Why Is It So Hard To Hire Mechanical Engineers?

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  • Engineering talents are scarce, yet surprising data shows that hiring Mechanical Engineers takes the longest compared to their counterparts.

With unemployment hovering under 4%, hiring in general is difficult – and hiring for Mechanical Engineers is even more challenging.

In a study made by Workable.com, engineering jobs take the longest time to fill. In comparison to other job functions where the average fill time is 47.6 days, jobs within engineering take 60-62 days to fill.

 

 

(Image credit: Workable)

Why is that?

  • MECHANICAL ENGINEERS ARE IN DEMAND:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected Mechanical Engineers employment rate will go up by 9% by 2026.  Driving this growth are innovations within the automation, medical device, biotechnology and aerospace industries.

  • TALENT SHORTAGE:

Unemployment in manufacturing as a whole is currently at 3.3%. There’s also the upcoming exodus of Baby Boomers from the workforce that is expected to impact the labor force by year 2022, specifically in manufacturing. In addition, the younger generation comprised of millennials (people born within 1980-1995) and Gen Z (people born within 1995-2010) are more interested in pursuing jobs in the software field. In a recent article published by Glassdoor.com, only 2% of Gen Z job applicants applied for Mechanical Engineering jobs, while 19% applied for Software Engineer roles.

(Image credit: Glassdoor.com)

 Due to these conditions, the competition for available mechanical engineering talents is getting more fierce.

  • LACK OF SPECIALIZATION IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING RECRUITING:

Human Resource personnel are overworked and oftentimes overwhelmed in trying to fill a variety of positions within an organization. Most internal recruiters are required to fill positions in multiple engineering disciplines, not to mention roles in other departments within the company. Even in the narrow field of mechanical engineering, there are specializations and nuances. The lack of understanding of the subtle differences in mechanical engineering skillsets will cause recruiters to misidentify candidates and as a result, create a backlog in hiring.

From a candidate’s perspective, the job seeking process is equally arduous. In a study conducted by TalentWorks.com, an average mechanical engineering job seeker sends out 101 applications/resumes and interviews for 90+ days before getting an offer from a company. Faced with a scarce engineering candidate pool and an extremely competitive labor market, employers must tighten up their hiring process to avoid losing promising candidates.

(Image credit: TalentWorks)

So, how to hire Mechanical Engineers more effectively? Get specialized help with a niched staffing firm!

A “niched” staffing firm is one that has chosen to concentrate on serving a particular engineering specialization.  By doing this they have gained a strong understanding of the most critical technical requirements within that engineering discipline AND they have developed a wide network of engineering candidates within their niche.

  1. Use niched staffing firms to reach passive candidates

Niche staffing firms can leverage their well-developed network to reach passive mechanical engineering candidates – quickly.  A proactive niched staffing firm has built relationships with engineering candidates, understand candidates’ career goals, and keeps in regular contact.  This enables them to respond to job openings quickly, with the right candidates.

  1. Reduce interview time by test-driving candidates on a contract-to-hire basis

Accelerate the hiring process by using a contract-to-hire strategy.  The advantages are, reduced interviewing time, ability to assess new hires’ technical skills on the job and personality and cultural fit.  In 60-90 days you will have enough data to help make the hiring decision confidently.  Another benefit is the flexibility of the length of the contract – there is no minimum number or months or weeks required.  It is a service that you can “turn” on or off at your discretion.  In addition, the staffing firm will handle all the employer’s state and federal compliance requirements (such as tax withholdings, Workers Compensation Insurance, ACA requirements…etc.)

There are obvious benefits for job seekers as well.  They avoid round after round of interviewing, answering the same questions and waiting long periods for feedback.  In addition, candidates can also use the contract-to-hire period to assess the employer – their management structure, engineering processes, the actual job itself, and finally the personality of the engineering team.

Don’t lose good candidates to your competitors!

The numbers shown above are surprising. With the rate of unemployment projected to dip lower, time is of the essence in finding and hiring top mechanical engineering talents. At SoloPoint Solutions, we are confident in the recruiting strategies we have developed over the years to alleviate the challenges of a competitive job market.  To find out more about our specialized services, contact us today!

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