Three Steps to Building an Engineering Talent Pipeline

Thumbnail Image

The “silver tsunami” of retiring baby boomers is building steam and engineering is among the skillsets that will be most affected. However, there are ways employers can build their talent pipelines and ensure they’ll have the expertise to be able to conduct their business well into the future.

Even now, notes Parke Jacquay, director of strategic sales for Aerotek, the engineering talent pool is very tight, creating a candidate-driven environment that takes strategy to navigate. Here are three ways employers can ensure they’re doing all they can to attract engineering talent.

  1. Approach hiring with an open mind

    Employers should take a hard look at the job requirements they consider necessary vs. those that are only preferred, to ensure they’re not missing out on valuable candidates, Jacquay recommends. A company looking for many years of experience, for instance, may do well to consider a less tenured candidate who will grow into the role with the right coaching and guidance.

    If some requirements aren’t truly essential, employers could be unnecessarily lengthening the hiring process, according to a survey by Burning Glass Technologies, which risks candidate attrition along the way. Likewise, an insistence on only hiring someone who falls within overly narrow constraints may limit you from exposure to candidates with multiple skill sets and broader backgrounds. Investing time and resources in these candidates will speed the recruitment process and help create the kind of bond that lasts for the long-term.

  2. Consider contract-to-hire to minimize risk

    Hiring managers who might be leery of their capacity to work with more junior talent have a built-in safety net when they utilize contract-to-hire options. Contract-to-hire positions give employers the opportunity to work with talent for an extended period of time before deciding whether or not to make a permanent hire. “When we place engineers, we work closely with both the employer and employee throughout the onboarding process and beyond to ensure all their needs are met,” Jacquay says.

    When you work with a recruitment supplier, you can develop a relationship that is based on a deep understanding of your needs. “We want to know our customers intimately,” Jacquay says, “so we can ensure our candidates are best prepared to fulfill all the nuances of the job responsibilities. Consistently delivering that level of service is one reason we received the Best of Staffing award the past two years. ”

    The more you share the details of your requirements, any organizational challenges that may exist and the exact business problem they’re trying to solve, the better able your recruitment firm will be to deliver the talent you need, he notes.

  3. Know what candidates are looking for

    In order to successfully compete for quality candidates who may be weighing more than one job offer, Aerotek recommends making sure you focus on providing exactly what job seekers are looking for.

    Compensation is the largest driver of candidate satisfaction, according to a 2017 white paper by Allegis Group called “Let’s Talk: Focused Conversation Topics to Supercharge Recruiting Success.” But job seekers cited company EVP as the second most important factor in a good candidate experience. 

    The Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Research Report echoed those findings, noting that job candidates are also increasingly interested in having a clear understanding of the company culture, insight into the employee experience and a sense of connection with the employer brand.

    Since active job candidates receive 11.2 calls or emails per month, companies need a strong EVP in order to elevate one opportunity over another.

Following these guidelines can help you attract talent and even create a pipeline that will help fulfill your workforce strategy for years to come.

Want to know more about hiring engineers? Contact Aerotek now.