How To Attract And Hire Top Engineering Talent

How To Attract And Hire Top Engineering Talent - Compensation and Benefits

No one can argue against the fact that the best team requires the best people to be successful. Going for the cream of the crop is necessary if you don’t want to settle for anything less than stellar. 

As Steve Jobs put it, “the dynamic range between what an average person could accomplish and what the best person could accomplish was 50 or 100 to 1,” and that “A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players.” This means that by going after the best people available, you can get a lot more than hiring second-rate employees. 

While ‘B Teams’ can get you somewhere, the route will be different if you choose to hire an ‘A-team. With more skilled and talented employees, you’ll get the results you want or maybe even something better. There’s so much potential from getting the best people for the job so if you have great ambitions for your venture, you shouldn’t be content with anything inferior.

How To Attract Engineering Talent

This is especially the case for hiring engineers. World-class ones will step things up in your enterprise, making it crucial to only go for the finest ones. 

The only thing is, great engineers are always in high demand. In fact, engineers are the most in-demand professionals in the US with only 1 in 100 of them being unemployed. These numbers are still very dynamic as well as lots of engineers are versatile enough to do other things and they’re not afraid to give it a shot. According to a survey, about 50% of software developers plan to switch jobs soon. 

By being in demand, engineers also get to have a choice on where they want to work and what they want to do. All of these mean that employers need to face stiff competition if they don’t want second-rate engineers on their team. 

It’s not just enough to source the top people for the job but it’s also a must to win them over in order to actually get them to work with you. They know they have other options, so if what you have to offer pales in comparison to others, you will fail to build your A-Team.

Hiring the Best Engineers is a Challenge and an Opportunity

At this point, this fact should already be clear to you. When it comes to getting top-performing engineers to join your team, it’s not a matter of who you’ll choose but the other way around. These folks are possibly courted by dozens of other ventures like yours so the competition is definitely fierce. 

On many occasions, it’s the startup or enterprise that is at a disadvantage in situations like these as they have to beef up their offerings in order to be considered as a viable option. However, you still have a fighting chance as you still offer solid opportunities to many. It’s possible to find those who are willing to take a risk on your startup. They can see what they can do for you and what challenges your enterprise can bring to the table and they might like that. It’s just that you still have to package all of those things in an attractive bundle so they’ll choose you over others.

How do you do that, though? Here are a few things that can clue you in:

1. Understand what engineers are looking for (aside from good compensation and benefits).

The first thing that you should do to attract potential high-quality hires is to understand what exactly they want in a new job. In the case of engineers, experts identified three things: opportunity, challenge, and community.

Of course, new hires, especially ones that will be key to the progress and structure of your business need to know what opportunities await them if they chose you over others. They need to know how they make an impact in your startup as it can determine the possibilities for how their career will move forward. 

The challenges your venture will offer can also entice some of the best engineers as they may be drawn by the difficult problems that they will want to solve. These promise them more opportunities to learn and enhance their skills as well as to add new things to their portfolios.

And like other hires, they’d want to be a part of a nice community where their efforts will be appreciated and where they can build good relationships with others. This can be beneficial in many ways as it can ensure less stressful work environments, better networking opportunities, and a good sense of belonging. In fact, a survey shows that some engineers are willing to accept lower pay offers if a brand has an excellent company culture.

2. Work on your branding

Not a lot of folks realize it but marketing also plays a huge role in the hiring process. If a company has a certain reputation, it’ll attract the people who want to be attached to a certain prestige or notoriety. This makes it crucial to build a good brand as it can affect your venture in various ways.

It might feel a bit odd but in order to get people on board, your brand has to appeal to them, too, right? For this, you’d need to take a step further as the same things you tell your potential clients will not suffice. You’ll also need to share your company’s mission, vision, philosophy, and culture. Candidates will need to know these key details so they can assess if their beliefs are in line with yours and if they’d want to belong in an organization like yours. 

Companies like Etsy and Square pull this off by running their Code as Craft blog where they discuss topics that are focused on their company culture. They discuss their political and philosophical stands on a wide range of topics so potential hires can get to know the brand better.

To do the same thing, experts say that you should start by talking about your passions. This will give your target audience something interesting and give them a glimpse of what your venture is about.

3. Continuously source

Sourcing engineering candidates can be a bit stressful and tiring so most brands might want to get it over with but that should never be done. If you’ve already found a few folks that hold great promise, why should you keep looking? There are two major reasons for this.

First is the fact that these folks tend to move around a lot. As mentioned above, most are always looking for new challenges and opportunities elsewhere. They can be quite adventurous and might not want to stay in one place. Continuous sourcing will help you address quick turnarounds.

The other reason is the fact that there are always new and amazing talents to be tapped. This doesn’t mean that you should keep hiring, especially if you’re an up-and-coming brand. It only means that you should always be on the lookout for someone great that you’d want to be a part of your team.

The great news is that there are several ways to effectively source talents. The best hiring platforms will give you the finest options available. Referrals will also always come valuable, especially if from other top-notch engineers. Recruiting and inviting applicants are also great ways to meet promising potential hires.

4. Don’t rush the screening process

In order to truly find a good fit for your venture, you shouldn’t speed through the process of getting to know a candidate well. Some experts actually recommend building relationships with engineers before screening them as this can really help you get the best possible results. 

This will be mutually beneficial for both parties as you can better entice them to join your team while they’ll also get to know what kinds of opportunities they’ll have if they choose to do so. Don’t think of it as a waste of time as even if the engineer ended up not choosing you, having a good relationship with industry colleagues is ideal for networking. They might be able to give you excellent referrals in the future in such cases or they might consider consulting or teaming up on a project with you.

5. Don’t dawdle when it comes to the offers stage

Closing quickly on an excellent candidate is highly recommended as it sends the other party an excellent message: that you truly want to work with them. Of course, they can still end up saying no but a swift and firm decision will always be appreciated by a great candidate. 

Experts recommend being as open as possible by discussing money matters openly and showcasing your passion for your brand. These will further showcase your decisiveness and your conviction and certainty in getting them on board. 

The Most Surefire Way to Hire the Best Talents: Share Your Story

The entire process of trying to hire world-class engineers will require you to share your story with candidates while helping them find how they fit into the puzzle. It’s a nice balance between what you have to offer and what they can bring to the table, offering a good partnership. The way some put it is that you shouldn’t be offering them just a job but you should be selling them the next stage of their life. 

The process can be tricky and downright difficult, especially with the fierce competition, but with the right techniques, you will surely find the best talents that will suit your business.

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