Engineering recruitment: Find & attract qualified engineers

Engineers in locker room

In a fast paced and changing world, finding and attracting engineering talent is a challenge for many companies. This challenge is twofold. First, demand for engineering talent is very high. Second, the new generation of workers is hard to reach with traditional means of recruitment. Being present at university career fairs is not enough. So, how to recruit talented, qualified engineers? Brunel is one of the leading engineering recruitment agencies and shares some of their most valuable tactics.

Recruitment for engineers: 4 tips

Tip 1: Make it personal

Make sure that your recruitment efforts don’t solely focus on the open vacancies and your company. Instead, inform potential co-workers about the team they will work in once they start. How big is the team, where are the team members from, what kind of after-work activities people do together? This helps talent to get a complete picture of the role.

Another way to make it personal, is to ask them what they want early on. Engineers are problem-solvers, so asking them what kind of problem they want to be solving is a great way to start the conversation. 

Tip 2: Focus on professional development

Financial rewards are just one of many different things that employees value in a job. A 2019 study by LinkedIn found that having more growth opportunities was in the top 3 of reasons for career change:

In another study, done by Mercer in 2018, the following aspects of a job where often mentioned as highly important:

• Flexibility, such as freedom to work from home
• A healthy work-life balance
• Working with a purpose

It is wise to mention your company's vision on these topics early in the recruitment process.

Tip 3: Be where your candidates are

Talented engineers and other professionals in 2020 spend a lot of their time online. This means that traditional recruitment, such as professional networking events, campus recruiting and job advertisements, might not be effective in reaching your target audience. Advertising on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Reddit can help to get your message across.

Typically, there are 2 ways you can go with advertising on these platforms: 
1. Recruitment campaigns
2. Employer branding

Recruitment campaigns focus on recruiting for one or more specific jobs. In order to reach the right candidates, LinkedIn is often used because of its many targeting options. For example: on LinkedIn it is possible to only show your ads to people from one specific university or with a certain skill set. 

Employer branding can help to find and attract fitting candidates faster. Its goal is to promote the company specifically as an employer with a certain group of potential (and current) employers. This can be done through digital advertising on platforms such as Instagram. Video and photography are key to catch the attention of the target audience.

Tip 4: Build your brand

In today’s competitive labour market, other companies are also trying to recruit the engineers you’re trying to recruit to your company. If your company is viewed as an attractive brand or good employer, it will be easier to get in contact and close the deals with new talent. 
So, how to improve the perception young engineers have of your company? 

Online reviews

One way you can boost your company’s employment brand is by encouraging your current staff to write employment reviews on websites like Glassdoor or LinkedIn. If you only have a few online reviews, and one is negative, you have a serious branding issue on your hands. However, if you have 28 reviews and only two are negative, potential employees will likely be happy to talk to you.

Show, don’t tell

Another possible action to take in building your brand, is to create short videos that show what a workday at your company looks like. Or even better: create content around events and nice projects.

Working with engineering recruitment agencies 

If you are looking to hire a team of engineers for a project in the near future, you can also make use of a recruitment agency. The time-consuming recruitment process will be done by the agency. Brunel and other engineering recruitment agencies also have a large base of professionals they already have worked with in the past, so they can also search for the best match in that database.

Agencies usually work with different contract types:


This means that your temporary employees are on the agency’s payroll while working at your company. Once their contract ends, the employees can start a new project at one of the agency’s other clients. This is sometimes referred as “secondment”. 


Contract-to-hire agreements are a great way to ensure that both employer and employee are happy with the role. First, the engineer works for the company through the recruitment agency. Then, if all goes well, the employee becomes an official employee of the company after a specified period. 

Direct hire

In this scenario, the agency finds candidates to start working at your company from Day 1. This is usually considered the best option for finding senior employees in permanent roles.

Usually, recruiters work with a set fee and a flexible fee on top. For example, part of the recruitment fee is paid at the start of the recruitment job. As soon as a perfect match has been found and an engineer starts to work at your company, the second part of the fee is paid. 

Partner with Brunel 

Looking for help finding the best engineers for your team? With over 100 offices in 40 countries, Brunel has experience in recruiting engineers for projects in Life Sciences, Renewable Energy, Oil & Gas, Infrastructure, Mining and Automotive. Our services include global mobilization, project staffing and talent acquisition. 

Discover what you can accomplish with Brunel