Your organization probably needs more engineering talent more often than just about everything else combined. Engineers are simply in high demand, and there never seems to be enough of them. Even when there are enough, the quality of the talent you can attract to your organization is key to keeping you on top of your competition.
In such a competitive arena, how do you make sure you stand out and capture the attention of the best talent on the market? Often times that even means pulling them away from a job where they’re already well taken care of with the perks you might think to offer them yourself. Here are a few pointers to remember for this undertaking:
Think beyond the ordinary
A large part of knowing what to do is knowing what NOT to do. And the first step to attracting top tier talent in any highly competitive market is knowing what candidates are being offered on a daily basis from other companies – and then doing something completely different.
Everyone is offering engineers a competitive salary, so it’s not that big of a selling point. The same goes for catered meals and free snacks around the office. These are ordinary benefits for most engineers these days. If you do mention them in job descriptions and interviews, make sure it comes as more of an afterthought, a confirmation that, yes, they won’t be losing what they would get pretty much everywhere else.
Focus on perks that engineers are actually interested in
An in-office game room probably isn’t a serious perk for a talented engineer. It might make your organization look hip, and no one said it’s a bad thing to have, but professionals come to work in order to work. Most would rather put in several solid hours so they can go home and use their free time in other ways.
What’s the lesson? Don’t emphasize perks just because they sound like perks. Think about what will actually provide value to engineers. Then, during the recruitment process, take some time to understand the needs and wants of individual candidates so you can make them relevant offers.
Highlight less-tangible qualities
Now it’s time to talk about what engineers might actually be attracted to in a company. The true professionals you want to bring into your organization will probably be less interested in tangible perks like food or transportation. Think more along the lines of opportunities to move up in the company, learn new things, network, travel and accomplish something meaningful.
In short, engineers are looking for the opportunity to improve themselves. If you can find a way to excite them about what you do and make it clear that the environment in your organization will foster their own growth in the process, you’ll make significant progress in terms of the kind of talent you attract.
Everyone has their dream job at a dream company, and if a potential candidate has never heard of your company before, a position with you is unlikely to be it. One of the best ways to help yourself is to build up a persona as an employer that will have great engineers seeking you out. At the very least, you want them to be aware of you and have a positive impression of you as a potential employer.
How do you do this? One way is to make sure everyone gets a good candidate experience with your organization. Even those who don’t get the job will spread the word about you. But you can also get active in the engineering community online with blogs, podcasts and the like, offering professionals in the industry something of value that will make them aware of who you are and get them excited about what you do. You can also engage with engineers in the real world through conferences and other events. Make your brand visible through sponsorships, speakers and direct engagement.
One thing is for sure: you shouldn’t be settling. Business is all about growth, development and improvement. Whether you’re replacing an engineer who left your organization or simply expanding your operations, you want to make sure you’re always in the right position to onboard the very best talent you can – talent that will help propel you even further forward toward success.
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more changeable, more engaged and better equipped for creating a better future.