Here Alex Christie discusses the challenge in-house and agency recruiters have sourcing unique structural engineering candidates for roles in the industry.
Digital transformation has had a huge impact on the recruitment process, both for in-house recruiters and agencies. On the one hand it has opened up a vast array of possibilities to source and attract candidates, but on the other it has made finding unique candidates a much bigger challenge.
I recently talked to Dr Christine Rivers at the Centre for Management Learning about this issue – you can watch the video interview below – however I thought it would be a useful topic to expand on in this blog, and give readers an insight into our approach to recruitment.
Why Do We Want Unique Candidates In The Structural Engineering Sector?
It is important for any company in the construction and structural engineering sector to attract the best talent possible to the business. It is your employees and their skills that give your business a competitive edge, allow the business to grow, and who shape the direction and culture of the company.
Top candidates in our sector generally don’t need to sign up with multiple recruitment agencies or register on every online job board, in fact many will not actively be looking for a new job at all. These candidates may be interested in having a conversation about an opportunity if it looks like a good fit, but they’re not wasting their time pursuing any structural engineering role that comes their way.
The problem for recruiters and HR is that we are being bombarded with data from all kinds of sources – job boards, social media, online application forms etc. – and therefore it can be extremely difficult to spot a unique candidate amongst everyone else.
Clients don’t want to waste their time talking to the wrong candidates. They would also prefer not to be forced into competing for talent with other firms in their sector either. They want to streamline the recruitment process knowing that the candidates in front of them are not only the best, but equally as invested in the process of discovering whether they can work together.
That said, in a specialist recruitment agency like ourselves, we do spend large amounts of time in the digital world sourcing candidates. However, much of what we do is networking: building and talking to industry connections, finding potential candidates through word of mouth and personal recommendations – not sifting through CV libraries.
Networking In The Real World To Find Unique Candidates
We also invest a considerable amount of time networking with clients and candidates. We spend time with clients to understand their needs, their plans, and how we can help support them through strategic recruitment solutions.
We meet candidates too at networking events; sometimes these candidates start off as clients who in time decide to move on to new roles. Many of our exclusive structural engineering candidates have been recruited for different roles throughout their careers by our team.
Networking – especially face-to-face – allows us to really get to know candidates and see when an opportunity is a good fit. These long term relationships also help us get recommendations. If a client or candidate suggests someone for a role, we know that they understand the calibre of candidates we’re looking for and we trust their judgement.
As a result we find that many of the candidates we place, never formally apply for the job advertised on our website or industry job board. They are either people we already know or respond to a direct approach from us, or come through a personal recommendation from our industry contacts.
Here’s the video interview mentioned earlier where I provide a short overview of the challenge of finding unique candidates in our industry.
If you’re finding it difficult to recruit the best quality candidates for construction and structural engineering roles and would like to speak to me about this issue in more detail, please contact me. Call +44 (0)1252 413 080 or email [email protected]