Change your Perspective: How to Attract and Hire Engineers
By SG Story
Posted on 28 March 2016
Engineering has been losing its lustre for over a decade and the result is a talent crunch in this area of expertise. During a recent visit to Silicon Valley, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong highlighted that engineers should not be regarded as people who merely provide “support function” or help fix computer problems. Instead, they should be valued as key players who are fueling Singapore’s ambition to be a smart nation.
This renewed spotlight on engineering, coupled with the limited talent pool, means that employers must now explore different and creative ways to distinguish themselves. Here are some ways in which businesses can efficaciously attract the right employees.
Place Higher Stakes in the Universities
Instead of the annual involvement at the university career fairs, employers should focus on key institutions and commit to greater involvement. A good example would be the Hack and Roll, an annual coding competition organised by National University of Singapore (NUS) Hackers. Companies can sponsor the event with prizes, host exhibition booths, or participate as judges for the competition. This allows employers to establish contact and interact with potential candidates, as well as to interest them in the company’s vision and plans for the future.
Another example would be for corporate leaders (not just HR) to be more involved in the company’s university outreach programmes. They can host guest lectures, organise bi-weekly breakfast sessions with interns, scholars and bursary holders sponsored by the company, etc. to share more about their roles and experiences on the job. This will also enable them to build relationships with these potential candidates and help them better understand the company, and what is in store for them upon graduation.
Go Guerilla with Creative Challenges and Contests
Engineers young and old are known to be problem solvers. Take advantage of this streak and launch an islandwide challenge with the prize of a guaranteed position in the company. Google in the US is a perfect example of this recruitment technique. They placed mathematical problems and programming questions on large billboards and on obscure websites, and invited those who can solve the questions to call their recruitment hotline for further discussions. This is a non-conformed campaign that not only allows Google to test the skill sets of potential candidates, but also reined in the ones who are hungry for unconventional challenges.
Build a Talent Pipeline
In this digital era, companies should relook at their recruitment strategies and evaluate how they can target the younger generation of talent. Read about CareerBuilder’s solutions to help companies digitise their recruitment platform here.
These suggestions will only be effective if companies are willing to place engineers as the key drivers for growth. And this change of perspective is critical as employers continue to meet the ever-evolving demands of engineering industries and its pool of unique and intellectual talent.
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