By Lisa VanWyk May 5, 2023

How to Hire an Engineer Ultimate Guide

Hiring the right engineer is crucial for the success of any business that requires technical expertise. Finding and recruiting top engineering talent is not only time-consuming but also requires a thorough understanding of the industry and the job requirements. With the demand for skilled engineers proliferating, attracting and retaining the best talent can be challenging. However, with the right approach and strategies, you can build a strong engineering team that drives innovation and growth for your company. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of hiring an engineer, from building a talent pool to conducting effective interviews and retaining top performers. Whether you’re a startup or a well-established company, this guide will provide you with the essential tools and knowledge on how to hire an engineer for your organization.

1. Identify Your Requirements

Before you start looking for an engineer, identify all the details about the position you’re offering. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the key skills and expertise required for the engineering role?
  • What specific tasks or projects will the engineer be responsible for?
  • What is the level of experience needed for the role?
  • What are the qualities you’re looking for in a candidate, such as communication skills, creativity, or teamwork?
  • What is the budget for the position and what is the expected salary range?
  • What is the work environment like, and what are the company’s goals and values?
  • What kind of training and support will be available for the engineer?
  • What is the timeframe for hiring and when is the ideal start date for the position?
  • Are there any specific qualifications or certifications required for the role?
  • How will you measure the success of the engineer in the position?

Once you have identified the ideal fit for the position you’re offering, you can start finding candidates.

2. What’s Your Budget?

Occupational employment and wage statistics how to hire an engineer ultimate guide

To determine your budget, keep in mind there are more expenses than just paying the salary. As Financial GPS states, there are other mandatory costs such as: tallying up the salary, taxes, retirement contributions, additional licenses, bonuses, software expenses, and other variable costs needed for the employee to work efficiently. 

Standard formula for cost per hire. How to hire an engineer ultimate guide

3. Create a Job Ad

Job postings are about making prospects excited. For example, you should include a few of the benefits of working for your company. Also, your posting has to be informational and have a formal tone. It should align with your company’s communication style.

Job ad example. How to hire an engineer ultimate guide.

All that said, you will be fine if you follow these steps:

Use an Engaging Lead for the Title

Don’t forget to define the title of the position being offered. We strongly recommend including 3 benefits of working in your company.

Talk About Your Company

Describe briefly your company, its story, values, work culture, or any other information a candidate would need to know.

Write the Job Description

For this one, you have to entice your prospect. To do this, write a couple of exciting characteristics of the position. 


Briefly recap the key points of your opening position. List from 3 to 6 reasons a candidate should work with you.

Location Details

Include the location of the job and some nice characteristics of the city or neighborhood. Mention if the job is remote or semi-remote.

Include Contact and Application Information

Don’t forget to include a contact email address or phone number. Also, include the steps for the application process and deadline.

4. Find Candidates

Online is often the best way to find candidates because the reach is wide, it’s cost-effective, and a time saver. We suggest you build your company’s presence online for better results.

Have a Strong Recruiting Team

If it’s within your possibilities, you should work on building a strong recruitment team. The size of the team will depend on how big your company is, but there should be more than one person working on recruitment. The people on the team should have experience using social media and know the best ways to find candidates. This team should also be made up of diverse people. They can offer different perspectives and help reach a wider variety of candidates. You can work with your team to develop strategies on the best way to represent the company online to attract the right people. If having a strong recruitment team is out of your possibilities, you can also hire a talent acquisition firm.

where to find highest-quality candidates graph

Create a Solid Online Reputation

For today’s job seekers, a company’s reputation and business practices are more important than ever. They want to have a connection with the company without sacrificing any of their ethics or beliefs. If you want to improve your recruitment process, then you need to be sure your company is presented in the best possible way. This includes sharing the charity work that your company does and being transparent about your corporate culture. Include testimonials from current employees about their experiences. All of this will help attract the best-matched candidates to your company.

