Industry Spotlights


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Engineers are widely regarded as creative problem solvers, so how can employers solve their own recruitment challenges when it comes attracting the best talent? Our research shows that employers who promote a combination of factors, such as salary and compensation, career development opportunities and work-life balance, will be tapping into the top three drivers of attraction for engineering candidates.

Salary and compensation remains the most important factor for candidates in the engineering industry (15.3%), with elements such as insurance and commission playing a more important role than in other industries. This is closely followed by career development opportunities (15.2%). In-house training, mentoring and coaching programs are highly valued and employers who offer external training programs have an opportunity to delight candidates. Meanwhile, work-life balance comes in third place (12.2%), which is the same ranking as five years ago.

Interestingly, the top two incentives have lost some of their leading edge and, as a result, some of the less crucial factors from 2012 are now playing a more significant role. This suggests engineering candidates may see a connection between some of their key drivers of attraction. For example, if salary and career development opportunities are important to candidates, they may view a company’s reputation as a necessary factor.

“"We want to be closer to our people, to drive their careers and put them forward for exciting new opportunities. We invest heavily in learning and development to help our people to grow and develop their technical, leadership and emotional capability, to take on new challenges and broaden their experiences by feeling both competent and confident in any situation." - Josh Murray, General Manager - Human Capital and Corporate Affairs, Laing O’Rourke

While factors such as management are now a lower motivation for engineering candidates when considering their next move, other drivers have become more important. Location of job has shifted from seventh to sixth place while colleagues and co-workers has jumped two places from twelfth place to become the tenth driver of attraction. A professional culture is also a higher priority for engineering candidates – three in four cite it as something they are seeking, compared to two in three respondents from all other industries. 

Employers may need to round out their employee value proposition to attract the best candidates in engineering. While salary and compensation remains the number one driver, it has lost some ground. Other factors that were once considered less important, such as company size, reputation and culture, are now getting more focus. 

The top five drivers of attraction for engineers have remained the same in order of importance over the past five years. This suggests a relatively stable environment when it comes to communicating key employment messages.

About this research: The data points referred to on this page are drawn from the SEEK Laws of Attraction survey. For more information about the SEEK Laws of Attraction survey and the terms and conditions governing the use of this data, click here.

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