All companies want to retain the most talented engineers, but not all companies are successful. Attracting and retaining top engineering talent requires targeted effort, but is well worth the investment. Firms that build a strong team of talented engineers are able to offer their clients a stable and cohesive team that provides continuity on projects while maintaining a positive and supportive office culture.
1: Treat your employees well — they have the potential to be your best recruiters
Being honest, respectful, and supportive of your staff is not only the right thing to do, it is also an exceptional recruiting strategy. Employees that feel valued and enjoy their work will naturally promote the brand to friends and colleagues. If your employees are not actively referring friends, then it may be time to take a serious look at the company culture.
The highest performers continuously strive for success, and actively seek mentors or leaders who will help them reach their lofty goals. Mentors should be supportive and encourage growth while providing leadership and expert advice, eventually allowing top talent to take on more ownership of projects.
3: Sell your company — to prospects, that is!
Prospects have always been expected to sell themselves to potential employers; in today’s market, it is even more important that companies sell themselves to prospects. The candidates who walk through your door will be the people who are managing projects, conversing with clients, and handling complex engineering challenges — basically, helping the company run. By sharing information about your company’s current market share, anticipated expansion, and long-term goals, you are essentially showing prospects that the company is viable and positioned for long-term growth.
4: Fastidiously maintain your reputation
Having a good reputation is one of the keys to retaining both clients and employees, and to attracting new talent. There is nothing more important than maintaining integrity and honesty in every aspect of the business, from clients to employees to projects. Word spreads fast in the engineering community, and you want to ensure that word is overwhelmingly positive.
5: Don’t fake it
In other words, don’t get carried away. If you mislead prospects or the media about the culture of your company, it won’t take long for new employees to catch on! Highlight the positives about your company, but always keep it real. Otherwise, you run the risk of fostering low morale and high attrition.
6: Ask for — and really listen to — their input
No two employees are alike, so why should their incentives be the same? One employee may be driven by a potential bonus while another may simply want more time with family. Others are driven by challenging projects that increase their knowledge base. By getting to really know your employees and what makes them tick, you will be better able to keep them happy — and keep them with the company.
7: Best-in-class benefits
This one goes without saying: top talent wants top benefits. Benefits include generous vacation and holiday time, flexible hours and the ability to telecommute when needed, attractive retirement plans, complimentary coffee and food, paid certifications, ongoing training, a comfortable and positive work environment, excellent health insurance including dental insurance and, of course, a competitive salary.