Engineering is one of the most in-demand professions in Canada. In every industry, be it Manufacturing, Construction, IT, or Oil & Gas, engineers are highly sought after. According to 'Engineering Labour Market in Canada: Projections to 2020 report,' 95,000 professional engineers are expected to retire by 2020, and given the pandemic’s negative impact on skilled-labor immigration, the deficit maybe even larger.
While Canada’s top engineering institutes continue to produce qualified professionals to keep up with the sector’s increasing demand and replace the retiring population, newly graduated engineers lack the professional experience & expertise that many companies require.
With experience gaps and a retiring population in the job market, finding and retaining engineering talent is becoming difficult for Canadian businesses. So how can you hire the top talent you need? Here are 4 recruiting tips to help you find your next team member:
Make your job offer enticing
To become an employer of choice, higher than average salary, career advancement opportunities, recognition at the workplace, etc., are no longer enough. Lately, professionals are interested in companies that have some additional incentives such as stock options, a tangible career growth plan for their employees, diversity & inclusion policy, work flexibility, etc.
To attract top talent to your job offer, highlight the advantages of working with your company throughout the different stages of the hiring process. Whether you are writing a job description or conducting a job interview, bring out the excitement and possibilities that your job offer comes with. Instead of focusing on what you are looking for in the job description, highlight what you are ready to offer to the right candidate.
You already know that experienced and highly talented Engineering candidates are quite sought after and often have more than one job offer to choose from. One of the most effective ways to get one on your team is to make a great interview impression. When interviewing top Engineering talent, ask them their professional goals and highlight how you can help them achieve those. This shows that you value them and candidates want to work with organizations where they feel respected.
Once you have assessed a candidate and are convinced that they make a great team member, send them an offer right away. When sourcing Engineering talent one of your biggest success factors or vulnerabilities will be the speed at which you operate compared to other organizations that the candidate has interviewed for. In cases where you are convinced about a candidate, make sure to send the appropriate thank you note, reiterating the value they bring and highlighting again the advantages of working with you. This simple gesture goes a long way in building goodwill.
Employee Referral Programs
Your current employees know what it is like to work within your team. During their tenure, they have an in-depth understanding of your work culture and job demands. If you do not have an employee referral program, you are essentially missing out on your employee’s talent-rich network.
Engineering professionals have camaraderie they connect with, outside of work, like former classmates, association co-members, former colleagues, network connections, etc. They can introduce you to qualified candidates. Having an incentive to provide such a referral encourages employees to refer talented professionals from their circle. Referral bonuses, gift cards, etc. are often used in many leading organizations.
Work with a Recruitment Specialist
By working on the previous tips you can improve your chances of finding well-suited Engineering talent. However, in a tight market, your recruitment efforts may not be enough or you may not have adequate resources to attract and assess candidates quickly before they have another offer.
Engineering projects are often driven with strict deadlines and budgets dependent on project deliverables. Delays in sourcing the right talent in a timely manner can translate to substantial monetary loss and loss of projects to competitors.
This is where working with a recruitment specialist helps. Partnering with a recruitment organization means you get access to their work communities of professionals with diverse skill sets and qualifications. A great recruitment firm is going to know who is available for work, what their salary expectations are, and their previous work experience – saving days or potentially weeks off your search. A recruitment firm can also identify those who are more open to perm or contract work and provide payroll services if needed. Whether it is finding one resource or putting together a team of engineers, recruitment specialists are connected to the engineering community and experienced with sourcing the right candidate for your needs.
Although there is no quick fix to the declining engineering talent in Canada, using the above tips can help you augment your current hiring process and put the right candidates on your team.