Tips from Engineering Recruiters: How to Hire Top Engineering Talent

November 5th, 2013

Every firm wants to hire the best and brightest engineering talent. But how you actually get there can be a challenge. As leading engineering recruiters in Houston, Murray Resources has sourced, screened and helped hire hundreds of engineering professionals for companies in Houston and beyond. Below are a few tips we’ve acquired along the way:

Ask for Referrals

During the resume screen and interview process, you really only get a piece of the candidate picture. But when you get a personal referral from someone you know and trust, you gain access to a level of information (regarding capabilities and personality) that you wouldn’t otherwise be privy to. This can be invaluable during the hiring process.

For instance, any candidate can seem like a good listener and collaborator during an interview, but once they’re on the job, is that really who they are? With a personal referral, you’ll have far more confidence in the answer.

Conduct Great Interviews

Regardless of the type of engineer you’re trying to hire, there are a few important competencies to be on the lookout for. These include: ability to learn and adapt, ability to solve problems, ability to deliver positive results, and pro-activeness.

In order to evaluate candidates for each of them, you need to conduct interviews in a thoughtful manner. That means no winging it or showing up unprepared. For instance, in order to assess problem solving ability, give each candidate a real problem to solve. To evaluate results, ask the candidate to describe a past project they are proud of. And when a candidate makes a claim, don’t just take it at face value. Push them on it – and ask follow-up questions – to ensure there is substance behind their initial answer.

Once you’ve gone through the interview process, ask yourself a few important questions about each candidate that help you further evaluate the above competencies – e.g. Is a candidate able to quickly think on their feet? Are their answers coherent and confident? Did you learn something new when talking to them?

Focus on What Engineers Want

When interviewing candidates, it’s important to focus on what many engineers want in order to sell the opportunity to them. For instance:

• Top engineers want to work for companies that have leading edge technology. So promote yours, particularly if it’s ahead of the competition’s.

• Besides technology, most engineering candidates are also highly ambitious and want to get ahead. So talk about opportunities for advancement and professional development at your company.

• In addition, many engineers want to make a difference and help someone or benefit the bottom line. So explain to them how their work at the company could potentially do one or all of those things.

• And of course, good engineers demand competitive pay and benefits. A strong compensation package can certainly tip the scales in your direction when recruiting engineers.

Give Candidates a Positive Experience

Even if you don’t wind up hiring a candidate, you still want to provide a great experience with your company. Why? Because they likely hang around with other engineers and will talk to them about how you treated them – the good, the bad and the ugly. So provide all candidates with a positive experience, including:

• Reading their resume before the interview and showing a personal interest in them.

• Giving the candidate some time to ask questions at the end of the interview.

• Staying in contact with candidates and letting someone know as soon as they are out of the running for the job.

Need More Help Recruiting Engineers?

Let Murray Resources know. As leading engineering recruiters in Houston, we have access to some of the top engineering professionals in Houston and can help you find the one that’s right for your job opportunity. If you’re ready to make the hiring process easier – and find the engineers you need – contact Murray Resources today.

 

Why Houston is #1 for Engineering Jobs

September 17th, 2013

The numbers are in and Houston takes the top spot in the nation for the highest demand for engineers, according to a new Monster.com survey.

The online job board service ranked the top engineering job opportunities by region, and discovered that Houston had the highest volume of engineering jobs listed across the nation. Houston even trumped San Jose, California, for the number of opportunities. Dallas and Austin also took top spots, with Dallas listed at number seven in the nation, and Austin at number ten in terms of ranking.

No wonder the Houston employment market is constantly on the search for skilled engineers to fill its job needs. In fact, energy, manufacturing and technology companies are all demanding more engineer candidates, according to the Houston engineering recruiters at Murray Resources.

New initiatives aim to fill the engineering pipeline

A variety of new initiatives have been put in place to increase the influx of engineers in the Houston market, which is good news to Houston engineering recruiters throughout the area.

The Greater Houston Partnership started a regional task force to help employers attract skilled technical workers to Houston, and Microsoft created YouthSpark Houston, a program designed to increase the number of skilled science, math, technology and engineering students in the region.

Yet all this activity will take a while to bear fruit. Meanwhile, the demand for engineers in Houston is at a high.

