• Article
  • 30 Nov 2021
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George Allen

Dealing with Candidate Shortages in Engineering

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We have written several posts recently about the cultural shifts in the engineering industry. Whether it is working from home, the rise of new graduates, or changes in networking strategies, we are currently undergoing fundamental adjustments in the industry.

One issue on the rise is a shortage of candidates. Granted, this is not just affecting engineering – it is a nationwide concern – but the knock-on effects are very noticeable in our industry.

So, what can we do to manage candidate shortages?

From Surplus to Shortage

Many engineering firms have had a surplus of candidates applying for specialist positions at one time or another. However, the opposite is now true. There are numerous reasons for this, including people changing industries, not enough new graduates to replace retiring workers, Brexit, and more. Shortfalls can lead to numerous issues for engineering companies attempting to stay on track.

To a certain extent, there is little companies can do to magic candidates out of thin air. As such, companies need to address the core reasons, whatever these may be, in relation to their industry specialism. KDC Resource is already positioned to help engineering firms put the correct measures in place. Our consultative skills are backed up by our expertise gained from our sister company, KDC Projects, where we develop graduates and run training programmes to reduce any possible skill gaps. We also position candidates in the best positions to develop their skills and set them up for a successful career.

Dealing with Candidate Shortages 

So, what can engineering companies do to manage a shortage of candidates? While there is not a single option that will suit everyone, there are some strategies companies can use to make the hiring shortage easier.

One major factor still at play is working from home. Our industry is very person-focused, but many people have realised that working from home is possible and can often offer similar productivity levels as working from the office. It is at a company’s discretion whether they allow staff to work from home, but doing so could attract more candidates to the role.

At KDC Resource, we can see the advantages of both sides. Working from home is here to stay, it seems, so adjusting to its presence is a necessity. As such, we work with our clients to manage this cultural shift, whether we are speaking to companies or job applicants.

A common compromise is flexible working, which has become a mainstay during the pandemic. Many job applicants see this as an aspiration when seeking new roles, and offering it could undoubtedly draw more attention to a job vacancy.

However, matching clients and companies with similar aspirations is still a vital area of recruitment. It is something we always strive for, as our clients seek long-term loyalty, and our candidates seek careers. Therefore, matching the right talent with the best company will always be the main point of recruitment.

Looking Ahead in Engineering

One thing we can say about the engineering world is that it is adaptive and forward-thinking. Therefore, adjusting to new candidate aspirations should not be difficult because it is not a new concept. The novelty is how these aspirations impact where an employee wants to work and what effect this has on personal and company productivity. But, importantly, we must also ensure candidates are developed, supported, and chosen for positions that best reflect their skills.

Dealing with a candidate shortage is challenging, but it can also be an inspiration to adjust aspirations. As industries continue to open up, KDC Resource is best placed to connect the right candidates with the most suitable roles.