Recruiting top talent for your engineering firm can be challenging, especially if you’re located in a highly competitive area or in a remote/resort town where attracting people to live can be difficult. However, maintaining a full staff is crucial due to the incoming business.
At Nover Marketing, we specialize in AEC marketing (including engineering firms) and have successfully assisted companies like Roaring Fork Engineering, which serves clients like Aspen Skiing Company, in optimizing their recruitment strategies.
In this article, we will discuss the key steps involved in recruiting engineers, all of which can be categorized into two main areas: attracting talent through branding, identity, and marketing efforts, and actively searching for engineers in the talent pool.
In this article we will cover:
- Attracting talent through branding, identity, and marketing efforts
- Actively searching for engineers in the talent pool
How to Attract Engineering Talent
It is a well-known fact that engineering companies tend to underinvest in branding and marketing strategy. Due to relying heavily on connections, word of mouth, and reputation, there has been less pressure to prioritize their digital presence.
However, when it comes to attracting top talent, it is crucial to invest significantly in creating an image that portrays your company as an excellent place to work. This includes being perceived as a cutting-edge company that is experiencing growth, offering career advancement opportunities, fostering a great culture, and promoting work-life balance. Achieving this requires effective marketing efforts. If you haven’t been investing in this area, chances are you are not effectively showcasing these qualities to potential candidates.
Thus, this becomes the first key step in recruiting engineers, as there is no point in engaging recruiters or reaching out to candidates if they are unimpressed by your brand image.
#1 – Invest in your website and social presence
When it comes to attracting top talent, it’s important to consider the impression your website and social media profiles create. Before even meeting you, potential candidates will visit these platforms and form assumptions about your company. A well-designed website can convey that you are a cutting-edge company, while a cluttered website may give the impression of a dated company with limited opportunities.
In fact, a recent recruit at Roaring Fork Engineering revealed that they applied for a job there because their website projected a cool brand image compared to their competitors. To get an idea of what your website should look like, take a look at these 5 Best Engineering Websites. They feature plenty of white space, bold fonts, and subtle animations and movement.
Now, compare your website side by side with the Roaring Fork site. Ask yourself a simple question: which site is more impressive? Keep in mind that most applicants will only spend a short amount of time on your website, forming quick judgments. If you find that Roaring Fork Engineering’s site appears more impressive, it may be worth investing in a new website.
Similarly, if you have a presence on social media platforms like LinkedIn or Instagram, make sure you post regularly with visually appealing content. Engineers do use social media, so be sure to showcase your company culture through employee photos and highlight your area to attract potential candidates.
#2 – Invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
In simple terms, SEO is what can help you show up in that number one spot on Google when potential candidates are searching for opportunities. SEO is a bit of an untapped marketing for engineering firms. With a little bit of work your firm can show up on Google for things like “best engineering firms to work for”.
In fact, that’s just what we did for Roaring Fork Engineering. We applied an all-encompassing SEO approach that resulted in 86 new ranking keywords, with 27% occupying the top three positions and 49% appearing on Google’s first page. This strategy culminated in a substantial 657% year-over-year rise in organic traffic to their website and an impressive 1,854% uptick in visits to their careers page.
They now rank for terms like:
- Best civil engineering consulting firms
- Best civil engineering firms to work for
- Best places for civil engineers to work
- Best places to live for civil engineers
- Civil engineering consulting firms
- Cool civil engineering jobs
#3 – Apply for Awards and Distribute Press Releases
Want to go beyond just claiming to be a great place to work? Show it with third-party recognition. Potential candidates value seeing that your company has been voted as a great place to work. One effective way to do this is by applying for relevant awards and, once you receive them, proudly displaying the badges on your website, within job postings, and even distributing press releases locally. This tangible proof adds credibility and can significantly attract top talent.
Here are some notable awards and recognition programs:
- Outside’s Best Places to Work
- Great Place to Work Certification
- Built In’s Best Places to Work Awards
- Comparably Best Places to Work Awards
- Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work
- Top Workplaces USA
#4 – Ensuring Profiles are Favorable
Job posting platforms such as Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Indeed offer customization options for your company profile. It is essential to infuse your brand into these profiles by adding images, videos, and sharing what sets you apart. These platforms also allow employees to rate their experience interviewing or working for your company, and poor Glassdoor reviews can be a major red flag for candidates.
To mitigate this, it’s important to have a strategy in place to actively collect employee reviews. One effective approach is to automate review requests after a certain period, such as during their 6-month employee review. It’s advisable to send these requests from a generic company email to avoid pressuring employees personally to leave a review. You can work with your marketing team or agency to set up this process seamlessly.
#5 – Engineering Marketing Agency
If you feel overwhelmed by the scope of these tasks, remember that you can entrust them to a marketing agency. At Nover Marketing, we specialize in serving the AEC industry and have a proven track record of assisting engineering companies, such as Roaring Fork Engineering, in elevating their digital marketing efforts to attract top talent. Let us handle these responsibilities for you, so you can focus on what you do best. Contact us today for a free 30 minute consultation.
