Once seen as an unglamorous occupation, engineering is fast becoming the top job for the future. The engineering sector, from power generation to aerospace and plant design to circuit board manufacture, has tens of thousands of vacancies nationwide and hundreds of thousands worldwide.
Engineering courses at university or even at apprentice level fell out of favour over the past three decades. Students opted for a myriad of courses labelled studies, usually media or some other variety and even skills in mathematics and physics are now in short supply. Skilled engineers are no longer engaged in monotonous dirty work but are vital specialists that enable everyone to live with the fruits of modernity.
This has become a serious issue for many engineering companies. They can see that most of their skilled engineers may retire over the next decade and the generation that should have taken their place simply does not exist in many countries. So how can employers attract the talent they seek?
When looking for recruits who will be industry leaders of the future, it’s always a good idea to hire a specialist recruitment firm like CPS Group. But employers first have to decide what kind of company they hope to promote to future recruits. They have to be able to generate enthusiasm in aspiring recruits for the company’s goals.
Talented engineers come in many varieties. Some are brilliant at creative thinking, while others are also inspired mathematicians, but all are practical people and problem solvers who are self-starters and independent-minded.
Tell someone to do a specific job within certain parameters and leave them to get on with it. If they need help, they will ask you. They do not need to be hassled. But the employer must make it quite clear what is required from a job. Vague instructions are confusing to even the most talented people.
Recruits must know how their work will affect the company’s profile and its bottom line. These engineers seek to make a difference to the company and take an active part in projects.
At a time when it’s a competitive market for engineering jobs, employers have to make their offer attractive to beat the competition. Obviously, salaries are part of this. Benefit packages can make a vast difference, especially if these are made as tax-efficient as possible. These include non-interest loans for commuting expenses and flexible working hours as well as pensions and insurance benefits.
But once the employee is enticed into the job, the attraction doesn’t end there. The next problem for the employer will be to keep him. This is an occasion where money does not always talk. Talented employees leave a company because their prospects for advancement and self-improvement are better in another company. They often also feel undervalued by their current employer. Friction with an immediate supervisor is a common problem, especially if there is a general impression in the workplace that someone has been promoted above his ability.
Employees want good compensation and work-life balance, but any talented person needs recognition and challenge. If employers can offer this, they will have the means to build up a world-class engineering workforce filled with high level employees and enviable skills.
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