Choose the Right Social Networks

The world of social media is constantly changing, and it can be hard to know which platform to use to promote your company. To figure out which platforms are right for you first profile your ideal candidate. For example, if you’re looking for someone in the visual arts, use networks such as Instagram and Pinterest. For candidates in sales and marketing, set up a profile on LinkedIn. You may not get it right immediately, but keep trying different approaches to determine which platforms are getting the highest engagement.

Develop a Recruitment Marketing Strategy

Many marketing practices used to target customers can also be used to attract potential employees. Work with your recruitment team to develop a marketing strategy that will help bring in candidates. This includes techniques such as search engine optimization and social media marketing. Don’t just post jobs on social media. Create resources such as blog posts that inform candidates about the company. Make your media presence engaging and interesting. This will help build your company brand while improving your process for finding new candidates.

Pro Tip: Build your company’s presence online for better results when hiring candidates.

Don’t Overlook Diverse Candidates 

When hiring an engineer, diverse recruitment is a key driver for business growth and innovation. Creativity is the process of gathering the threads of a wide spectrum of ideas and perspectives and weaving new solutions, product ideas, and new markets. It makes sense that the greater the diversity of backgrounds and perspectives the greater the potential.

Company performance diversity. How to hire an engineer ultimate guide.

Of course, just having a diverse workforce is not enough on its own. Every member needs to be treated with respect and a genuine acceptance of what they bring to the table.

Inclusivity allows you to create a fair workplace where everyone understands, accepts, and values the differences between people of different races, ethnicities, genders, ages, religions, disabilities, and sexual orientations, as well as differences in personalities, skill sets, experience, and knowledge bases.

Many modern organizations have a collaborative, team-based communication structure that allows them to carefully manage potential interpersonal conflict by creating pathways for common understanding. Not just internally, but extended outwards to dealing with customers and other external parties.

This gives modern organizations a significant competitive edge.

Pro Tip: Diverse companies are 70% more likely to capture new markets.

How to Find Diverse Candidates

Every day it becomes more important to know how to find diverse candidates. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are 4 tips to find diverse clients.

1. Job Ads And The Hiring Process

It’s no surprise that the job ad is the place where your candidate decides whether the job you are offering is going to provide them with a fulfilling work experience. The surprise is how easily companies put off a very large number of excellent candidates, simply because the candidates cannot identify as the person being targeted by the ad.

2. Avoid Bias

This is often a completely unconscious bias by your copywriter. Try to make sure that descriptions do not contain words like workmanship or chairman. The way you describe the competitive thrust of your company culture may lead people to believe that only those with a history of college football success need to apply. Make sure the actual skills needed for the job are highlighted.

3. Workplace Policies

It’s not enough to just talk the talk, your existing working environment needs to reflect your inclusive values. Promote inclusivity at all levels. This means that managers need to be aware that some employees have a justifiable need for flexible working arrangements. So long as the flexibility is reciprocated and the work gets done, this should be accommodated.

Promoting an acceptance of the need for all human beings to have a work/life balance creates a great improvement in mental health and physical well-being.

Interpersonal relationships are important and guidance and advice on behavior and conduct should be published and adhered to at all levels of the organization. No one should ever feel threatened or uncomfortable and a culture of mutual support can be vital.

4. Widen The Skill Pool

Of course, the best way to ensure a good variety of diverse candidates is to look at where you are advertising and which recruitment organizations and educational establishments you are networking with. Make sure you have a wide range of options.

If you are operating a truly inclusive company culture then some of your most valuable advocates will be your existing employees. Word gets around very quickly. If you encourage your people to be proud of how their company supports and values a wide variety of people from all walks of life, they’ll bring you a steady stream of hopefuls wanting to work for you.

Interview Your Candidates

When preparing to interview an engineer, one of the most important considerations, is how long you want the interview to last. You want enough time to get an accurate impression of the candidate, but you do not want to stretch it out to the point of wasting time.

