If you’re hiring an engineer in any industry, you’ve likely heard about the long-term engineering shortages in the U.S. and worldwide. The Washington Post recently wrote an article arguing that the very economic future of the U.S. depends on “making engineering cool.”

The Post notes, “Engineer shortages have long plagued the U.S. tech sector, with Google, Apple, and others complaining that immigration restrictions make it difficult to find employees” (source).

The problem isn’t restricted to the accessibility of candidates, not to mention the best candidates. Engineering staffing is challenging for any sector, including public and private firms, and most businesses share a fundamental challenge: hiring agents typically do not have the technical know-how to source and hire suitable candidates.

Most engineering recruitment campaigns can seem like the blind leading the blind. So how do you recruit viable engineering candidates when your hiring agents do not have any engineering experience?

NewConfig is an engineering recruiter with experience recruiting various engineers, including civil engineering, mechanical engineers, and electrical engineering professionals. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us to learn more about our engineering recruitment services. Below we discuss three tips from our engineering recruiters.

Top Engineering Recruiters: Three Tips for Hiring Engineers

Three Tips for Hiring Engineers

Expand the Talent Pool

Many job listings for engineers exacerbate the engineer shortage by unnecessarily limiting the talent pool with restrictive requirements.

You may not need a college graduate or an advanced degree for your engineering project. Most projects, including civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering, require skill sets that don’t equate to college degrees. Engineers can be self-taught entrepreneurs or savvy coders who have attended multiple certificate programs or coding boot camps.

To find these potential hidden all-stars, include only the baseline technical requirements in your job listing.


Emphasize Business Acumen 

A parallel problem compounds hiring agents’ lack of technical knowledge: engineers typically do not have business know-how. The Harvard Business School notes: “There’s more that goes into building a successful engineering career than just technical know-how; there’s a business side of engineering, as well” (source). Harvard adds that “engineers need various soft skills in addition to their highly technical knowledge.”

Finding an engineer who meets your technical requirements may be relatively easy, and you may learn a lot from pre-employment assessment and aptitude tests. However, most businesses will also need innovative thinkers with business acumen—presumably the businesses’ core talents. When interviewing candidates, search for management experience, creativity, and, of course, effective communication.

Read: “7 Business Skills Every Engineer Needs


Partner with a Knowledgable Third Party

As noted above, businesses often lack technical know-how, and many engineers lack business knowledge. Most recruitment campaigns need a viable and knowledgeable third party to bridge the knowledge gap between companies and engineers.

Following the theme of our first tip above, find an engineering staffing agency with extensive experience recruiting various engineers. A staffing agency that markets itself as a “mechanical engineering firm” may not be the best choice to recruit a mechanical engineer. And, of course, assess any potential engineering staffing agency for the skills we have emphasized here: business acumen and technical know-how.

Engineering Staffing Firm

NewConfig: Engineering Recruitment Firm

NewConfig is an engineering recruitment firm with experience recruiting various engineering professionals. What we have most recruitment firms lack: engineering experience.  Please contact our Montgomery County, PA offices to learn more about our engineering recruitment portfolio.