11 minutes read

The Ultimate Guide to Engineering Recruitment

Introduction

Knowing how to recruit top engineering talent is an essential component of building a successful, productive, and innovative workforce.

Engineering recruitment is the process of identifying, attracting, and hiring highly skilled individuals to fill positions within a company, and essential for businesses that rely on technical skill & expertise. Engineering roles cover a wide range of disciplines, from mechanical, electrical & design engineers to maintenance and field service engineers. Identifying and attracting the right calibre of engineering talent is crucial for a company’s success, as engineers play a fundamental role in designing, developing and maintaining products, systems, and infrastructure.

Table of Contents

TalentTech’s comprehensive guide will help you navigate the complex world of engineering recruitment, from understanding the importance of effective recruitment strategies, the challenges faced with the ever-increasing competitive candidate market, and overcoming the difficulty relating to current engineering skills gaps through effective candidate attraction methods, positive onboarding of recruits and the retention of existing engineers.

TalentTech are specialist engineering recruiters, with over 100 years of combined recruitment experience we understand how to attract, onboard, and retain the best engineering talent.

The Importance of Engineering Recruitment for Businesses

There are many reasons why having a robust recruitment strategy for the recruiting of engineers is fundamental to the success of any company.

Here we discuss the significant values engineers bring to any business:

Technical Expertise – Engineers have specific technical knowledge and skills necessary to create, design, build, and maintain complex products or systems. They are the source of technological advancements & developments in many industries.

Innovation – Engineers drive change & innovation by constantly evolving & developing new technologies, processes and solutions that enhance a company’s competitiveness and market position.

Problem-Solving – Engineering professionals excel at problem-solving, making them valuable assets for addressing technical challenges and improving existing products or systems.

Quality Assurance – Engineers improve product quality, reliability, and safety ensuring that a business continues to meet or exceed industry standards.

Continuous Development: – Engineers continue to evolve existing methods and streamline processes and systems which can lead to technological advancements, cost savings and increased design quality.

What Does it Take to be a Good Engineer?

Having a successful engineering career requires a combination of technical knowledge, experience, logical problem-solving skills, practical creativity and a commitment to continuous learning. Good engineers adapt to evolving modern technologies and keep up-to-speed with industry trends.

The Many Roles in Engineering

Engineering role types can vary considerably based on the industry sector and discipline. Engineers can be responsible for designing & testing products, managing projects, or ensuring the smooth running of equipment/systems and work both independently and or as part of wider teams to achieve project goals. 

Read more about the role of a Service Engineer. 

What is an Average Engineering Salary?

What you should expect to pay, or earn as a salary in engineering can vary significantly based on a number of factors. such as the level of experience, specialisation, location and industry sector will all determine what you should be paying or be paid. Here are some approximate salary ranges for different engineering roles in the UK.

Salary ranges for Engineers in the UK the ranges for jobs are as follows: Mechanical engineer 33k – 49k Electrical engineer 30k-43k Field service engineer 29k-40k Design engineer 35k-50k Maintenance engineer 35k-47k Graduate engineer 30k-35k

Date Source: Glassdoor

What does an Engineer do?

The job of an engineer involves using engineering principles to design, develop, and maintain various equipment, products or systems. Tasks will vary by role but can include:

Key Skills Engineers Need

Engineering is diverse, so the specific skills and qualities needed can vary based on the engineering sector, industry & job role. Here are the key skills and qualities that every good engineer has:

  1. Technical Expertise: Expertise in troubleshooting faults/breakdowns, repairing & maintaining and repairing equipment or systems on-site.
  2. Problem-Solving Skills: Effective, efficient & detailed troubleshooting of technical issues to minimise downtime.
  3. Analytical Thinking: Analysing data to identify patterns and root causes of recurring issues.
  4. Communication Skills: Clear communication with clients and team members to explain issues and solutions.
  5. Attention to Detail: Thorough inspection of equipment and accurate documentation of reports.
  6. Flexibility: Ability to handle pressure and changing working conditions.
  7. Project Management Skills: Managing service, breakdowns & repair field operations efficiently.
  8. Health & Safety Awareness: Prioritising safety during on-site work and maintenance.
  9. Continuous Learning: Knowledgeable on all new equipment and technology.
  10. Innovation: Developing creative solutions for complex equipment issues.

