Engineering Recruitment: 5 Questions to Vet Your Engineering Recruiter

Written by David Salters on February 15, 2022

Warren Averett engineering recruitment image

Engineering recruitment is simply different than the process involved with recruiting for non-technical positions.

The truth is, finding and hiring engineers has never been an easy task, but with today’s highly competitive talent market, it’s even more difficult for companies to remain competitive when they have technical roles to fill.

If you feel like you’re falling behind when it comes to attracting top engineering candidates, working with a recruiter may help—but not all recruiters have the expertise needed for engineering recruitment. Most recruiting generalists take a generic approach that doesn’t consider the particular needs and skills that are specific to this industry.

So how can you know if your recruiter has the engineering recruitment intel that will fill your technical positions with the right candidates for the long term?

Warren Averett engineering recruitment image

5 Questions to Ask Your Engineering Recruitment Firm

Just as searching through a sea of resumes can be overwhelming when you’re looking for that one perfect candidate, the search for the right engineering recruitment firm can be just as daunting.

Sure, you can plug “engineering recruiters near me” into your internet search bar, but how do you know you’ll get great results?

Here, we’ve outlined five questions to ask your engineering recruiter (and reasons why the answers matter) so you can be sure they are really qualified to help your organization achieve success with your hiring process.

1. Are you familiar with the execution of engineering projects?

Professionals who have years of experience specifically searching for and hiring engineers understand the unique needs of the engineering industry. Niche training and expertise in engineering matters.

When you work with an engineering recruitment firm, the recruiters will have a thorough understanding of how engineering projects work. This allows them to hire for the unique skills needed for a particular role, while also seeing how the engineering candidate will fit into the big picture of a project.

Knowing how a role integrates into the scope of an entire project allows an engineering recruiter to more effectively evaluate a candidate and the skills needed to succeed.

For example, if you are hiring for a leadership position, you’re probably going to want a person who has strong personal skills and a history of managing teams composed of different personalities. However, if the role is for an individual contributor position, you might be more focused on the technical skills needed to complete the work and less on interpersonal proficiencies.

A recruiting generalist may dismiss candidates who may not be as personable in their interviews, even though those skills may not be as important for the role at hand. But, because of their industry experience, engineering recruitment agencies will be able to evaluate the larger picture of what skills are truly needed for a role and project.

2. Are you able to evaluate if a candidate has a history of being on time and on budget with engineering projects?

In the world of engineering, it’s always important that projects come in on time and under budget. How will you know if your potential new engineers have a history of extending the deadline or spending too much money when they’re managing big projects?

The right engineering recruitment firm will do the digging for you, determining candidates’ histories of being on time and on budget in their prior roles—whereas a generalist may not fully grasp these unique intricacies.

3. How do you communicate with engineering candidates during the recruiting process?

Despite massive technological advancements and a shift to digital and remote work, conversations in engineering recruitment are often most successful when they are face to face.

When possible, in-person interviews and communications—for the engineering industry in particular—can help to eliminate any confusion and facilitate a more effective evaluation. This allows everyone involved in the process to fully understand each other—candidates and companies alike.

Experienced engineering recruitment agencies prioritize in-person communication over digital messaging to facilitate the opportunities for everyone to gain as much knowledge as possible during the process.

4. Are you familiar with our company’s project management, estimating and project controls software?

Engineering recruitment firms will already be familiar with how project management, estimating and project controls software are relevant to your organization, so they can specifically evaluate candidates based on relevant experience with these tools.

A recruiting generalist may not see the full scope of how a candidate’s skills translate into the skills needed to work with a particular system, while engineering recruiters should already be able to vet your candidates with this knowledge.

5. What education do you provide to your recruiters that is specific to the engineering industry?

Top engineering recruiting firms are constantly learning about the industry and making new connections within it.

The STEM fields are some of the fastest-changing industries on the planet, and that means your talent needs are always evolving, tools are always changing and candidates are always adapting. Strong engineering recruiters never stop learning about the field, so they can put their up-to-the-minute knowledge to use for you.

Additional Considerations for Your Engineering Recruitment Firm Selection

Once you’ve determined your firm has the engineering know-how to help your company fill its technical positions, you’ll also want to be sure that their approach and ideology are a fit for your company in general.

As you’re evaluating potential firms, it’s also helpful to consider the following factors:

  • Speed of Response: You don’t want to needlessly wait for your recruiter to respond to you. The right firm should have a best-foot-forward approach as it tries to impress you with its skills—including responsiveness. Ask about how quickly recruiters will respond to your questions and provide results.
  • Parts of the Process Overseen: Does your potential recruiting partner handle only the initial phone screen, or will they take care of the entire process? A full-service engineering recruiting firm can likely handle everything from job postings to the offer stage, and everything in between. Maybe you don’t need a hand with every single touchpoint, or perhaps you want to be completely hands-off until it’s time to onboard your new hire; that decision should be yours to make with your new engineering recruiting

Connect with an Engineering Recruitment Advisor at Warren Averett

Need help finding the right engineers for your company?

Warren Averett Staffing & Recruiting is focused on offering employers effective recruiting for engineering positions, aiding with  and benefits design, and providing other HR services that can make your hiring and retention more effective.

Ask a member of our team to reach out to you to discuss how we can help your company with your engineering recruitment.

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