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Recruiting an engineering manager: Key steps and insights

Recruitment | 6 Min Read

Recruiting an engineering manager: Key steps and insights


An engineering manager handles an organization’s projects, teams, and operations efficiently. They oversee general engineering tasks and ensure the timely execution of these projects. These managers balance technical knowledge and people skills, ensuring the allocation of tasks to the team members aligns with their skill sets. Along with a firm grasp of the software engineering process, including designing, developing, testing, and deploying software, they understand how these activities fit into the broader business picture.


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When to hire an engineering manager?

Increase in responsibilities:

Providing a supportive work environment where employees thrive and succeed is crucial. Therefore, an engineering manager who allocates tasks in an effective manner preventing employee exhaustion and burnout, is essential.

Need for improvement:

Introducing structure and guidance prevents frequent errors. Hiring an engineering manager helps employees create optimum outputs without challenges.

Need for structure:

A proper format is essential for employees to utilize their abilities efficiently. Having an engineering manager enhances the work system.

Slow development:

Development is critical in engineering. Hiring an engineering manager aids in meeting targets and achieving goals.

Company expansion:

A growing company requires support from the infrastructure and management. An engineering manager helps navigate the growth phase of increasing responsibilities and team expansion.


Roles and responsibilities of an engineering manager

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Project management:


They ensure projects are finished on time, within budget, and meet organizational standards. This includes creating, designing, developing, and implementing engineering projects and solutions.


Team management:


They hire, train, and mentor team members encouraging high productivity and engagement. They also monitor the team’s performance and share valuable feedback, helping manage the regular operations of the engineering team.


Technical expertise:


Engineering managers exhibit knowledge and understanding of field technologies, tools, and methodologies.


Cross-functional collaboration:


They align activities with the organization’s goals and work with diverse internal and external stakeholders.


Risk mitigation:


They play a crucial role in identifying and addressing potential issues within projects, including aspects such as cost management and safety considerations.


Ongoing learning:


Engineering managers stay updated with novel technologies, tools, and trends to improve engineering processes.


Strategic planning:


They ensure that the team knows the critical work areas with a clear understanding of goals and priorities and use resources wisely to make intelligent choices and manage deadlines.


Top interview questions for hiring an engineering manager

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  • How do you simplify a complex project into manageable steps?
  • How do you prioritize projects?
  • How do you ensure a project stays on track and finishes on time?
  • Have you worked with non-technical staff, like product managers or top executives? How did you explain your goals and priorities to them?
  • How do you assign tasks to different team members?
  • How do you handle promoting or letting go of an engineer, and what are the most common reasons for doing so?
  • Do you have coaching or mentoring experience?
  • What would you do if an engineer disagreed with your technical choices for a project?
  • Can you share an example of a workplace conflict you resolved successfully?


Advantages of hiring an engineering manager

Effective task delegation:

Engineering managers know when and how to delegate the work to the engineering team. They oversee, guide, and trust team members to handle tasks without constant supervision.

Flexibility and openness:

Engineering managers inculcate flexibility and openness to negotiation. Encouraging members to share their thoughts, consider different options, and find solutions together makes a stronger team.

Belief in the team:

Having an engineering manager who trusts the team's capabilities and offers support whenever needed builds a positive work environment, boosts productivity, and helps members thrive.

Honest feedback:

Managers who provide feedback with honesty and are interested in the professional growth of the team members help deliver successful outcomes.


How Mercer | Mettl can help?

Mercer | Mettl provides solutions for a seamless hiring process with holistic pre-employment assessments to evaluate candidates’ core traits and skills scientifically.

  • Lateral hiring assessment tools include personality, behavioral, cognitive, technical, coding, and communication skills assessments.
  • Personality assessments evaluate the employee’s personality, including an individual’s behavior and responses. These tests are designed to understand the candidates’ preferences, motivations, emotional stability, interests, and communication patterns and if they are a cultural fit in the team.
  • Aptitude tests measure mental abilities such as verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, logical reasoning, problem-solving, memory, speaking skills, and mathematical ability. Depending on the demands of the job role, these tests provide an overview of a candidate’s ability to understand tasks and solve work-related problems.
  • Technical tests measure a candidate’s understanding of a specific domain. These assessments evaluate the knowledge of concepts, tools and frameworks of the particular domain.



Engineering management is vital to the success of an organization. Hiring engineering managers with a unique blend of technical expertise, management skills, and the ability to handle the role’s demands is crucial.

A strategic hiring approach is essential to recruit the most suitable engineering manager. It involves establishing precise job requirements, utilizing assessment tools, and conducting thorough interviews to identify the appropriate candidate. Engineering managers are instrumental in driving innovation and achieving success within the organization.


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What are the requirements for an engineering manager?

Is there a demand for engineering managers?

Why should we hire an engineering manager?

Originally published August 25 2023, Updated August 25 2023

Written by

Vaishali has been working as a content creator at Mercer | Mettl since 2022. Her deep understanding and hands-on experience in curating content for education and B2B companies help her find innovative solutions for key business content requirements. She uses her expertise, creative writing style, and industry knowledge to improve brand communications.

About This Topic

The primary objectives of recruitment and selection are to ensure high-quality candidates who are culturally fit and work toward shared organizational goals and vision.

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