Ever wondered what sought after engineers are looking for in a company?

It will come as no surprise to any Engineering Manager that it takes more than attractive job specs and trendy working environments to appeal to the UK’s current market of top-performing embedded and electronics engineers. Embedded engineers are now at such a scarcity that major nationwide employers are now moving away from traditional salary banding and becoming savvier with competitive salaries and non-monetary rewards, in order to attract the best talent in this candidate-driven market.

Hardware and software engineers have OPTIONS and plenty of them. As an employer, what can you offer to attract and retain the best talent?

We have canvassed the opinions of engineers that you want to attract, as well as our top engineering consultants and compiled the best of their advice below:

What do the Engineers Say?

Work/Life Balance

With most embedded and electronics engineers investing such long hours into intense projects, candidates are seeking employers who offer a great work/life balance. Those losing out on top talent often offer just 20 days holiday a year and stick to traditional 9am-6pm working regimes, whilst their competition draws in talent by offering a modern working experience, complete with flexible workinghalf days on a Friday and more commonly 25 days annual holiday. This balance is highly popular in this market so it may be worth considering a trial quarter of flexible working and see how your engineers respond!

Be Prepared to Pay the Upper End of Your Salary Band

With embedded engineers’ niche skills increasing in value, employers should be prepared to adjust their traditional salary bands accordingly. Based on the advice from engineers and our consultants, we suggest that employers be more specific with salary banding, as engineers often feel lost when presented with an advert for £48K to £60K. Needless to say, employers looking for someone with skills worth £60K, must be prepared to pay the upper end of this salary band, or be prepared to hire a candidate with the skills worth £48K and then offer the training and development to reach a more senior level – at which point they would be deserving of a £60K salary.

Offer the Full Product Lifecycle

Embedded and electronics engineers are keen learners and if you have the capacity to offer your engineers the opportunity to broaden their skills by gaining exposure to the full product lifecycle, this will attract a wider range of multi-skilled engineers. Also providing internal and external training to extend these skills will give them a better reason to invest themselves into your company with long term commitment in mind. This training will also enhance your engineers’ job security as they will avoid the risk of pigeonholing themselves into too niche a specialism that may eventually become irrelevant if their company changes their products.

Be Efficient in Your Recruitment Process

If an employer is determined to attract the most talented engineers, the last thing they want is a slow, inefficient, lengthy recruitment process.

In the current market, embedded and electronics engineers will have multiple offers and ultimately the luxury of choice. If they are having to wait over a month for a response following their application or feedback on their interview, then they are more than likely to choose to work with a company that showed keen interest and value for their skills by working with them in a timely fashion. An employer’s recruitment process is the first exposure a candidate will have to your company, so key to attracting good talent is to make a good first impression during this process. We recommend:

  • CV feedback within 24 hours
  • Streamlined interview process (preferably 1 stage, maximum 2 stage)
  • Welcoming candidates into the company by introducing them to their team and providing site tours during the interview

Benefits, Healthcare and Pension Schemes

There’s no doubt about it, in uncertain economic times healthcare and pension packages add considerable value to reward packages. These are currently the top attractions for most engineers as they want to be reassured with financial stability and being well looked after in terms of their health and well-being.

If you want to learn more about the types of pension schemes available, have a look at The Pensions Advisory Service which has lots of useful information. Different people want different things, but some other interesting benefits which go a long way include cycle schemes, discounted local gym memberships or Perkbox accounts to help demonstrate your contribution to their well-being.

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