“Talking with a recruiter doesn’t imply dissatisfaction. It’s a chance to discover and understand more about different companies and job opportunities” – Jen Hubbard
In this episode, I interviewed Jen Hubbard, recruiter, and talent acquisition at Wallace Design Collective, and we talked about recruiting strategies for modern engineering firms and adaptability in considering changes in the job market. Jen also provides tips on candidate sourcing, relationship-building, and successful salary negotiations.
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Top Recruiting Strategies for Modern Engineering Firms:
- Recruiters can stay up to date with the candidate market by implementing new recruiting strategies such as recruitment marketing and inbound recruiting. Companies that first adopt these new recruiting best practices will be more likely to attract talent. In addition, recruiters can focus on defining talent needs by prioritizing skills instead of hiring profiles, uncovering the total skills market rather than targeting known talent pools, and creating responsive EVPs, not just responsive candidates. While the AEC industry may not be the highest bidder, it might be the best fit for candidates’ longevity and career direction.
- It is important to focus on a candidate’s career goals and aspirations, including their long-term objectives, such as their end goal 20 years down the road, and their short-term goals, such as obtaining a PE license. Conversations with industry professionals can help candidates learn more about different companies and opportunities.
- Flexibility is key to a successful recruiting strategy. Conversations with industry professionals can help candidates learn more about different companies and opportunities. It is important to focus on a candidate’s career goals and aspirations, including their long-term objectives, such as their end goal 20 years down the road, and their short-term goals, such as obtaining a PE license.
- The candidate’s experience is crucial. Transparency is key to creating a positive experience. Recruiters should focus on understanding the candidate’s needs and preferences. Finally, recruiters should be mindful of the importance of management style and personality fit when evaluating candidates.
- Successful recruiting strategies involve building relationships with internal clients. By knowing the overarching plan for the department or team within a certain amount of time, recruiters can identify potential candidates of interest. Starting with strategic hires and then moving on to tactical hires is a suggested approach. By nurturing relationships with internal clients, recruiters can better understand their vision and be better positioned to identify candidates of interest.
- Recruiters dedicated to their industry and clients are often visible in the community, attending events such as American Society of Civil Engineers meetings or fundraisers and participating in organizations like the Society of Women Engineers. Identifying recruiters with companies you want to work with or want information about and building a relationship with them can be beneficial. Many recruiters are involved in other organizations like ATAP and Sharm and know people working in other industries and for companies around their local areas so they can be referrals to other companies.
- A recruiter typically doesn’t ask about salary until they’ve developed a rapport with the candidate. Depending on the candidate, salary might not even be discussed in the first conversation. After discussing motivators and determining if anything has changed, the recruiter will discuss compensation, including salary and bonuses. The recruiter will provide a range and wiggle room and may work on expectations of cost-of-living comparisons for candidates coming from out of state. By the time the recruiter gets to a salary conversation, they have a pretty good idea of whether the candidate is considerate of just the bottom line or more interested in the overall opportunity or opportunity for ownership, allowing them to tailor their offer to best suit the candidate’s needs.
- Candidates should not feel uncomfortable discussing salary with recruiters. Telling recruiters up front how much they are making now and what they are looking for can be helpful. Candidates can also apply for positions they are interested in, even if the salary range isn’t more than what they are making now or their target salary number. They can always talk to their recruiter or hiring manager to see if there is any wiggle room. Developing a relationship in the industry and community is never a waste of time.
- When it comes to accepting a job offer, candidates should not feel like they are wasting the hiring manager’s or company’s time by exploring an opportunity. Enjoy the process and look at it as due diligence rather than wasting someone’s time. If you’re working with a recruiter who is transparent with you about their process and confidentiality, then you shouldn’t worry about your boss finding out that you talked to them. Those are not things that you should worry about.
- When an employee is unhappy and considering leaving, they should not be afraid to approach their boss and express their needs and wants. Employers should actively ask questions to understand their employees’ needs. Employees can ask for more responsibilities or changes in their current responsibilities. It’s important to remember that employees can make their needs the norm.
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