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A guide to engineering recruitment: Electrical, chemical, mechanical, and more

Recruitment | 6 Min Read

A guide to engineering recruitment: Electrical, chemical, mechanical, and more


“The engineer has been, and is, a maker of history,” said James Kip Finch, an American engineer and educator.

Engineers have designed, built, and developed incredible things in the world. From the invention of the light bulb to the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, engineers have made history.

According to the report published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute, Russia produces nearly 500,000 engineering graduates per year, followed by the U.S. and Iran. However, several of these graduates don’t possess practical or hands-on skills suitable for a job role.

Hence, HR managers experience many challenges when hiring skilled and qualified candidates. According to the EdTech startup Scalar, India produces nearly 1.5 million engineering graduates every year. However, 3% of them land high-quality and relevant job roles.

The gap in the existing skill set as per market standard and the actual skills of graduates can lead to wrong hiring decisions. For this reason, this blog helps recruiters make smart recruitment decisions. Understand engineering recruitment challenges and evaluate methods to overcome these issues.


Types of engineers

Continuous advancements in technology and science have led to the broadening of the existing engineering disciplines and the sprouting of new ones. Four major types of engineers are listed below:


Engineering Recruitments_Infographic 1


Electrical engineers


Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and produce electrical equipment, such as electric components, communication systems, power supplies, navigation systems, and others. They work in various industries, including manufacturing, telecommunication, and research.


Chemical engineers


Chemical engineers are involved in chemical plant design, development, operation, and maintenance. They help convert raw materials into useful products with the principles of chemistry, biology, economics, mathematics, and physics. They utilize valuable technologies, such as nanotechnology, and adopt industrial processes.


Mechanical engineers


Mechanical engineers design, test, develop, and manufacture mechanical devices and sensors. They utilize principles of energy, motion, and force to solve problems of objects’ design and manufacturing. They solve problems in various fields, including transportation, healthcare, space exploration, and others.


Civil engineers


Civil engineers plan, design, construct, maintain, and operate infrastructure while protecting the environment and public health. They help build bridges, roads, airports, dams, sewage systems, tall buildings, and towers. These professionals supervise and solve real-time issues related to infrastructure.


Common challenges in engineering recruitment

Hiring the best engineers is challenging due to high competition and investment. Understand these issues to attract top talent to your company:


Engineering Recruitments_Image 1


High competition


The marketplace is becoming fiercely competitive in attracting top talent. Recruiters compete with tech giants, startups, and small engineering firms to attract and recruit the best, innovative talent. As a result, highly-qualified and skilled engineers are receiving multiple job offers, making it increasingly difficult for recruiters to close vacancies quickly.


Shortage of skills


The increase in demand for engineers in different organizational roles has contributed to a shortage of skilled and experienced engineering professionals. The root cause is fewer opportunities to complete internships, receive training, and work under talented engineers. Hence, graduate and post-graduate candidates receive fewer opportunities of gaining hands-on experience. Thus, the gap between industry requirements and skills widens.


Longer hiring process


The hiring process for engineers is becoming more laborious, with multiple technical aspects playing an imperative role in candidate screening. Mercer | Mettl’s skills assessment tests help evaluate a candidate’s skills and knowledge in different areas, which reduces the time spent on hiring.


Strategies for efficient engineering recruitment

Adopting a few strategies can improve the overall civil engineer recruitment process. These strategies will help acquire the best talent and accelerate recruitment by helping HR managers utilize resources efficiently.


Engineering Recruitments_Infographic 2

Understand job role requirements

The key to efficient engineering recruitment is understanding the qualifications and skills necessary for a job role. Most job roles may require a graduate candidate with an engineering degree in electrical, computer science (CS), mechanical, etc. This qualification is enough to understand that the person knows the specific field.

For instance, a computer science engineer understands basic programming languages, such as object oriented programming (OOP), Python, etc.

HR managers should also check whether this role requires them to evaluate previous portfolios, check the quality and quantity of work, etc. This involves the soft skills and problem-solving skills of the candidate as well.

For instance, if you are hiring a CS team lead or managerial candidate, they must know the specific programming language, understand the fundamentals of OOP, and possess soft skills to delegate and communicate. When explaining technical issues to other company stakeholders or delegating tasks within the team, good communication skills improve understanding and reduce confusion and related challenges.

