We understand that you are usually seeking a specific discipline when adding new employees to your roster. This is standard practice and ensures business objectives are met.
We’ve noticed though that when it comes to top-tier engineering talent, pigeon-holing an exceptional applicant into your cookie-cutter job opening is next to impossible. Your offer will miss the mark, the candidate won’t feel fulfilled or appreciated and you are going to lose a great hire.
It’s time for a mindset shift when interviewing and hiring engineering talent, particularly when their skills are cross functional.
If department heads collaborated on hiring needs, the organization would save money
Let’s say you have two openings: a Controls Engineer and a Mechanical Design Engineer. If hired separately, the candidates would make $80-90K each and report to two different managers. The company will also likely pay a contingency recruiting fee of 20% for each placement. You’re looking at a $192K – $216K Year 1 investment on salary and recruiting fees alone.
Now consider an alternative option: You’re presented a highly skilled candidate with both controls and mechanical design expertise. If the two managers could work together and prioritize the needs of the organization, they could hire this one candidate for $100K and pay a recruiter for a single placement. $120K Y1 investment.
Sure there are some logistical issues with this at first glance, but all of that can be worked out if you’re willing to think outside the box:
- Who would this hire report to? Both managers can take ownership of their needs, or the manager with the highest seniority can take point. This co-management style forces departments to know and understand what the others are doing. Interdepartmental communication is never a bad thing.
- What if we have 80 hours of work to get done in a week? We need two bodies. This might be the case if you were hiring two associate-level individuals, but a senior candidate can prioritize and work at a faster pace. Worst case scenario, the single hire needs an assistant to pick up the busy work. In this instance, the candidate hires an entry level designer or even an intern at a much lower salary to assist. Your $120K investment perhaps jumps up to $180K to cover the salary, but you save on recruiting fees since this is likely a hire you can make with ease internally.
This yields a best/worst savings of $96,000! Don’t worry, we’ll even let you take credit for the idea, no strings attached.
Considering a flexible pay structure for your open engineering positions will ensure you secure the best talent
A declined offer can happen for any number of reasons, but a declined offer because the salary you’ve presented wasn’t even close to the candidate’s expectations is avoidable. When working with a recruiter, you should have a very clear idea of the candidate’s salary history and goals. Side note: If your recruiter isn’t providing insights into this, it’s time to find a new one!) Don’t expect the best to discount their expertise for you.
Operating under a flexible pay structure for your open engineering position allows you to hire the best individual, even if they are “over qualified” for the opening. In this case, there’s no such thing as over qualified. Skills, years of experience, education, expertise, and even cultural fit all factor in to an offer amount.