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Recruiting Strategies for Engineers

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When you are seeking an engineer for hire, you should understand how to recruit the best engineer possible. So many factors come into play when choosing the correct engineer for the job.

What type of engineer are you looking to find? What is the scope of the position or project? Is this an ongoing need, or is an engineer needed for an annual inspection to ensure compliance with the law? In this article, we’ll look at some of the recruiting strategies for engineers and best practices to follow.

What Type of Engineer Do You Need?

The four main types of engineers are electrical, mechanical, chemical, and civil. Let’s get a brief overview of the different types below:

Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical engineers design, test, diagnose, and repair mechanical systems of all types. Whether designing gear systems for a factory machine or helping a vehicle manufacturer modernize their steel forging equipment, a mechanical engineer is the person of choice when building and maintaining devices. 

Civil Engineers

Civil engineers are the backbone of society when building new and improving existing infrastructure. They can do anything from confirming that a specific type of concrete used in constructing a skyscraper will withstand eighty years of harsh rain and heavy snow to verifying that the steel used for holding up a bridge that the city will rely on for generations is up to code. If the goal is to build a town or entire buildings, a civil engineer is suitable for the job.

Chemical Engineers

Chemical engineers are the glue that keeps everything together. Thanks to the regular invention of new processes and materials, the chemical engineer’s job never ends. This consistent innovation makes them the right fit for products designed to stand up to the wear and tear of humanity, from creating new chemically enhanced fabrics for the latest in safety gear to combining the proper chemicals to make paint that will stand up to the harshest weather. 

Electrical Engineers

Electrical engineers have been responsible for some of the human achievements of the twentieth century and beyond. They design everything from the circuit board inside the device you’re using to read this article to the wiring inside the power station that makes modern life possible. When designing anything powered by electricity, an electrical engineer is the best hire choice. 

How to Find the Right Engineer


Keywords are the most critical thing to search for when identifying a qualified candidate. Here are some keywords for each type of engineer:

  • Mechanical: Machine, manufacturing, mechanical, CAD (computer-aided drafting), BSME (Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering), hydraulics, gears
  • Electrical: Circuit design, circuit board, wafer fabrication, layout, design, power, analog, digital, voltage, amperage, control systems, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning), commissioning
  • Civil: Infrastructure, roads, bridges, NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board), concrete, steel, building codes, structural engineering, project management, safety
  • Chemical: Polymer, synthetic, natural, mixture, analysis, molecules, molecular, corrosion, R&D (research and development), safety, safety equipment, laboratory

Questions to Ask a Prospective Engineering Candidate

  • “What is your favorite project that you’ve worked on?” This question can tell you a lot about the engineer’s passions, strengths, and familiarity with different types of systems.
  • “What interests you about this position?” Asking this is an excellent opportunity to understand the candidate’s motivations and what they are looking for in a career path or job choice.
  • “Why should we hire you?” Another great question to ask any candidate as it allows them to talk about themselves and what they can bring to the table as an employee. It can also tell you a lot about a person’s confidence in their abilities. 
  • “What are your salary expectations?” The cost to hire an engineer can vary. This simple question can save you a lot of money! Suppose the candidate comes back with a lower number than expected but has the right qualifications. In that case, you may be able to offer them more than they expected, but far less than you had budgeted, giving you some flexibility in finding other talented people. 
  • “What questions do you have for us about the position?” Allowing the candidate to ask questions can give you a lot of insight into how well you’ve written your job description. It can also provide many details as to how much the candidate understands his experience related to your position. If the candidate has many questions regarding your processes that they should already understand given their qualifications, perhaps they aren’t a good fit for the job.

Final Thoughts

Finding the right engineer for the job is challenging and may take some time. However, given that an engineer and their designs or calculations are critical to an organization’s success, it’s necessary to carefully consider the candidate’s background, experience, education, and certifications before deciding on the person that best fits your organization. 

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