Hire the Best Engineers for the Job with These 7 Tips

You’ve started a new business and you need an engineer or you require a replacement in an established business. You’re aware of how crucial it is that the job is performed by someone you can trust and whose expertise is up to scratch. At the same time, you may be unsure how or where to find the best engineers.

Unfortunately, there is a skills shortage in the STEM sector so your options are more limited than in other industries. Finding the right person for the job is an easy task but there are some things that you can keep in mind to make it go smoothly. Here are 7 tips to hire engineers that won’t disappoint you:

1. Decide Who You Need

When you’re trying to hire engineers, you should first consider what kind of specialist you need. Whether you’re looking for an experienced professional or a university graduate you’re happy to train, you’re the one who should make the call.

Apart from general details such as education and experience you require, remember to consider other traits you’re looking for. Some of the most important qualities in an engineer include logical thinking, attention to detail and problem-solving skills. You shouldn’t forget about other characteristics that may not be apparent on a CV such as creativity, curiosity or being a team player.

2. Design a Hiring Process  

Now that you know who you’re looking for, you’re ready to create your job posting. Remember to include all the things that you’ve decided are important to you as well as nice-to-haves. Engineering jobs, like other technical jobs, have many non-negotiables. Decide what they are for you and stick to it when going through resumes you receive.

Think through how you’re going to look for the right person. You may try finding someone internally through the company, using your connections to hear about potentially suitable candidates and posting on professional social media channels.

Combining various strategies should bring you the best results. Don’t get discouraged and keep in mind the context of engineering being a part of local skills shortage. One of the best strategies you can use is hiring professionals with technical and engineering recruitment expertise. Especially, if you want to find the right person sooner rather than later, professional industry recruiters will come in handy.

3. Plan the Interview

Knowing must-haves and nice-to-haves when looking for staff for technical jobs and where to search for the right people are only the first steps of the journey. The most important part, the interview, is still ahead of you.

Someone may look great on paper but what you really need to know is whether they’ll be able to perform the job well. Regular interview questions are great for hiring staff and checking for soft skills. Even so, in your industry you should consider asking more specific technical interview questions for engineers. Here are some examples of what you may ask about: 

  • The most challenging project completed and obstacles that needed to be overcome
  • The checks-and-balances system they use
  • Ways of dealing with a senior employee who is wrong
  • Ways of dealing with an unreasonable deadline

The above-mentioned are only some great interview questions for engineers. You should consider what the job you’re hiring for requires and add some more.

4. Watch Out For Red Flags

Interviews are stressful and less experienced employees can feel intimidated in such circumstances. Stress may make a person be lost for words or respond in a way that’s less eloquent. Creating a friendly atmosphere is an important element of a successful job interview.

Having said that, if you can see that someone completely can’t handle stress, they may not be the best match for your job description. Remember to stay level-headed to be able to distinguish understandable nervousness before an exciting interview and personal qualities that can become a problem in a work environment.

You can avoid problems with a future hire by addressing interview red flags. For instance, if problem-solving and constant learning is something you consider crucial for the job, ask them to tell you about a professional mistake they’ve learnt from.

Don’t forget to observe your interviewee. Check for any signs of discomfort or spikes in stress levels. If people seem nervous when asked about certain work experience or projects you may want to ask some follow-up questions.

5. Ask for a Second Opinion

Deciding on the best engineers for the job is a complicated process. That’s why it’s always a good thing to get a second opinion.
When interviewing people for a job you should have at least two people doing it. Some companies prefer to be rather safe than sorry and always conduct more than one interview. This is a good strategy, particularly for more senior positions.

If there are any doubts, always ask for a second or even third opinion of team members. It’s a particularly good idea if the answers to the technical interview questions for engineers are not satisfactory. After all, the job requires technical expertise. The lack thereof is more difficult to solve than potential shortcomings of a new hire in terms of communication skills. 

Asking for a second opinion may also mean someone suggesting additional steps of the hiring process. Technical tasks resembling the ones that an engineer would be dealing with daily are a good idea as part of the recruitment process.

6. Be Flexible About Your Offer

You’ve found a great candidate. Their CV is strong, their performance on interviews flawless. In short, you have no doubts that you’re dealing with one of the best engineers possible for the position. The only problem is that they don’t like what you have to offer.

If you want to be working with the best, you may need to be flexible about your offer. Experienced and qualified professionals know their value. To make sure that you get the very best person for the job you may need to negotiate.

For smaller businesses offering the most competitive salaries isn’t always an option. There are always other ways to offer value to a new employee. You may be able to offer perks, better work-life balance or a chance of faster career advancement.

7. Build an Onboarding Plan

As you’ve seen finding a new hire suitable for your business is a long process. The last thing you want to happen to you is losing your new employee. That’s why it’s a good idea to have an onboarding plan ready for a new starter. 

Engineering jobs, like other technical jobs, are all about processes in a given workplace. You can’t expect a new employee to figure things out on their own. Having the right documentation in place is crucial. You can also give them some time to watch how things are done in your business before they start working.

Meet and greet arrangements with the team, department and company are also a great idea. It’s important to make sure a new employee knows who’s who. Meeting people they’re going to work with helps with feeling welcome. This, on the other hand, increases initial job satisfaction.

Thanks to these 7 tips you’ll be able to hire engineers you can trust and rely on. Spend enough time designing a strategy based on our rules. Once it’s ready, you’ll be able to repeat the same procedure smoothly with each new employee you’re looking for. 

Did you know that 3 in 4 employers are affected by a bad hire? To make sure that you get enough candidates to consider, it’s best to broaden your search. Visit our website to find out how we help employers find people who exceed their expectations.

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