The type of interview, as well as the position being filled, will impact how long an interview should last. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your next interview in an ideal amount of time.

1. Map It Out

Before interviewing anyone, you should have a plan of what you want to ask and how you want the interview to proceed. Start by creating a general interview structure. Fill it in with specific questions and talking points. Practice the interview with an employee to get a sense of how long it will take.

2. Understand Your Organization

Understand your organization and the open position to design a search for an ideal candidate. Do a deep dive into your corporate culture, your goals, and what kind of employee would complement and enhance both your team now and your organization over time. Patience with questions can bring savings with increased retention, and even affect your bottom line when you take on employees who invest their careers in your company. A candidate who sees your organization as a quick stepping-stone to a better, bigger position with another company, isn’t the best fit now or later.

3. What Type of Interview Is It?

The type of interview you are conducting will impact how much time is needed. The in-person interview generally takes the longest, lasting between 45 to 90 minutes whereas phone interviews tend to be shorter. Since the pandemic, video interviews have become more common. Depending on your hiring process, you may choose phone or video interviews in the first round; these first interviews tend to be general and take only 15 to 30 minutes. 

4. Stay on Track

One of the most common time wasters  in interviews happens when conversations lose structure. While some small talk can make the candidate feel more comfortable, keep your agenda close to keep you on topic. Since you have a limited amount of time to get to know the candidate, you will want to use time wisely to determine if they would be a good fit for the open position. Let the conversation flow naturally while still hitting all the key points. This will ensure you and the candidate are getting your questions answered.

5. Listen 

Listen carefully to the candidates’ stories, skills, aptitudes, and preferences that make them a better fit for your organization.

Here are some essential questions you might want to ask to learn more about their qualifications, experience, and personality:

  • Can you tell me about your relevant experience and skills?
  • Why do you want to work for our company?
  • What do you know about our company and our industry?
  • Can you describe your work style and how you work in a team?
  • Can you provide an example of a challenging situation you faced in a previous job, and how you overcame it?
  • Can you walk me through your process for problem-solving?
  • Can you tell me about a successful project you completed and your role in it?
  • Can you describe how you prioritize and manage your workload?
  • How do you handle conflict with coworkers or supervisors?
  • Can you tell me about your long-term career goals?

Pro Tip: Ask open-ended questions and follow up with additional questions based on the candidate’s answers.

It’s important to keep in mind that these are just some examples, and the questions you ask will depend on the specific requirements and responsibilities of the job you’re hiring for. Additionally, asking open-ended questions and following up with additional questions based on the candidate’s answers can help you gain a better understanding of their qualifications and fit for the job.

Pro Tip: A traditional interview may be missing a great fit. Learn about the behavioral interview approach.

How to Hire an Engineer to Retain

Every good manager knows that retention is key. Replacing an experienced associate with a new hire can cost 25% of the position salary in upfront recruiting costs alone, and doesn’t include the costs associated with training, lowered production, the institutional knowledge drain, and the added slowdown in both internal and external business relationships as they are sundered and re-built with the new hire. Recruiting carefully and wisely and for the long term is truly the most cost-effective choice from any perspective. You should consider the following points:

Long-lasting fit. When you recruit to retain you are considering the long-term view of recruitment. You’re searching not only for the candidate who fits a skills list and has a decent employment history, but you’re also searching for the candidate with a deeper, longer-lasting fit. The candidate with longevity fits well into your corporate culture, is comfortable with the skills they need right now, has the potential and interest to add skills and experience that will continue to benefit your organization for years into the future, and will invest in the success of their team and your organization. A search that goes this deep to find a long-term fit can take a little longer, but it pays off for many years after the initial hire.

Dive into your candidates. Time to dive into your candidates. Not only check their references and match their skill sets to your needs, but spend time getting to know the candidate and what they want from a job, what their career goals are, and what kind of corporate culture helps them to grow and thrive. This way, you can make a match that works well for your candidates and you.

