Engineering has always been a relatively difficult industry to recruit for due to the skilled nature of the job, but the pandemic has made it increasingly difficult for businesses to fill their engineering vacancies. Prior to 2020, the main concern surrounding the engineering industry and finding candidates was Brexit, but Covid-19 has added another layer of unforeseen difficulty.

Despite this, it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, when it comes to finding the best of the best in the engineering industry, the pandemic has almost created a perfect storm.

Increase in vacancies and decrease in candidates 

The first thing that is abundantly clear to employers is the fact that there are fewer candidates on the market and more vacancies to fill. On the surface, this means businesses need to work harder to attract candidates over their competitors, but there is a silver lining.

In markets that are saturated with candidates, the recruitment process can be greatly extended due to the fact that countless people often apply for just one role, so a lot of sifting needs to be done. This can mean that the best candidates get overlooked or buried in the heaps of other candidates, sometimes going unnoticed.

With fewer candidates on the market, it’s easier to clearly examine every application and pick out the very best talent from the rest. Whilst it’s less than ideal to have more vacancies than candidates, the market is slowly picking up which will see more job seekers coming through, and therefore an increase in talent.

In the meantime, employers have had to reassess their talent pool, and look outside of their sector to find engineers with transferable skills. They may not have done this otherwise, but this means they’re open to a wider range of professionals who, when adequate training is provided, may prove to be exceptional employees.

Change in training and onboarding 

With social distancing rules in place, interviewing and onboarding processes have changed drastically. Most of it has been online which has made it harder for employers to connect with prospective employees and to make those who are new to the company feel part of the team.

There’s no doubt this has been a struggle, but if there’s one good thing that’s come out of it, it’s that businesses have been forced to re-think their onboarding process. Too many recruiters overlook the importance of comprehensive training and support with new hires, and this can mean they’re losing out on the best engineers as a result. In fact, employee retention can be improved by as much as 82% through a positive and comprehensive onboarding process.

With so few engineers on the market right now, it’s even more essential that you do all you can to recruit and retain the best of the best. The pandemic has meant employers have had to re-look at their onboarding process, meaning it’s more likely they’ve made positive changes that will increase retention when it otherwise wouldn’t have been.

Examine competitiveness 

Another positive outcome of the pandemic is that businesses have had to become more competitive in order to attract talent. This means they’ve had to reassess company perks and culture, both of which can contribute massively to employee retention with existing talent and in attracting new engineers to your company.

How BMS Performance can help

The pandemic has no doubt made recruiting the best engineers harder, but BMS Performance can help. We specialise in engineering recruitment and can help you attract top talent. Get in touch to find out more.