Read more on What Is The Role Of A Field Service Engineer, Field Service Engineer Interview Questions, and The Career Part Of A Field Service Engineer.

  1. Technical Expertise: Expertise of relevant CAD design software and tools.
  2. Problem-Solving Skills: Creative problem-solving to optimise designs and address ongoing technical challenges.
  3. Analytical Thinking: Assessing design specifications and conducting feasibility studies
  4. Communication Skills: Effective collaboration with colleagues to bring designs to completion.
  5. Attention to Detail: Accurate design specifications avoiding any errors & safety issues.
  6. Flexibility: Creativity to ensure designs meet changing project requirements.
  7. Project Management Skills: Ensuring projects are kept to schedule and within budget.
  8. Health & Safety Awareness: Ensuring designs meet safety standards and regulations.
  9. Continuous Learning: Aware of the latest CAD design tools and techniques.
  10. Innovation: Inspired product design to improve performance and efficiency.

What Will I Get Asked In My Design Engineer Interview?

  1. Technical Expertise: Effective problem solving skills and a practical aptitude of mechanical principles.
  2. Problem-Solving Skills: Analytical problem-solving to improve mechanical components and systems.
  3. Analytical Thinking: Analysing various technical factors to design reliable mechanical systems.
  4. Communication Skills: Clear documentation and communication of design specifications.
  5. Attention to Detail: Awareness of material specifications and manufacturing details.
  6. Flexibility: Embracing new & evolving manufacturing processes & materials.
  7. Project Management Skills: Overseeing the production and assembly of mechanical systems.
  8. Health & Safety Awareness: Following safety features in all areas of mechanical work.
  9. Continuous Learning: Learning the latest manufacturing processes & materials.
  10. Innovation: Using new materials, techniques or systems.

Check out our latest engineering jobs here.

  1. Technical Expertise: Thorough understanding of Electrical theory and knowledge of health & safety best practice.
  2. Problem-Solving Skills: Logical problem-solving for electrical fault diagnosis & system optimisation.
  3. Analytical Thinking: Evaluating electrical circuit performance and efficiency.
  4. Communication Skills: Communicating technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders.
  5. Attention to Detail: Ensuring the accuracy of electrical circuit designs.
  6. Project Management Skills: Staying current with developing electrical technologies & safety advancements.
  7. Project Management Skills: Coordinating electrical projects from planning to execution.
  8. Health & Safety Awareness: Adhering to all electrical safety standards and codes.
  9. Continuous Learning: Aware of emerging electrical technologies & the latest health & safety requirements.
  10. Innovation: Creative electrical design for improved energy efficiency and performance.

Check out our latest engineering jobs here.

Engineering Recruitment Best Practice

The best way to recruit engineers is to continually evolve to meet the demands of a dynamic and fast-paced industry. With our years of recruitment experience, we are sharing some industry best practices, giving insights into current recruitment trends, challenges, and the suggested strategies for attracting and retaining top engineering talent in this competitive industry:

Skills Shortages and Talent Gaps

Hiring Challenge: The engineering industry faces a significant skills shortage, particularly in emerging high growth sectors.

TT Recommends:

Companies are investing in upskilling and reskilling programs to develop the skillsets required.

Flexible Working

Hiring Challenge: Modern acceptance of flexible working can be challenging for manufacturing or field service engineering roles that traditionally required a physical presence.

TT Recommends:

Companies are implementing remote work solutions, virtual teamworking tools, and flexible scheduling to adapt.

