WHAT ENGINEERS WANT
5 FACTORS TO CONSIDER
In today’s talent war, the toughest battle might be recruiting and retaining engineers. In our work with employer brands and other cultural communications, we’ve talked with engineers in industries ranging from technology to manufacturing. We’ve heard from engineers engaged in software development, gaming, cloud solutions, sustainable energy, steel production and cardboard packaging.
Across this wide cross section of engineering talent, we’ve seen several themes emerge. Here are five we’ve identified as common to many types of engineers in various industries:
THEY ENJOY PUZZLE SOLVING
Engineers seem to relish finding a solution to a complex issue. We’ve heard them talk about problem solving in terms like “satisfying” and “enjoyable.” Many mention that it is gratifying to them to help their clients with problems, or to find a way around a technological hurdle. They enjoy being the one who can figure out what others can’t.
THEY LIKE CONSTANT LEARNING
Maybe technology attracts people who get excited by the need for learning, because in the technology field, things are always changing. Engineers say things like, “If you’re not constantly learning, you’re falling behind.” They also seem to get excited by the chance to work with the newest technology out there and be among the first to put it to use.
THEY ENJOY WORKING WITH SMART PEOPLE
The counterintuitive bit here is that many engineers seem to be introverts and enjoy the autonomy of working on their own. But we have consistently heard engineers over the years rave about the brilliance of the people on their team. They seem to enjoy collaborating with others or being able to call up a colleague to talk through a technical issue.
THEY THRIVE ON VARIETY
“It’s never the same thing two days in a row” and “Every day is something different” have been common refrains when we’ve asked engineers what they love about their jobs. They enjoy being challenged by something completely new. Shifting priorities and dealing with sudden crises seem to get their adrenaline going and keep them interested.
THEY WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Whether it’s making the world a better place or just helping a customer get to the bottom of a technology issue, engineers seem to appreciate knowing that their brainpower is helping others. They’re more likely to be engaged in their work and their company when they see that their contributions are making a positive impact for others.