Honest and realistic presentation. Give a truthful presentation about the open position and your organization to the candidate; all involved will feel comfortable and fully informed about this huge decision regarding fit.

It takes a little more time and a little more effort to recruit to retain, but it pays off in lower HR costs, consistent productivity, and employees who are investing themselves within an organization that fits just right for years to come.

Pro Tip: Retention is key. Replacing an experienced associate with a new hire can cost 25% of the position’s salary.

Keep your Candidates

When you have great engineer candidates, who have been thoroughly vetted and hit all the right notes in the interview process, the last thing you want to hear is that he or she has moved on to another opportunity.

Pro Tip:  If the candidate isn’t quite right for the job, or if the job isn’t quite right for the candidate, that new hire won’t stay.

How to reduce candidate dropouts. How to hire an engineer ultimate guide.

Some of the recruiting faux pas to avoid are:

Don’t respond in a timely manner. Your recruiter and your HR team have worked hard to find the right candidates to interview. Managers need to respond to recruiters and HR within a few days, not weeks. If the candidate hears nothing, they will move on to the next job, assuming they haven’t been chosen. Some candidates also feel that a company slow to respond when they want to hire you will be slow when it comes to other vital communication and decision-making.

Leave them hanging. If you’re still trying to set up one last interview with Candidate B and Candidate A was interviewed four days ago, your HR manager or the primary interviewer should reach out to let Candidate A know they performed strongly, but there is still one more candidate to interview before a decision can be made. Be honest, be timely, and most candidates will stay open to working with you if they understand the delay.

Make an offer that insults them. If you’re interviewing a candidate from a more expensive area, you may choose to offer a similar salary minus the cost of living difference. Understand that a big leap backward in compensation is never a plus. While it may make mathematical sense, it just won’t fly with the candidate. If your candidate makes $205K in Los Angeles, and your company is offering $90K, you may lose the candidate even though the numbers are similar once you factor in the cost of living. Chances are good that a small decrease will be acceptable, but a large one will feel wrong to the candidate.

Force the fit. If the candidate isn’t quite right for the job, or if the job isn’t quite right for the candidate, that new hire won’t stay. Happy employees who fit well into their job, and their teams, and are pleased with their compensation will work harder, stay longer, and add more value to your organization.

Throw them into the deep end. We have all heard jokes about new hires who go out for lunch and never return. It’s not a joking matter, and it actually happens. Provide good training, and continued support for a few weeks after the hire date, to allow new hires to settle and become a valuable part of the team. Dropping them in the deep end without a life vest? You’ll lose your candidate before they have a chance to acclimate to a new culture, new team members, and a new workflow. Even the perfect-fit hire needs time to adjust. 

Make a Candidate Pool

If you don’t already have one, you should build a candidate pool. We’ve listed some avenues to grow your candidate pool, encourage the best and brightest to apply, and add to your toolbox for maintaining a full roster of the best possible human resources available in the job market!

1. Experienced Recruiters

Retain expert, experienced recruiters who specialize in your industry. Professional recruiters make a point of maintaining contact with a network of candidates who they have vetted and placed over the years. Those placements have had positive experiences with these professionals and are happy to refer their friends and colleagues. They also turn to the same recruiters when they are ready to move on to the next job in their careers.  See who we serve.

2. Application Management

So, the candidate who applied for the Project Lead position and didn’t have enough experience was very interested in working for your company. Are they considered for other open positions? Do you keep that resume on file for another position that comes open in the next 90 days? You should. Most candidates are flattered to be contacted again by a company that shows real, positive interest. Even if they aren’t currently seeking a job, they may know a colleague with similar skills and experience who is.

3. Internal Recruitment

Hiring from within is a smart choice. A candidate who has proven their skills, fits the corporate culture, and is a dedicated employee only becomes more loyal and likely to stay if they are promoted and trained to fill open positions. A strong internal recruitment process increases morale, longevity, and productivity.