Diversity

Hiring Challenge: Engineering has historically lacked diversity, with underrepresentation of women and minority groups.

TT Recommends:

Companies are prioritising diversity initiatives by offering equal opportunities, promoting STEM education, and implementing inclusive hiring policies.

Digital Recruitment

Hiring Challenge: The ease of applications and the volume of applications for roles can be overwhelming, time consuming making it challenging to identify the best candidates efficiently.

TT Recommends:

Digital recruitment software platforms are effective, these tools can analyse CVs checking candidate suitability whilst managing the overall recruitment process. TalentTech streamlines the recruitment processes, presenting you with a shortlist of qualified candidates, saving clients time, effort, money and resource

Soft Skills

Hiring Challenge: As well as hard skills, all engineering roles require softer skills such as communication, teamwork, and adaptability.

TT Recommends:

Forward thinking Companies are emphasising the importance of soft skills during the recruitment process with these assessed through the interviewing and assessment process.

Virtual Interviews & Assessments

Hiring Challenge: Modern technology has made virtual interviews & assessments common place. The flexibility it gives to both interviewers & candidates makes it now the preferred recruitment process for all 1st interviews.

TT Recommends:

The recruitment process is more streamlined and efficient, resulting in the required outcome when: first interviews, technical assessments, and practical tests are conducted virtually.

Employer of Choice

Hiring Challenge: With competition hotting up for attracting & retaining top engineering talent having a strong employer brand will help you compete.

TT Recommends:

Companies invest in building a positive brand by promoting their exciting projects, positive workplace culture, and opportunities for training and development, differentiating them from competitors.

Effective Engineering Recruitment Strategies

Attracting, hiring, and retaining top engineering talent is essential for all companies looking to succeed in a competitive job market.

TalentTech builds effective recruitment strategies tailored to the unique demands of each engineering role:

Having helped 100’s of companies effectively recruit engineers throughout the UK, executive recruiter Nick Goodwin explains how TalentTech can assist in attracting, hiring, and retaining the best engineering talent. No two recruits are the same, so every engineering recruitment hire is different. Here are some key considerations to look at when hiring your next engineer:

Industry and Role-Specific Skills: Every engineering role requires unique skills, experience, and qualifications, therefore, your recruitment strategy needs to reflect this.

Location: How does the geographical location of your company and the preferred candidate’s position impact the available talent pool? Offering flexible work arrangements can enhance the attraction of engineering talent.

Employee Rewards: Be aware of industry trends, conduct salary benchmarking exercises, or talk to specialist engineering recruiters to ensure rewards and benefits packages remain competitive and attractive.

Importance of Career Development & Retention: Focus on strategies to keep top engineering talent. On going training, professional development and career advancement all boost staff retention.

Effective recruitment strategies for engineering roles encompass clear job descriptions, a diverse and efficient recruitment process, competitive salaries, and a strong focus on employee development and retention. TalentTech understands the unique factors, considerations, and challenges involved in recruiting & hiring engineers. We can help your organisation attract, hire, onboard and retain the best engineering talent in the market.

TalentTech are specialist engineering recruiters, with over 100 years of combined recruitment experience we understand how to attract, onboard, and retain the best engineering talent.

Our Case Studies

TalentTech is a specialist technical recruitment agency that prides itself on matching innovative companies with the very best Engineering talent. We stand apart from other UK recruitment companies and, with over 100 years’ combined experience in the engineering field, our consultants really understand the market like no other.

You will always find us straightforward, honest, and transparent. Whether you are looking for your next career move, or your next recruit, we deliver an exceptional service that is second to none.

We take pride in our 5-Star Google Review rating. Here are some of the opinions shared by individuals who have collaborated with TalentTech:

Read through some of our additional case studies.

The Role of an Engineering Recruiter

Engineering recruiters play a key role in identifying, attracting, and securing top-performing engineering professionals for organisations. Their expertise and experience is invaluable in the highly specialised field of engineering recruitment.

