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How to Attract the Best Engineering and Manufacturing Candidates?

  • Publish Date: Posted 10 months ago

​Attracting the best engineers to work for you isn’t easy. Plus, with a UK-wide candidate shortage and a rising cost of living, employees are thinking twice before moving to a new company.

So what can you do to attract the best engineers? Well, the workforce now consists of five generations – Traditionalists (or The Silent Generation), Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Gen Z (or Zoomers). And because there are differences between generations, it’s worth considering what you can do to get them to respond to your efforts.

For example, research by Deloitte shows half of UK Millennials consider work-life flexibility “very important” when choosing a job. Plus, according to Accenture, 80% of Gen Z say they’ll relocate for the right opportunities. And Generation X—those born between 1964 and 1980, who make up a third of the workforce—often want work that allows them to be independent.

So, what can you do to get the best engineers from across the generations into your firm?

Clarify the Role

First of all, make sure you’re clear on the role you’re recruiting for. Engineering candidates want a defined scope and job purpose. But they also want to understand which stakeholders they’ll be working with and how it will impact their job.

The Best Engineers Want Interesting Problems to Solve

Engineers are often creative and intelligent people who want to understand the problems you face. And they want to come up with solutions for you. So, it’s worth assigning them projects they can get their teeth into.

Outline Progression Opportunities

As mentioned, Gen X, Millennial and Gen Z engineers place work-life balance and flexibility high on their agendas. But you also need to offer clear pathways for progression.

For example, research from Deloitte suggested that 40% of Millennials want to move on from a workplace within two years. But if you do show them a clear career path, it could incentivise them to join and to stay.

Define Your Brand Identity

Your company is a brand. Your brand values and company objectives are all things that reflect the type of working environment candidates can expect to be in. So, it’s worth summarizing your brand.

Define Your USPs

Every company has a set of USPs. But what are the USPs you can highlight to attract engineering talent? And don’t think about dress-down Fridays or after-work events – consider which company values stand you apart from the competition.

Know Your Competition

What do you do that your competitors don’t? And why is it better to work for you than for them? Establishing this can also help define your brand identity.

Determine Your Company Culture

Do you offer engineers plenty of space to focus and concentrate on work? A busy, dynamic and talkative workplace culture can work well in many firms. But many engineers need quiet spaces to concentrate. So, if you aren’t offering focused working spaces, try to find ways you can.

Be Clear on Benefits

Attracting the best engineers is easier with a great benefits package. And this could range from pension contributions to stocks and shares. But benefits can also be non-monetary, such as flexible working arrangements or remote working. So make it clear what you do and don’t offer as part of your package.

Offer Competitive Pay Rates

Of course, salary is a bottom-line deal maker/breaker for most employees. And they want to go to a company that offers good rates of pay. So, once you’ve researched what the competition is doing, use it to persuade the finance team that you need plenty of budget to attract the best engineering talent.

Outline Company Incentives

Many non-monetary incentives can help to sway high-calibre candidates away from the competition and closer to you.

For example, mentor and mentee opportunities can help staff achieve professional development. Make sure to create a package of training and education pathways. These can help new hires gain clarity on their potential with your firm.

Be Flexible

If you do come across a skilled engineer who matches at least 75% of the skills you want, it may be worth hiring them straight away. In this climate, it can be difficult to find someone who matches 100%. And if a candidate is a 70-80% fit, you can fill in the gap with training.

If you’re committed to finding only the perfect candidate, you could risk losing out to the competition. And that may mean starting a recruitment process again.

Move Fast to Get the Best Engineers

Speed is key when recruiting engineering and manufacturing talent. Taking too long to decide may see candidates accept other offers.

Be Prepared for Counter Offers

So, if your candidate does pick up another offer, consider how flexible you can be. Can you up the salary? Offer remote or flexible working? What is it that would make the candidate happy to work for you and what can you do to accommodate their needs?

Partner with a Specialist Recruitment Agency

Finding and attracting the best engineering and manufacturing candidates isn’t easy. You need to define the scope of the role but also be clear on and sell your values.

The best engineers are looking for a great package. But you’ll also need to move fast to snap them up. And that’s why we recommend partnering with a specialist recruitment agency like Metalis.

Our diverse team of specialist recruiters are experts in engineering recruitment. And we can help you to find the right talent to match your needs. We know the industry inside out and understand what engineers want from their careers. And as an experienced, motivated team, we’re determined to find you the best engineering talent in the industry.

Contact us today for help with recruiting your next best engineering hire.