4. Referral Program

Does your organization offer an employee referral program? If not, it may be time to get one started. Asking people who love their jobs and are passionate about your company to recruit for you is a cost-effective way to grow your candidate pool. A full-service recruiting firm can still handle the vetting and onboarding process for you once the candidates are submitted.

Ethics in Recruitment

Last but not least, we have to tackle ethics in recruitment. Recruiters and employers are both bound by labor laws that guide them to treat job candidates fairly and equally. Those legal requirements are at the core of ethics in recruiting. Treat every candidate with respect, without discrimination based on gender, race, origin, religion, age, or political affiliation. We work with clients who operate under the same standard of equal employment opportunity.

Pro Tip: Treat every candidate with respect, without discrimination based on gender, race, origin, religion, age, or political affiliation.

  1. Place candidates based on their match to the potential employer’s need for specific skills, knowledge, certifications or licenses, experience, potential, and the candidate’s own preference for corporate culture.
  2. Be transparent about your requirements and job descriptions.
  3. Be transparent about your selection process.
  4. Be honest in all your interactions with candidates.
  5. Reserve the right to end business relationships with companies and candidates who are unwilling to be honest and ethical during hiring transactions.
  6. Respect your clients’ need for discretion when hiring and their right to protect proprietary information, and be careful to treat their reputations, communications, and information in a secure way.
  7. Respect our candidates’ need for discretion when seeking a new placement while still employed.


Hiring an engineer requires a well-structured and organized approach to ensure you find the best candidate for the job. From talent acquisition and growing your candidate pool, to the interview and retaining employees, there are several steps to take to hire the right engineer for your business. 

By following the tips and strategies outlined in this guide, you can streamline your recruitment process and increase your chances of hiring the most qualified and skilled engineer for your team. 

Remember, it takes effort, time, and a willingness to be flexible to find the right engineer for your company. With these tips and best practices, you can master the process of how to hire an engineer and build a talented and skilled team for your business.


Here are some frequently asked questions about how to hire an engineer:

How do you recruit and hire good engineers?

Recruiting and hiring good engineers requires a combination of strategies such as identifying the right skills and competencies, and conducting a comprehensive assessment. You should conduct interviews to assess cultural fit and technical ability, and consider using skill assessments and reference checks.

How do I find engineering candidates?

You can find engineering candidates by tapping into professional networks, attending job fairs and conferences, leveraging social media and job sites, and partnering with staffing agencies like ours. You can also encourage employee referrals and leverage college and university recruitment programs.

How do I hire engineering talent?

Hiring engineering talent involves identifying the right skills and competencies, conducting a comprehensive assessment, and offering a competitive compensation package. To attract top talent, you should focus on promoting your employer brand, offer career development opportunities, and create a positive work environment.

Is it hard to recruit engineers?

Recruiting engineers can be challenging due to a shortage of skilled candidates in some areas, as well as competition from other companies seeking to hire engineering talent. However, by leveraging diverse sourcing channels, promoting your employer brand, and offering a competitive compensation package, you can attract and retain top engineering talent.

​​How does the hiring process impact the candidates’ experience?

Unless a candidate is already a follower of your company or they’re connected in some way, the hiring process is likely the very beginning of their experience with your organization. It sets the tone for the whole relationship, giving them their first impression of your culture and what working for the company would be like. Having a pleasant, streamlined hiring process is imperative to keeping people in the pipeline. Source: Arya

Who should be involved in the hiring process?

Ideally, the people involved should have a stake in the outcome – managers, direct team members, etc. They’ll be able to best answer a candidate’s questions about the job, and they’ll also be most invested in making a good impression and finding the right fit. However, you shouldn’t have so many people involved in the process that you have too many “cooks in the kitchen” to be able to make a decision. Source: Arya