What are the key functions and value of a good engineering recruiter:

Identifying Top-Performing Engineering Professionals

Engineering recruiters are skilled at identifying individuals who possess the specific technical knowledge, qualifications, and experience needed for engineering roles. They thoroughly screen candidates, looking beyond the CV to assess their problem-solving abilities, technical competency, and the softer skills required. This process ensures that only the most suitable candidates are presented to hiring companies.

The Value of Engineering Recruiters

Access to a Vast Network – With over 25 years of experience in technical and engineering recruitment, Nick has cultivated an extensive network. This allows TalentTech to tap into a broad pool of potential candidates, including those not actively seeking the next new opportunity.

Thorough Industry Knowledge – Our expertise is built on years of working in the engineering recruitment industry. Having engineering backgrounds we understand the intricacies of the varying engineering disciplines, enabling us to accurately assess candidates’ skills and match them with the right roles.

Effective, Efficient & Transparent Recruitment Process – TalentTech streamlines the recruitment process, saving organisations time, effort and resources. With our years of experience we understand how an effective, efficient & transparent recruitment process can ensure a successful hiring outcome. Our team of specialist engineering recruiters conduct initial screenings, technical assessments and detailed interviews to present only the best-matched candidates for consideration.

Market Insights – We stay informed about industry trends and salary benchmarks. This knowledge ensures that salary, rewards & bonus packages offered are competitive and attractive to top engineering talent.

Why Use an Engineering Recruiter

Specialised Expertise: Engineering recruitment is highly specialised. Utilising a recruiter with expertise in the field ensures a thorough understanding of the job description and the skills required for success.

Time and Cost Saving: Engineering recruiters streamline the hiring process, saving organisations the time and effort required for sourcing, screening, and assessing candidates. This efficiency minimises downtime in filling crucial engineering roles and a quicker time to hire.

Access to Passive Candidates: Many top engineering professionals are not actively searching for new jobs. Engineering recruiters have access to these passive candidates and can engage them for your organisation.

Interview Experience: Recruiters are skilled at identifying top-performing candidates and minimising the risk of a bad hire. This assurance is particularly vital in the hiring of engineers, where expertise, skill and ability are critical.

Conclusion

Recruiting top engineering talent is a challenge; it’s an essential part of building a successful, innovative, and productive organisation. Engineering roles cover a wide range of disciplines, each demanding a unique set of technical skills and expertise. Therefore engineering recruitment and the hiring of good engineers is a complex process that requires a thorough understanding of the industry,  awareness of current market conditions, and detailed candidate assessment techniques so a systematic tailored approach by experienced industry specialists is required to find the most suitable engineering candidates.

TalentTech, as a specialist technical & engineering recruitment agency, is committed to making the recruitment process smoother, more efficient, and ultimately more successful. We understand the unique demands of engineering roles and are here to assist your organisation in finding the best talent in the market.

If you’re ready to boost your engineering team with top talent or explore new career opportunities in the engineering field, don’t hesitate to get in touch with TalentTech today.

Get a FREE consultation today!

