Engineers are always in steady demand, and engineering programs remain some of the most popular university programs in Canada. Every year, new engineers with tremendous skill sets enter the job market looking for employment, alongside other engineers looking for a change of place or position. When you’re looking to hire engineers, there are certain things you should know to ensure you get the best candidates possible.
In our technology-driven world, job seekers have become increasingly savvy when it comes to preparing for interviews and fielding questions. Especially in a competitive field like engineering, candidates have easy access to the standard questions they will be asked and the kinds of answers interviewers expect in return.
While preparing for interviews is a great thing, this sort of preparation can put hiring managers at a severe disadvantage, making it harder to suss out which candidates are actually qualified and which candidates simply know what answers they should be given. This means that you should constantly be working to update interview questions, and to ask questions that are both challenging and that highlight real strategies the engineers would bring to the table.
When you hire engineers, one of the best things you can do is divert from the traditional interview question format and insert more interactive elements into the meeting. It’s crucial that you get a good feel for how they problem solve and approach tasks on a practical level. Engineering is all about applying principles to real life situations and using extensive knowledge to come up with solutions for real problems.
Testing candidates’ ability to apply their knowledge to actual scenarios under pressure is a great way to determine their suitability for the position. Additionally, you’ll get a good idea of how independent, creative, or quick thinking they are. While candidates can study the right answers for a more traditional style interview, they will need to actually demonstrate their skill set to excel in a more interactive interview. If you decide on an interactive approach to interviews, make sure to incorporate as many reality-based scenarios as possible—things they would actually encounter were they to get the position. This will help you get a better idea of how they would fit into the role, and it will also give them an understanding of what they’d be expected to undertake.
In a field like engineering, where there are many job seekers who come with high levels of experience and education, many candidates are passive as opposed to active job hunters. Passive candidates are those who are not actively looking for employment, either because they already have a job or because they are in demand and are more likely to be approached first. Passive candidates might casually browse job postings, or they may hear about job openings from non-traditional sources, such as social media or personal referrals. Passive candidates also make up the majority of the workforce, with roughly 75% of all candidates being categorically passive.
This is especially true in engineering, where many candidates are headhunted straight out of academic programs and where demand for specialized skill leads many companies to actively seek out candidates individually. Learning to cater your hiring process to passive candidates as well as active candidates is essentialwhen you hire engineers. You can do this by encouraging employee referrals and instigating a referral program, using alternative platformslike social media for reaching potential candidates, and keeping candidate pools going even when you don’t currently have a position open.