Facts are facts: Engineers are in HIGH demand. We don't use that phrase lightly either... As of 2013, the current national unemployment rate is sitting at around 7.3%. However, if you narrow that view to include just the engineering sector, the number decreases drastically to just 2%. Key Takeaway = it's a pretty good time to be an engineer right now.
This means hiring managers are facing quite the recruiting challenge. The basic rule of supply and demand explains why - Demand for skilled engineers is at an all-time high. Supply of these engineers is, however, not so high. Fun Fact: Over the past 90 days, there were more than 33,000 jobs advertised online for civil engineers, a 9% increase compared to the same 90-day period in 2012. Plus, 2013 has seen a new high in engineering opportunities overall, with more than 280,000 open positions!!
With all of this competition in the marketplace, it's more important than ever to be on top of your recruiting game. This includes being up-to-date on all of the latest trends in recruiting, which is why we've put together this trusty list.
1. Labor Pressure Varies By State
As you can see from this infographic, difficulty in A/E recruiting varies drastically by state. The easiest states to recruit from include Florida, Virginia, Washington, Nevada, and Arizona. The most difficult states include Texas, North Dakota, Minnesota, California, and Pennsylvania.
2. The Most Difficult Engineers to Recruit are Those With 5-10 Years of Experience
More specifically, the most difficult experience level to place is that of 7-10 years. Why is this? Engineers have invested several years in their firms. They want stability. They've established seniority at their current firm and are not looking to start over at a new company. Plus with something like, oh let's say a government shutdown, the newest employees are usually the first to get furloughed and subsequently laid off. Therefore, a firm looking to hire a skilled engineer with this level of experience must "sweeten the deal" a bit. Which is a marvelous segue into #3...
3. Compensation is Becoming Very Competitive
Salaries are quite competitive in the A/E sector, especially in oil & gas, primarily because of the scarce candidate pool. A few more stats to consider... 7 of the top 10 highest paid college degrees are in Engineering. Additionally, only 4.5% of college undergrads are in engineering and 74% of engineering employers have cited "lack of qualified candidates" as the biggest hiring challenge. So what does all of this mean? Too many jobs and not enough qualified candidates to fill them. When that gem of a candidate finally does come along, an employer is willing to shell out the big bucks in order to persuade the candidate to work for them.
4. Employment Branding is an Imperative Part of Your Recruiting Strategy
What is employment branding, you might ask? Put simply, it is how you explain to candidates WHY they should work for you over your competitors. By now, you know that candidates are scarce and when a quality potential hire comes along, your firm is probably NOT the only firm vying for them. Yes, you can throw lots of money their way, but you also better have a solid employment branding strategy. What is your company culture? Are work hours flexible? How extensive is the benefits package? The millenials you keep hearing about are taking many factors, not just salary, into account when deciding on where to accept a job.
5. The Recruiting Industry Has Hopped on the Social Media Bandwagon
Let's face it, the old-school resume databases and job board listings are SO 1992. These days, it's all about staying current and making sure you are in the places where the dialogue is happening. This means, maintaining an active presence on social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook and using them as recruiting tools. A company blog is a great place to advertise your company culture and employment branding. Talk about your company, about the projects you are working on, or anything that might engage and interest a potential candidate. Being competitive and cutting edge with your recruiting techniques will definitely pay off in the end.
Don't let this list scare you - finding quality candidates is not an impossible feat. You just have to know where to look and how to approach this new generation of job-seekers. To download our entire presentation with more trends, tips, and tricks, go here:
Sources: Wanted Technologies Talent Intelligence Statics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Georgia Institute of Technology, US Census Data, Mashable.com