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Testimonials

As a hiring manager, I have found TalentTech to be the most professional, transparent and effective recruitment service I have worked with throughout my career. They truly understand the market.
Garry Armstrong - Senior Product Manager
The team are extremely professional and helped me immensely throughout my whole interview process, going above and beyond expectations to ensure I was fully prepared. They did an incredible job and I would recommend TalentTech highly.
Emily Reddi - Sales Development Representative
Superb recruitment company. I sent Talent Tech a detailed skill set description of what it was I was looking for in terms of maintenance engineers, and they delivered exactly that. Cannot fault the service. Excellent all round. I have no doubt where to go when I need to recruit.
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Steve Clews - Maintenance Manager
A big thankyou to Dave at TalentTech Recruitment who helped me secure my new role. His help and support through this challenging time has been invaluable and without his input I very much doubt I would have got this position. I have let my new employer know of TalentTech's input and will happily recommend them for all future recruitment.
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Louise Oldham - Sales Account Manager
John and the team at TalentTech Recruitment are an absolute credit to themselves. John worked tirelessly with myself throughout every stage of the recruitment process, and it was with his help and support that I was successful in securing the perfect role within a fantastic company. He made sure that I was constantly kept informed during every step of the process, providing me with even the smallest details and information required. His extensive knowledge of the whole recruitment process and his attention to detail were second to none and I would absolutely not hesitate in recommending John, Nick and the team at TalentTech to anyone with specialist recruitment requirements, the guys will 100% give you the upmost effort and commitment. I can't thank them enough, it has been an absolute pleasure working with them.
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Neil Foster - National Trade Sales Manager
John was very timely throughout the process, and very easy to talk with. Constructive input without the need to follow up for information made communication very practical. John was very considerate and professional, which helped put my mind at ease. I have now secured a brilliant role in an excellent company with the help of a faultless process from TalentTech.
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Dominic Protacio - Sales Development Representative
I cannot recommend TalentTech Recruitment highly enough! They have been an incredible partner in our recruitment process, providing us with expert guidance, support, and exceptional talent. From the very start, the team at TalentTech took the time to understand our company culture, our values, and the specific skills and experience we were looking for in candidates. They were always available to answer any questions we had, and they were proactive in keeping us informed throughout the recruitment process. What impressed me most about TalentTech was their commitment to finding the right fit for our team. They took the time to thoroughly screen candidates, and presented us with high-quality candidates that exceeded our expectations. Thanks to TalentTech, we were able to find the perfect candidate for our open position quickly and efficiently. We are thrilled with our new team member and couldn't have done it without TalentTech's expertise and support. If you're looking for a recruitment partner who truly cares about finding the right talent for your team, then I highly recommend TalentTech Recruitment. They are a top-notch team that we would work with again in a heartbeat.
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Jason Sykes - Director
John was a complete professional when it came to supporting me through the interview process. Very easy to speak to and gave great advice on his client. Would go to again if I find myself out of a job!
Thomas Davies - Customer Success Executive
Ryan is a fantastic and thorough recruiter who provided guidance and updates which within two weeks landed me in a dream role at an awesome company! From his professional approach to his friendly and helpful demeanour, he was brilliant throughout the process. For anyone looking to change roles, I couldn't recommend anyone more.
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Ben Rioda - Sales Development Representative
John is very professional and persistent. I was delighted to have the opportunity to work with him. Without his help I would not have been successful in my recent job search.
Martin Reppion - Business Development Manager
Ryan was absolutely fantastic at helping me to find the perfect job. His brilliant communication and continued service throughout enabled me to find a role that is ideal for me at an incredible company! I would highly recommend Ryan for any of your recruitment needs, he was very easy to talk to, professional and identified my strengths to align me to a specific job role.
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Harry Woodard - Business Development Executive
David was fantastic to work with. Very helpful, supportive and I'm very grateful to him for putting me forward to a cracking sales role that I have now secured. I highly recommend David and the team around him at talenttech recruitment!
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Anton Archer - Area Sales Manager
Dave and Nick were very helpful in supporting me on the recruitment process. They were very accommodating during my out of hours office calls and responded to emails and messages very promptly. They ensured that the company was fit for purpose for my needs and demands and encouraged me to Pursue this company which being part of Filtermist now has been challenging and fulfilling. John and Nick are professional, pro-active and pleasant gentlemen to be involved with. I would certainly recommend them as a recruiter both from a candidate and a hiring managers perspective
