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What do you do to advertise for staff? What have you found to be successful technique for finding experienced employees?

Generally our preferred option is to recruit young and train in house, however we want to promote some people thus we need to find some people with medium level experience.

In the past we have used head-hunters when in this situation with very poor results.

"A safe structure will be the one whose weakest link is never overloaded by the greatest force to which the structure is subjected" Petroski 1992

RE: staff

I think the latest approach is to post the openings on our website.
And let the trash float in.....
Luckily, we haven't had a critical need for the last three years or so, but the crunch will happen someday.

RE: staff

RE...have been through most of the routes to this, and find that networking referrals usually work well.

Headhunters are a waste of money.  To me, they are like real estate agents...you tell them what you want, then they proceed to bring you what they want you to have...at the high end of the range for their commission purposes.

Local ads in the newspaper are too limited, unless you are in a relatively large metro area.  Professional journal or publications ads are good, but you'll get lots of replies.

Assuming you have the resources, I would designate someone to receive all replies, pre-screen for applicability (if you advertise for an experienced structural engineer, you'll inevitably get gearheads, sparkies, and who knows what), then you or some other senior person can filter the pot even further, then shortlist the group.

Good luck!  Always a pain.

RE: staff

We try it all -

Standard Web sites
Our website


You can get GOOD people and bad people from anywhere...

I think the interview is the best shot of finding some one and a 90 day "probation" period.

I like people who don't have ALL A's and who worked or had athletic scholarship through college.  These people have had to "WORK" and that's what you need or want


RE: staff

As another alternative, you can try using a staffing service as a try out, then hire the individual full time if you can mututally agree. The staffing service takes a cut and you get a legitimate try-out without messy termination issues.

RE: staff

Talk to the engineers you know and ask them for names and phone numbers that they would recommend even if they are happy where they are (especially those that are happy).
A few months ago, an MEP company owner asked me to name him good senior electrical engineers that I knew.
I gave him three names of Highly qualified engineers (25 years of experience each) with good positions and high salaries where they work. This is a market where it is extremely difficult to find top electrical Engineers.
within two weeks he had one of the three hired and working for him. He simply put all the money he would give a headhunter on the table as a hiring bonus and threw in a a salary in an offer the guy could not refuse.

Morality: Quality workers are everywhere, and willing to jump ship. Just put some serious money on the table, and you will see some serious results. But if you want to pay market rate for good people, good luck.

Trouble with most employers nowadays is that they fail to recognize that we are no longer in a commodity economy, we are in an knowledge economy - talent is what matters nowadays more than anything. Employers fail to recognize and pay the talent adequately.

RE: staff

Here is one thing that has worked for us:  Knowing that we can train most engineers to be a good technical people.  

However, it is very difficult to transform unmotivated person to a client focused, hard working and multi-tasking engineer.  So look for business minded and multi-tasking team member, and then pay them well and train them to succeed.

Therefore, heavy accent, resembling your neighbor, or being a yes-person doesn't matter to your bottom line.  Also don't put too much meaning into their current position & salary.  It is their potential and people skills that matter the most.

One other thing-some engineers are very joyous to just remain in technical position.  Others are equally eager to do business tasks (proposals, getting work, marketing, managing other engineers, etc.) as well as performing technical tasks. I noticed these two types of engineers should be chosen carefully based on the need of your firm in the near future.

Try Linkedin website, association meetings, and browsing through job banks to see who is available.  

RE: staff

My current work and previous employer just use Seek (http:www.seek.com.au for those that live on the wrong side of the planet) and just wade through the rubbish.

Depending on the time lines etc, if one has problems suitable for uni final year projects, it could offer another way of filtering likely candidates.

RE: staff

Offer everyone in your business a meaningful referral bonus if they refer someone that gets hired and makes it past the trail period.

Has anyone had good luck searching the resume databases (monster, college alumni associations, professional societies ect.)?

Recruiters are like realtors. Only useful if you get a really good one. Look for one that knows your industry, location and has been successful for 10+ years.  

RE: staff

Therein lies the challenge when you're out of the major areas. We've been lucky occasionally, but also managed to get some real turkeys at times.

Some recruitment agencies appear to be more successful than other,s though all the ones I've dealt with only seem to be focussed on commission rather than anything else.

Tried EA regional meetings to see if you know anyone in town who's looking at jumping ship?  

RE: staff

Yes, I'm on the board.  

"A safe structure will be the one whose weakest link is never overloaded by the greatest force to which the structure is subjected" Petroski 1992

RE: staff

Another problem with recruiters is that once they have someone in their Rolodex (I know, very old fashioned), they'll go back to that resource again and again. So you get a good employee, they get their commission, everyone wins.
Fast forward three years. The headhunter gets a call with a need. They have a resume on hand, and the engineer is three years more experienced. The headhunter knows what pushes his/her buttons to move.
It's not unethical for any of the parties involved, but it is aggravating.

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