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How to Secure Scarce Embedded Systems Engineering Talent

Embedded systems are an increasingly compulsory component in new products that range from microprocessors to consumer products to large-scale avionics. The need to incorporate this technology almost everywhere is the primary driver behind a perfect storm of demand for embedded systems engineers.

A 2017 Allegis Group survey found that 100 percent of employers surveyed cited “attracting top talent” as an issue when hiring engineers, compared to 84 percent of respondents hiring other positions.

How do hiring managers navigate this challenging situation? In a highly technical discipline like embedded systems, it can be helpful to partner with a trusted recruitment company that understands the industry, your company and the talent landscape, as well as the best way to present your job opportunity in a way that resonates with candidates.

Aerotek Director of Divisional Operations Keith Prichard, and Manager of Divisional Operations Tony DelPreto, have years of experience in the engineering talent industry. Below, they offer their insights on ways to attract top embedded systems engineers.

Big challenge for hiring managers

“Just sourcing and screening job applicants is enough to keep most hiring managers extremely busy,” notes DelPreto. “With the unemployment rate down around 1 percent for embedded systems engineers, companies need to use all available resources to help identify additional candidates to satisfy demand.”

“Because we have so many specialized engineering recruiters across the country, we can really focus on establishing relationships that help us create and maintain a deep pipeline of engineering talent to work with,” adds Prichard. “We participate in the same forums and events as engineers, and we’re constantly networking and reaching passive candidates who are currently working but underemployed, underappreciated or unsatisfied in their work situations.”

Meeting the needs of clients and candidates

“Building solid relationships with candidates, and learning their skills, goals and interests, helps us determine the opportunities where the candidate is most likely to thrive and succeed,” continues DelPreto. “We continue the relationship long after the candidate begins a new job, staying in touch with both the client and the employee to make sure everyone’s needs are satisfied. That helps companies retain valued employees and avoid the cost and hassle of rehiring positions.”

“We really invest the time in listening to what our clients and candidates want,” notes Prichard. “Because of that, we can have very open and direct conversations about topics that some may unconsciously avoid, like compensation.”

Recruiting scarce talent also means that most companies have to be very clear about communicating their employee value proposition (EVP) to candidates. Developing and communicating a strong EVP can help candidates choose your offer over the many others he or she is likely receiving.

What do candidates want? First on the list, not surprisingly, is pay. The Allegis survey found that compensation was cited by 73 percent of candidates surveyed as their top consideration in accepting a new job. According to survey respondents, here are the top six candidate priorities:

Compensation: 73 percent
Culture/environment: 49 percent
Job responsibilities: 46 percent
Advancement opportunity: 43 percent
Skills development: 31 percent
Schedule flexibility: 27 percent

Although the competition is fierce, having a strategic plan for how to attract and retain the strongest employees can ensure your company has the talent it needs. Want to know more about hiring embedded systems engineers? Contact Aerotek now.