Hiring IT engineers is challenging. They can be selective when applying for jobs. How do you attract top IT engineers and encourage them to work for you? Let’s take a closer look at the steps you can take to recruit great IT engineers.
Looking at the fastest-growing jobs worldwide, the word "Engineer" appears almost more than any other. From robotics engineers, full-stack engineers and data engineers to site reliability engineers, software engineers and cloud engineers, there will be plenty of demand for these hot positions in the coming years.
A global skills shortage means that there are lots of opportunities out there for IT engineers to develop their careers. The fact that IT engineers can choose from a range of jobs makes them hard to find and even harder to recruit.
Add to that a lack of awareness about STEM careers in schools, which often means fewer people seeking jobs or further education in the engineering sector, and you'll see why it's not easy to find the best IT engineers for your team.
Because great IT engineers are hard to find, recruiters need to have a plan and devote more time than usual to hire the best-in-class talent. To help you search, we’ve outlined these 7 essential steps:
To attract IT engineers, you need to become the company for which they want to work. Although money is necessary, it’s only a short-term motivator. IT engineers who have the luxury of choosing from the top jobs consider factors beyond salary, such as growth potential, purpose and meaning in their work, challenging assignments and learning opportunities. As a company, you may want to consider investing in learning and development opportunities or take on more ambitious projects that will appeal to top-tier IT engineers.
According to Deloitte, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is vital to business success.
Most companies begin the hiring process with a job description. However, the process must start with your brand if you want to hire great IT engineers. To make your company desirable to IT engineers, you must showcase your culture on your website, social media, and other external communications.
What are your company's founding story, values, and ethics? What about the industry you want to change? If you advocate flexible working, highlight it as a unique selling point. By raising awareness of your company’s culture, IT engineers will engage with your messages, helping you attract suitable candidates.
A great job description goes beyond simply describing tasks and duties. Given how challenging it can be to attract IT engineers, your job description should aim to strike a balance between information and persuasion.
The first step to writing an effective engineering job description is explaining how the role fits in with your company mission. Tying the role to a greater cause can appeal to IT engineers who want something more than salary from their jobs.
After describing the typical job tasks, you should highlight the benefits of working for the company. Mention all the job's perks, such as remote working opportunities, free gym membership, discounts, etc., and explain how candidates will benefit from them.
You should also aim to remove any bias in the language used in descriptions. You must ensure that your language is gender-neutral, which can encourage more applicants to apply.
When screening IT engineers for interviews, it’s important not to rush in. Just because a candidate doesn’t tick all the boxes in the job description, it doesn’t mean they won’t be suitable.
Instead, hiring managers should aim to build a relationship with applicants first. Arrange a phone call for an informal chat and learn more about their motivations for applying. Ask them what they hope to gain from working with the company. Even if you decide a candidate isn’t suitable, you can still contact them about other positions.
To further qualify the suitability of your candidate longlist, consider issuing a test that reflects the work they’ll be doing in the role. The aim of a coding test, for example, is to assess an engineer’s ability to write clean, functional code that can be maintained easily.
When interviewing IT engineers, it’s important to ask questions about the tasks they’ll be doing. You’ll want to ensure that candidates can demonstrate their prior experience, skills, and technical understanding.
Rather than asking generic questions about where they’d like to be in five years, ask about the specific programming languages they’ll be using. Provide them with hypothetical briefs and ask how they’d approach the project and what tools they’d use.
It’s also important to remember that cultural fit isn’t everything. It can be a hindrance to achieving diversity and inclusion. According to the Boston Consulting Group, companies with above-average diversity experience a 45% increase in innovation revenue. As such, restrictive culture-fit agendas may not be the best approach for face-to-face interviews. An engineer’s ability to communicate well with other team members is more important than cultural fit.
If you feel confident that you’ve found the right IT engineer for a role, it’s important to close quickly. Given the current engineering skills shortage, great IT engineers get snapped up quickly. If you’ve found someone who is a good fit, don’t hesitate to make contact and offer them the job.
When you follow up, be sure to personalize the message and reiterate how they will benefit from working with the company. Once they’ve verbally accepted the job, you can send all the relevant documentation.
The key to closing a role is to have an open, honest conversation about expectations. The discussion should cover salary, working hours, benefits and other essential information both parties need to know.
Even after you’ve made a hire, it’s important to keep searching. The more IT engineers you have in your talent pool, the quicker you’ll be able to hire again. Keep your contact list engaged by keeping them up to date with what’s happening at the company. Share helpful content with them and inform them about any available new roles.
Outbound prospecting can be a very effective means of finding suitable engineering applicants. If you find any job seekers suitable for upcoming roles, reach out and make contact. You could also join dedicated recruitment platforms and showcase your company profile to potential candidates.
In the long run, consider starting an internship program. Interns gain valuable experience from working with a team of IT engineers. The company also gets to evaluate the intern’s skills for future opportunities.
Another way to find IT engineers is to outsource your efforts. At ExpertTal, we help companies build remote engineering teams by providing top-notch IT engineers from across India available for your next project. Use our augmented staffing solutions to help solve your most frustrating capacity issues.
Want to learn more about what we can accomplish together? Reach out today.
Follow Us on LinkedIn
Kamal Rastogi is a serial IT entrepreneur with 25 yrs plus experience. Currently his focus area is Data Science business, ERP Consulting, IT Staffing and Experttal.com (Fastest growing US based platform to hire verified / Risk Compliant Expert IT resources from talent rich countries like India, Romania, Philippines etc...directly). His firms service clients like KPMG, Deloitte, EnY, Samsung, Wipro, NCR Corporation etc in India and USA.