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Topic Title: Which areas of engineering are struggling to recruit suitable people?
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Created On: 28 November 2011 12:17 AM
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 28 November 2011 12:17 AM
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eswnl

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Joined: 29 November 2008

Which areas of engineering are struggling to recruit suitable people?
 26 December 2011 03:12 PM
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sunnyboy

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Highly skilled Technicians

http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/depa.../lewisgatsbyreport.pdf

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Luciano Bacco
 10 January 2012 06:49 PM
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yrrabdraw

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I work within the product development area of engineering. Generally this narrow field of engineering struggle to recruit "environmental engineers (sometimes know as design verification engineers).
 02 February 2012 10:15 AM
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eswnl

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What about in terms of engineering discipline?

eg. electrical engineer, power engineering, electronics engineering, civil engineering?
 03 February 2012 11:41 AM
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eswnl

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Originally posted by: g3xoi

Just a thought, is it the HR clerks that see the shortage?



Perhaps they do not have enough knowlege ?Common Sense? to see what an applicant COULD do, only what they have been doing.



Also they have been known to ask for 25 year olds with 15 years experience in the field!


Which is why the CV should go to the ENGINEER straight away. And its the engineer who should go to the sites like Monster to look for potential hires, not agencies.
 04 February 2012 11:04 AM
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amillar

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Originally posted by: eswnl
Which is why the CV should go to the ENGINEER straight away. And its the engineer who should go to the sites like Monster to look for potential hires, not agencies.


They don't have time!!!! (At least, not in any organisation that's making a profit ) Also, there is far more to recruiting than aligning a set of technical skills with the skills that a particular engineer has. Now, that's not to say engineers shouldn't be involved in the recruitment process, or that CVs shouldn't be screened by someone with an engineering background.

The way we work is that I, as engineering manager, write the advert and see all the CVs. From this I compile the long list (maybe 20 CVs) which I will then usually run past the relevent engineers so that together we compile the short list (up to 6). We'll then do the interviews together, the engineer asks the technical questions while I'm trying to judge whether they are likely to leave after 6 months or cause fights to break out. Seems to work pretty well. But if I put every CV I received (and I get a lot!) in front of my staff I think they'd quite rightly ask why I'm not doing my job!

But I do thoroughly agree that recruiters (internal or external) and HR staff should not be sorting engineering CVs. There are some of us who are vaguely competent but don't have a 1st class degree Also they really struggle with the concept that engineers can change industries.

Back to the original question: because of the range of work we do I have been recruiting for a wide range of roles over the last couple of years. They are all hard to recruit for, not because there are a shortage of applicants but because we have found it very hard to find applicants, at any level, who are actually interested in engineering. It's really hard to put into words what I mean by that, it's something about having a "feel" for the subject, an ability to problem solve from fairly scanty information, and an enthusiasm to use those abilities. Unfortunately the current push to encourage more students into engineering can't help with that directly - we could end up with even more interviews where the candidates have excellent academic results, a strong desire to earn lots of money, but a complete inability to solve problems and a complete disinterest in engineering as a subject. Recruiting is a very depressing business at the moment! Of course there are really really good people out there, in all areas, and it is very satisfying when you find them.

P.S. I NEVER trawl sites looking for CVs. Why? Because I can get hundreds (literally) by just contacting a few agencies. And I know their information will be reasonably up to date - CVs posted on websites tend to hang around for a very long time after the applicant has found a job, which can waste a huge amount of a recruiter's time. And the recruiter can check that they want to work in our part of the country, do our sort of work, and that the salary's vaguely right. For a really senior position it may be worth posting a CV somewhere as organisations like ours may use headhunters who do have time to do these searches, but in that case LinkedIn is probably as good as anywhere. It doesn't do any harm to post your CV up somewhere (as long as you're not paying for it), but don't expect it to do much good either. Much better still to send it to every agency you can. And keep updating them as they will forget you. Even better to use word of mouth, my experience has been that something like 50% of recruiting can come through personal recommendations - there's plenty written in any decent book on job hunting on the huge importance of networking (and advice on how to do it). It may seem "unfair", actually it isn't: it's the employer reducing their risk by taking on somebody known rather than someone unknown (and, of course, recommendations work both ways).

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Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert

Edited: 04 February 2012 at 11:25 AM by amillar
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