Employers have heard about low unemployment ad nauseum over the past year, but the number continues to plunge. In the most recent October Jobs Report, unemployment reached 3.7%, the lowest figure since the early stages of the Vietnam War. Within the engineering industry, the number is below 2%.
Low unemployment in the engineering sector has created a difficult hiring climate for employers. Today’s candidates hold most of the leverage and are using it as they negotiate with employers. Here are the perks that they’re most passionate about when seeking a new opportunity.
The Desire to Take on Challenging Projects
With engineering candidates wielding the negotiating leverage, most firms are offering highly-competitive compensation packages. When candidates are receiving similar offers from different employers, their decisions are being made based upon the other elements of a job offer. One element that is ranking high on that list is how challenging the work will be.
Great engineers love taking on difficult and challenging projects—particularly when they feel underutilized in their current role. To appeal to the best talent, employers would be wise to market the type of work their new hire will be taking on.
Opportunity to Work with New Technologies
In addition to working on challenging projects, engineering candidates jump at the chance to work with cutting-edge technologies. Engineers get excited about working with new technology for two primary reasons.
First, it’s cool and new. Some engineers grow tired of working on the same type of projects, with the same resources, over and over. Engineers enjoy their day-to-day job more when they get an opportunity to work with latest and greatest tech. Secondly, working with new technologies gives engineers valuable experience in a growing field—which can greatly benefit their career.
Robotics, quantum computing, VR & AR—there’s no shortage of cool new tech entering the engineering industry. As these types of technology, especially robotics, continue to make a greater impact within the industry, engineers with experience utilizing these tools will command more power, and greater salaries, in the marketplace. Thinking about their own futures, engineers love hearing about jobs that will give them exposure to futuristic technology.
While the two previous perks can be considered modern appeals, some things don’t change. In any labor market, compensation will always be a significant driver in attracting talent. The greatest way to appeal to engineering candidates is to dangle a strong compensation package in front of them.
As a direct result of the tight market, engineering candidates are fetching sizable wage increases when switching jobs. In all sectors of engineering, salaries have risen over the past year and are trending towards a continued rise in 2019. Employers should keep that in mind and be prepared to they’ll have to pay competitively when seeking engineers.
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