What makes Houston the top spot seeking engineering talent?

Not surprisingly, the Bayou City’s prosperity rests strongly on its role as the center of energy production for much of the country. The presence of major energy companies such as Exxon and Conoco Phillips in Houston’s Energy Corridor lead to high demand for engineers in the energy sector. So much so that, while the nationwide hiring demand for engineers has declined by almost 10% since March 2012, demand in the Houston metro area has grown by 11%.

What kind of engineering talent do companies seek?

Research by Houston engineering recruiters and others keen on following the engineering job trends in Houston point to these roles as the 10 most in-demand engineering job titles:

  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Process Engineer
  • Engineer
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Reservoir Engineer
  • Senior Process Engineer
  • Quality Engineer
  • Senior Mechanical Engineer

Related to this, the five skills are most commonly highlighted in ads seeking engineering talent in the Houston metro area are:

  • Project management
  • Microsoft Office
  • Quality Assurance (QA)
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Microsoft PowerPoint

A great lifestyle sweetens the deal

All this growth in the oil and gas industries, not to mention every sector of Houston’s economy, has had the benefit of turning Houston into a thriving cultural mecca, with housing, dining and entertainment options galore.

Along with this, all Houston engineering recruiters note that Houston’s highly affordable housing market, combined with improved job availability and business opportunities, a lower cost of living and a warmer climate will keep bringing more new transplants to Houston, in engineering roles and beyond.

Are you a talented professional looking for your next career move?

Turn to Murray Resources, award-winning Houston recruiting firm, for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today at 713.935.0009 or apply to one of our open Houston jobs to get started.

How to Land Your Next Engineering Job in Oil and Gas

July 21st, 2013

In a competitive job market, such as Houston’s thriving oil and gas sector, even if you’re a highly-trained, qualified engineer, you need to go above and beyond  to land the job you want. As one of the leading firms in its field,  Murray Resources and its team of Houston engineering recruiters understand the importance of finding novel ways of capitalizing on every available opportunity to stress your uniqueness as a candidate.

Advice from Murray Resources’ Houston Engineering Recruiters

In order to rise above other job seekers, apply these creative job seeking techniques to ensure you’re the applicant who gets noticed.

Preparation.

You’d be surprised how many candidates know little about the companies with whom they interview. Don’t be that interviewee. Know the company’s business – because your competition will. Doing so will enable you to ask more specific questions and help you impress the employer. Spend time on the web uncovering as much information as you can about the company. Likewise, mine your network to find out who you know that may be able to introduce you to current employees or offer insider insight for an edge over other candidates. Also, find out whatever you can about the job. Know where you can add value by thoroughly understanding the job description, what makes you unique, and how you can hit the ground running.

Passion.

Any employer wants to know that a prospective employee is passionate about what he or she does. The best way to show your passion is to understand what excites you and why. So identify the fundamental themes that occur when you feel energized and engaged. Make a list of the things that have ignited your passion in your personal and professional life. Then ask yourself, why does this get me going? What about it makes it so energizing? Keep asking why until you reach the underlying reason. It’s a great way to reverse engineer what fuels your passion and show it to prospective employers.

Presentation.

To set yourself apart, consider creating a personal presentation and delivering it during the interview. Instead of merely answering questions as they come your way, delivering your own presentation enables you to set the tone for the discussion and point out skills and experiences that you want to ensure the hiring manager gets to hear. Use examples from your work and use elements that highlight your public speaking abilities and presentation skills. A word of advice: your presentation should run no longer than five minutes or you risk monopolizing the time that interviewers need to evaluate you.

Competitive Times Call for Exceptional Measures

Murray Resources’ team of Houston engineering recruiters will tell you that while there is certainly a hot market for engineering talent in Houston, there’s a lot of competition for highly-sought engineering jobs in the oil and gas sector. In order to succeed, you must strive to make an impression that simply can’t be ignored. Land your next engineering job by displaying a little creative thinking and bit of extra effort.

Are you a talented professional looking for your next career move?

Turn to Murray Resources, award-winning Houston recruiting firm, for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today at 713.935.0009 or apply to one of our open Houston jobs to get started.

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