Manufacturing and engineering companies are looking for talented individuals with a broad range of skills, who can fulfil their role and help the company maintain profit margins.
This has given rise to an unusual situation. Engineering candidates are now extremely marketable and difficult to attract. The best are already in the top jobs and, if persuaded to look elsewhere, they become prime targets for counter offers from their current employers.
Evolving recruitment methods
Finding the right person for the right job has always been a skill in itself. Recently, however, high demand for quality in senior management has created a supply shortage, in turn making targeted search increasingly important.
Recent times have therefore seen a significant shift towards targeted headhunting. In fact, it could even outstrip the other main methods of recruitment, advertising and database services. Recruiters often use a combination of all three to source highly capable, but rare, ?passive candidates.
Headhunting tended to be for boardroom and senior level, but it has slowly become a means to source talented engineers. It is now graduating into the sphere of contract and interim engineering recruitment too. One of the reasons for this is that recruitment companies have more than proved their worth in the headhunting sphere.
The advantages of using an external recruitment agency
There are various reasons to refer to the experts, all pertinent to the engineering sector:
1. Market knowledge
Recruitment and selection specialists work in the manufacturing and engineering sectors every day, meaning they can provide clients not only with top-notch expertise, but the latest state of play.
2. Recruitment expertise
Specialist agencies have the resources, contacts and systems in place to reach out to as many relevant candidates as possible.
3. Cost savings
Using a recruitment consultancy saves time and money. The consultancy will advise and deliver a solution, leaving the engineering company free to go about its core business. Plus, by using the experts, you?ll get the right solution the first time around and save on unnecessary expenses later down the line.
4. Thorough selection process
An agency’s selection processes will be robust, involving shortlists of thoroughly screened and well-informed candidates.Such processes increase each client’s chances of recruiting and retaining the most suitable person for a particular role.
5. Sensitivity requirements
There are a number of reasons for running a covert campaign, reasons which often prevent the recruiting company from managing the process itself. Such reasons include running a search or blind advertisement to recruit for a new confidential role, or disclosing a salary that might lead to internal remuneration issues.
Retaining the right people
Of course, retention is also important. There’s no point filling a post if that candidate leaves after a couple of months. Recruitment consultancies can help by keeping in touch with their candidates long after they have started work, helping them settle in and flag any problems before they escalate.
What makes a good recruiter?
Recruitment professionals should take the time to listen to the employer and make recommendations based on industry experience and knowledge of the individual role in question. The best recruitment consultants will also challenge assumptions in order to ensure requirements are realistic and that they result in the formulation of an appropriate and achievable recruitment strategy.
Do your due diligence
Make sure to check that any potential consultancy has an extensive network of contacts, plus a thorough understanding of the calibre and availability of its candidates as well as the different types of employer and issues within each sector. If this is the case, the consultancy will be well placed to advise companies and candidates alike, matching candidates with the most suitable opportunities for them to develop their careers.
Tips for successful recruitment
1. Allocate an attractive salary for the role
Benchmark with your industry sector if you need to, but make sure the remuneration is right to attract the calibre of individual you require.
2. Provide a detailed job description
Include in this any new skills and experience a candidate can bring to your organisation. Then use that specification when tackling the interviewing process.
3. Ensure an efficient interview process
Time after time, good candidates drop out of the job race because of long delays.
Richard Clegg is a director at Expion Search & Selection and specialises in retained search for specialist roles.