specifically, knowledge of intersection capacity analysis, traffic signal warrant analysis, traffic engineering investigations and studies. Also, preparing traffic signal plans for signalized intersections and knowledge of all technical aspects of the signal coordination and timing projects including data collection, data analysis and timing plan development.

Additionally, understanding traffic operations and safety for streets and intersections and proper traffic signal equipment selection and timing improvements. Correspondingly, preparing technical reports addressing traffic impacts, traffic modeling and simulation, intersection control, crash analysis, gap analysis, and parking.

These are all critical components to ensure that your municipal traffic studies group runs smoothly. These functions impact the traffic operations and safety for all streets and intersections as well as traffic and geometrics reviews for private developments and capital roadway projects.

Three Tips For Recruiting Traffic Signal Design Engineers

Because traffic signal design engineers are in very high demand and extremely short supply, our recruitment firm recommends being very creative and aggressive during your staffing efforts. For example, our executive search firm currently has several open recruiting assignments for this type of transportation engineer talent. Here are three recruiting tips we have used to facilitate our recruitment efforts.

Tip 1 Develop A Traffic Signal Design Candidate Pipeline

In order to proactively recruit traffic signal design talent when you need it, you have to first have a pipeline of viable candidates in place.

This is where many civil engineering employers tend to struggle most.
As part of this process, employers should start by reviewing their branding and ensuring that they’ve positioned themselves as a viable place for engineers and technical talent to work.

Next, identify viable areas to source traffic signal design candidates for your pipeline. This can include a) identifying competitors b) uncovering viable engineering and technical candidates within those competitors c) contributing to ASCE and related engineering blogs and magazines to get noticed by the candidates you seek and d) connecting to LinkedIn candidates who may become future candidates for you.

Then even if a valued traffic signal design recruit turns your job offer down, you will have many ready replacements.

Tip 2 Robust Engineering and Technical Interviewing Assessment

Your next step is to decide how to optimally assess traffic signal design candidate. Include your engineering and technical team and have them lead the interviewing process.

Your staffing managers need to ask candidates the right questions to best determine if they meet your hiring needs. That is the essence of several of my 12 Commandments of Recruiting steps, especially the first Commandment – the pie chart question.

Ask your candidates: “Please break down what you did on a regular basis by a pie chart illustration.”

For example, an interview response may be spending 60% of their time on traffic studies, 30% on intersection capacity analysis and 10% using MicroStation CAD .

Repeat this question for any critical engineering and technical criteria.

The benefit of the pie chart question is it forces candidates to more precisely identify what they actually did on a regular basis. This will help you to greatly streamline your engineering and technical recruiting process and reduce your staffing errors.

Tip 3 Competitive Salaries Only Get You So Far

After you have successfully developed a candidate pipeline and formulated your interview assessment process, you now must uncover what salaries and compensation to offer potential traffic signal design employees to entice them to join your organization. Additionally, you need to discover creative ways to compete against civil and structural engineering giants in your field that have deeper pockets.
Also, be cognizant that these highly valued job candidates may be afraid of making an employment change during these uncertain times. As a result, make things as easy as possible for them. Uncover and address their fears. Remember that great salaries are not enough during these uncertain times.

You must research and understand what interesting problems your transportation engineering talent wish to solve and develop a learning path to help them solve those problems.

Conducting proper research to uncover all this valuable information and then addressing your job candidate’s needs will help you to better compete against civil and structural engineering giants during your engineering recruiting process.

This sums up my three tips for better recruiting traffic signal design talent for your organization. These tips will also help you when recruiting most technical, engineering, scientific, R&D (research and development), IT (information technology) and manufacturing technology talent. To the extent that you go the extra mile in your recruitment efforts, you will win the war for this talent. My three engineering recruiting tips can help.

Call me today at 312-944-4000 to discuss how we can assist with this and your other R&D, engineering, scientific, technical, IT and manufacturing recruitment efforts in the highly competitive fields of like transportation engineering. Or click here for my full contact information.


2 Comments

Daniel R. Malinowski. P.E.

September 1, 2020 at 11:36 am

This is an excellent article that provides great tips on taking proactive steps to expand our short term and long term strategies as we recruit Traffic Signal Design professionals to join our firm at Willett, Hofmann & Associates. WHA has an excellent reputation for technical skills and great work environment. But, I have been involved in other organizations that also have great reputations and struggle to attract candidates with the “can-do” attitude needed to grow the organization. Whether you are a Professional services firm or a Technical Services firm or even a Not-for-Profit – every organization needs to be proactive in their preparations for recruiting top quality talent. This is especially true in competitive fields such as Traffic Signal Design and Transportation Engineering.

    Scott

    September 1, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    Dan,
    I greatly appreciate your insights on recruiting jobs in Traffic Signal Design. Traffic Engineers and Transportation Engineering professionals have proven to be in super high demand and limited supply especially with COVID-19. However, rest assured that our jobs recruitment team will do everything possible to meet your talent needs!

    Thanks,

    -Scott

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