Situation: A company needs a strong pool of engineers in their market niche to stay ahead of the competition. Their niche is specialized with little transferability from other engineering specialties. They struggle to find local talent and relocation expenses are high. How have you recruited hard-to-find talent?
Advice from the CEOs:
- If you want a mix of fresh and experienced talent and need to add 3 to 5 new engineers per year to keep up with growth and turnover, you will be hiring a new engineer every 2-3 months so you need a standardized, repeatable process that is ongoing. If you don’t have either in-house or reliable outsourced HR capabilities, you need to secure this as soon as possible.
- Consider establishing a satellite office in a geographic area which has an available talent pool.
- Look for areas with a top university engineering program in your field.
- Look at your key competitors’ locations and see whether they are in areas with both the educational and industrial-technology base to be a candidate location.
- As you develop a new geography, forge strong relationships with the university programs that can feed you the younger talent that you need. This is a win-win relationship, because universities are focused on their placement statistics and corporate support.
- Get to know the professors in your specialty and explore establishing a center of study or excellence within the engineering programs.
- One company works closely with Santa Clara University and developed a program that offers financial rewards for the best technical papers produced by students in their specialty. This has created a buzz around the company, helped to establish a study program in their specialty, and enables them to attract the best and brightest graduates.
- As you establish a reputation for attracting the best younger talent, this can help you to attract seasoned talent that wants to work with the brightest young talent in the field.
- Another option is to find 2-3 key experienced engineers who are willing to relocate for the opportunity to build a new team.