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Manpreet Maan - Proposals Engineer
From first contact with John, he was open, friendly & offered some great advice. Throughout the process he was efficient & diligent with his communication/feedback & having this from a recruiter made the interview/job change process far easier - which is a rare thing! I thoroughly recommend John & his business when you’re looking for a new role/career change
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Will McCullough - Area Sales Manager
We were struggling to find the right candidate for our Marketing vacancy so reached out to Nick and the team at TalentTech, we went through every aspect of the role and our company culture in detail. He gave us valuable insight into the current market and from this we were able to readdress the job spec, which helped attract a higher calibre candidate. I would without a doubt recommend TalentTech Recruitment. They are attentive, detailed and the person who we hired has been nothing but brilliant.
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Lee Bunting - Air Ambulance
I worked with John to secure my current position. He is hands down the best Recruiter I have ever worked with. 10/10. Excellent communicator, friendly, helpful, efficient. Moreover, John is intelligent, he has great knowledge and can provide insight if required. I have every confidence in John and he is easily my number one choice for any future needs.
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Stephanie Lyttle - Business Development Manager
Highly recommend John for the professionalism and support during the whole recruitment process. Very Encouraging to be kept up to date and informed through out. Many thanks for your help and advice.
Craig McCormack - Systems Engineer
David was helpful and prudent, supplying helpful information and advice when assisting me with first and second stage interviews after he introduced my CV to a role I'm very happy to have received. Thanks David
Joshua Palmer - Design Engineer
Recruiting engineers with the right technical skillsets has always been a challenge however with the ongoing support to any live roles TalentTech continue support our ongoing recruitment campaigns. We were kept fully informed throughout the process, the detail and lines of communications kept us up to speed and we were made fully aware of every stage of the process. In an increasingly difficult to recruit with they overcame this by listening to our requirements, spent time to understand our business. The shortlisted candidates have always been consistently good and it’s a refreshing experience to often have a choice of a strong shortlist, and on occasions we have recruited more than initial requirements due to the quality and depth of the shortlist. We’ve found the TalentTech engineering recruitment team to be knowledgeable, personal and a please to deal with.
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Hannah Craig - Zwick Roell Ltd
John has been absolutely first class since the moment I applied for a role with TalentTech. He gave me instant feedback on my CV which was a massive help as I hadn’t had to write one for a while! He also provided advice throughout the interview process which was really valuable. I managed to land the role and this was in no small part down to John and his unwavering support. Checking in to see how I was getting on, asking me if I needed advice on anything and even after I’d secured the position, I could tell he was genuinely buzzing for me. A top recruiter and a top person to deal with. Highly recommend his expertise.
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Michael Hyneman - Business Development Representative
Ryan has been amazing in getting me the sales job of my dreams! The help and support has been unreal. He has been very professional and understanding with giving the best advice and preparing me for all 3 of my interviews. Never have I had such great support from a recruiter before.
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Kashala Whittingham - Sales Development Representative
The TalentTech team are honest, transparent, and efficient. They are a trusted partner with great experience in matching clients to new staff. Working with TalentTech must be treated as a true partnership. When tooled with the right level of information and expectation the TalentTech team deliver on what they promise. I am grateful for the advice provided in a straightforward manner during the recruitment process to enable me to make decisive decisions to secure the best talent. Their approach to recruitment is refreshing, I will continue to recommend them to both candidates and employers.
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Steve Rowland - Business Unit General Manager
I’d worked with John, Richard and Lyndsey for a few years, so when I was planning the next move in my career it seemed right to speak with TalentTech. They listened to exactly what I wanted and needed, went away and did their research and then presented me with opportunities that were a good fit. John helped me with interview preparation and organised each step with the company. I got a job which is my perfect fit and I know I will be there for a long time. I hadn’t come across the company before and wouldn’t have known about them without TT’s help and expertise. TalentTech are professional, helpful and knowledgeable in their market!
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Lori Wheatman - Account Executive
I can't recommend Nick Goodwin at TalentTech highly enough. Not only is he thorough and knowledgeable from a recruitment perspective but also goes the extra mile for his candidates.....even speaking to my son to give him a recruiter's perspective as he entered the job market after university. Thanks Nick for all your support.
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