Engineering employers ‘struggling’, says report

1 min read

A survey of companies in the engineering sector has found that employers are struggling to fulfil their staffing needs despite the general economic downturn. The survey, which analysed responses from 120 heads of HR at organisations across the UK, established that more than 80% of them felt sourcing suitably qualified engineers was either 'difficult' or 'very difficult'.

However, only 18% of those questioned believed they had strategies in place that could deal successfully with the shortfall. Damien Stork, a managing director at Ochre House, which commissioned the survey, said the engineering sector needs a radical overhaul of recruitment and development processes to deal with the problem. "The sector faces an immediate problem because the general climate of uncertainty means many of the brightest and best engineers are simply not moving at the moment. This has made the long term shortage of engineering specialists even more acute." Stork believes that engineering companies need to stop relying on traditional methods of sourcing staff, such as conventional advertising campaigns and recruitment agencies, and instead start building communities of potential future employees, whilst ensuring their talent programmes are innovative and connect with existing staff. "Instead of reaching out to the engineering community when they have a specific role to fill, recruiters need to be building long term relationships based on advice, information and technical knowledge," he said. "That means serious use of tools such as networking sites, online forums and blogs. Managed properly, they have the potential to create candidate communities with their brand sitting at the heart. This in turn offers the chance to build internal and external pipelines of talent that could largely eliminate the problems employers face now."