Some skills to evaluate for every technical job role are:

  • Soft skills
  • Programming skills
  • Database understanding
  • Designing skills
  • Creative and problem-solving thinking
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication skills

Create a concise job description

Spend some time creating a concise job description based on the above evaluation. This will save time and make the process efficient and quick. The exact roles, responsibilities, and skill-set requirements in the job description help candidates analyze their skills with specific business requirements. Hence, most received applications satisfy the criteria and skill set needed for the job role.

Include the following details in the job description:

  • Job location
  • Type of job
  • Remote or hybrid work culture
  • Technical skills required
  • Soft skills required
  • Qualifications for the job role
  • Type of recruitment (permanent or contractual)

Encourage referrals

According to Zippia, referrals accounted for nearly 30% to 40% of the total hires in the U.S. by the end of the third quarter of 2022. Forty-five percent of referral hires stay in the organization for more than four years, compared to 25% of job board hires.

Thus, encouraging referrals from employees help hire talented professionals and improve retention. Your existing employees may have a good network, and they can refer people for the company’s open positions. Utilizing this network by providing bonuses for referrals and encouraging employees to bring in top talent can save your resources and time in the long term.

Offer a competitive pay scale

There’s growing competition in the market for acquiring top talent and highly-skilled engineering professionals. Offering a competitive pay scale helps your organization stand out.

Candidates make job decisions based on the offered pay scale and benefits. Therefore, creating a competitive package, including industry-standard pay scale and other benefits, help you secure the best-fit candidates for your business.

It is important to offer perks, such as paid holidays, medical insurance, medical leaves, etc., along with the pay scale to attract the industry’s top talent.

Create a database of potential candidates

Recruiters can create a database of potential candidates by securing applications that don’t seem relevant right now. Organizations can create a passive talent pool that can make future hiring easier by providing forms on the official website or google form and taking candidates’ consent for data retrieval.

For example, two candidates are fit for one job role within your organization. However, after careful consideration, one was hired. In this case, the data and profile of another candidate can be added to the database to be used later when you need to hire for an engineering position again.

Hence, instead of searching for candidates from scratch when the job opening is created, recruiters can evaluate this list of candidates to hire. This will speed up the overall civil engineer recruitment process.

Showcase the culture of the company

Showcasing the company’s culture through social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and a section on the website helps create a positive company image and public perception. This perception encourages potential candidates to make relevant job decisions.

Develop an internship program

According to the ongoing engineering recruitment needs of the company, HR managers can develop an internship program. This will allow the company to hire graduate candidates from colleges and universities, train them, and hire them full-time.

Two requisites for developing an internship program are:

  • Understand market needs and make an attractive program that benefits candidates.
  • Evaluate future engineering resource requirements in advance.

Companies that create a successful program will be able to attract top talent. This will create a constant civil engineer recruitment funnel for the HR team.

However, interns are suitable for beginner roles only. Therefore, these professionals can’t fill mid-level or advanced-level vacancies right away. It is necessary to gauge the company’s future needs to hire talented interns to work full-time for the company.

Organizations can collaborate with nearby colleges and universities to directly recruit top or mid-tier talent and start their internship program.


How Mercer | Mettl’s online tests can help in engineering recruitment

Engineering Recruitments_Image 2


Online assessments by Mercer | Mettl help organizations accelerate the recruitment process. Its tailor-made tests for hiring different types of engineers help recruiters make data-driven and rapid decisions. Following are the assessment tests for engineering professionals:

Electrical Engineer Assessment

Mechanical Engineer Assessment

Chemical Engineer Assessment

Civil Engineer Assessment

Civil Engineering Aptitude Test

These online tests play a crucial part in helping recruiters screen the candidates, find the best fit for the organization, and accelerate the overall hiring process. Therefore, they will help secure the suitable candidates quickly and ensure optimum technical hiring.



"As engineers, we were going to be in a position to change the world – not just study it,” said Henry Petroski, an American engineer and author specializing in failure analysis.

Engineers are history-makers. Therefore, hiring a highly-skilled and competent engineer from the pool of millions of professionals is challenging. However, this challenge can be handled with some strategic and consistent steps. Building a long-term strategy will be a major step in efficient engineering recruitment.

In this era of technology, availing the benefits of online assessment tools will additionally make a difference, help organizations stand out from competitors, and acquire top talent and best-fit candidates.



How to hire an engineer?

Is hiring new engineers and training them preferable to hiring engineers with some experience?

What is a successful method for hiring engineers swiftly?

Originally published December 6 2022, Updated December 6 2022

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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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