How to Recruit Engineers
Once you have established a strong brand identity and a compelling digital presence, you can begin attracting potential employees through recruitment efforts. Recruitment involves two main components: posting and promoting job openings as well as networking. You have the option to handle this internally or outsource it to a recruitment agency.
#6 – Best Place to Recruit Engineers
Posting and Promoting Job Postings
Consider starting your recruitment process by posting your job openings on popular job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor. While there is a debate about the relevance of cover letters, we suggest not making them mandatory and instead allowing applicants to “easy apply”. This approach attracts both casual job seekers who may be reluctant to write a cover letter and highly qualified individuals. While these sites all offer free job postings we recommend putting some budget behind them to sponsor them. You can get a good deal of candidates on LinkedIn with a $500 budget.
Additionally, you can explore engineering-specific job boards such as engineeringjobs.net and iHireEngineering to target candidates with specialized skills and experience in the engineering field. Finally, you may want to check with your local colleges and universities if you’re searching for entry level candidates. They often have job boards and help their students find employment.
Once your jobs are posted be sure to share them on your social media and to have your employees share them as well. On LinkedIn, even having them comment on the post will put the job posting in front of their network.
Finally, if you want to take your recruitment efforts a step further, you can leverage the power of LinkedIn. Using LinkedIn, you have the option to search for potential candidates and reach out to them directly with job opportunities. LinkedIn offers two main tools for this purpose: LinkedIn Sales Navigator and LinkedIn Recruiter.
Both LinkedIn Sales Navigator and LinkedIn Recruiter allow you to search for individuals based on specific filters and send them messages. LinkedIn Recruiter offers more advanced features compared to Sales Navigator, but it also comes at a higher cost.
If you’re just starting out and want to test the effectiveness of messaging potential candidates without investing in a full-time LinkedIn Recruiter subscription, you may consider starting with a monthly subscription of LinkedIn Sales Navigator. This allows you to explore the platform and assess its value before committing to a more extensive and expensive tool like LinkedIn Recruiter.
If you’re just starting out and don’t have someone who is available to invest a lot of time on LinkedIn Recruiter it probably isn’t worth the extra features it comes with. LinkedIn reps will tell you otherwise of course – but they’re trying to hit their commission.
While we live in a digital world, good old fashioned networking still goes a long way for recruiting top talent. Reach out to your professional networks, industry contacts, and engineering associations to spread the word about your job opening. If you’re not currently in any professional associations you may want to consider joining any of the following depending on your engineering firm’s focus:
Professional engineering associations:
- National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)
- American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
- Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
- American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
- Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
- American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES)
Participate in engineering career fairs and industry conferences to connect directly with potential candidates. These events provide an opportunity to showcase your company and engage with talented engineers. You may want to start by looking for local career fairs and conferences before investing in some of the bigger ones.
#7 – Engineering Recruitment Services
If you find the above process too overwhelming, you may want to consider outsourcing your engineering recruitment services to a specialized agency. These recruitment agencies offer expertise in sourcing, screening, and presenting top engineering talent to organizations seeking to fill technical roles.
These companies have access to a wide network of engineering professionals, including passive candidates who may not be actively searching for new opportunities. They can tap into this network to identify suitable candidates for your organization.
They handle the initial screening and evaluation process, and stay updated on the latest trends, market conditions, and salary expectations within the engineering industry. They can provide valuable insights to help you refine your hiring strategy and attract top talent.
#8 – Engineering Recruitment Agencies
If you’re thinking about working with a recruitment agency, it’s important to thoroughly research your options. Some agencies may offer low prices, but remember that quality often comes at a higher cost. Recently, I had an experience where a recruitment agency contacted me on LinkedIn and asked if I would be interested in a job as a baker, even though my background is in marketing. It doesn’t seem like a wise use of their resources, does it?
If you’d like to consider working with a recruitment agency, we suggest one of the following agencies which have been recognized for their expertise in engineering staffing and have received positive customer reviews. It’s always a good idea to research further and compare their services and customer reviews to find the one that best fits your needs.
Engineering recruitment agencies:
- Robert Half
- PEAK Technical Staffing
- Kelly Engineering
- Apollo Technical
- Advantex Professional Services
- Murray Resources
Your Guide to Engineering Marketing
Attracting top engineering talent is a critical objective for any organization, especially in today’s competitive market. By implementing the strategies outlined in this article, you can optimize your recruitment efforts and effectively connect with qualified engineers.
However, if you’re looking for comprehensive resources and expert guidance to take your engineering marketing to the next level, Nover Marketing is here to help. With their deep understanding of the AEC industry and specialized expertise in engineering marketing, Nover Marketing is an excellent choice to help you establish your brand presence and grow.