zzzzzzzzz….WAKE UP! (Your Job Descriptions)

April 24, 2008 at 11:42 pm Leave a comment

By Matt Barcus, President, Precision Executive Search, Inc.
Managing Partner, A/E/P Central, LLC, home of CivilEngineeringCentral.com

At any given time I can go to an A/E firm’s employment page or to a job board and see the same advertisement for the same job, but for eight different firms. Everyone in southern California is looking for a PE with 12+ years of experience in highway/roadway design. It was not too long ago that every civil engineering consultant in the Washington, D.C. area needed a land development engineer with 4-8 years of experience. The job descriptions that you see for these jobs are like a t-shirt store on the boardwalk of your favorite beach — you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ‘em all. How is your potential candidate going to be motivated to join your firm when his job looks identical to the one he is staring at in your advertisement? How can you get a job seeker to apply to your job only when there are 10 more exact same job descriptions out there?

Differentiate yourself

The biggest obstacle in the A/E industry is finding talent. Remember the Wonder Twins cartoon that used to be on Saturday mornings? Get your HR group to pound fists with your Marketing group and form an exciting job description. Marketing people earn their living differentiating your firm to clients – co-opting their expertise to address staffing issues is proven strategy that can make a difference.

Here’s an example of how you can do this:

A. Project Manager-Highway Engineering- The Highway Project Manager will provide coordination of project execution and control of highway design projects, to achieve continuity of purpose within scope, budget, and time schedules from conception through final design…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. This individual will also be accountable for handling specific…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…. design aspects on highway design projects; coordinating efforts of assigned highway design team to ensure completeness and accuracy of design effort; and…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….. serving as technical liaison with client on project efforts. A bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and at least eight years of experience on DOT highway design projects is required. PE license is also required.

B. Project Manager-Highway Engineering- Our office softball team has won 3 League Championships in the past 4 years. A couple of our engineers come in at 9:30 AM because they have to make sure they get their kids off to school safely. Each year we take two consecutive PAID days off as an office to build a home for Habitat-For-Humanity. Last year, our firm was part of the Wilson County Toll Road Design Build Project, we completed the design of an award winning 4-Level Interchange and we burst into the ENR Top 500 List for the first time in our 10 year history. If you have your BSCE, your PE License and a stable work history with 8+ years highway engineering experience, we would love to talk to you.

As a job seeker, which of these jobs are you more likely to apply for?

Here is another great example that I pulled (with permission, of course) from Bohler Engineering, one of the leading civil engineering firms on the east coast. It is fun, it is entertaining and it easily gives you some insight as to who the hiring manager is; I highlighted in red the commentary that stood out to me.  They are looking for recruiting coordinator…wait…a ROCKIN’ RECRUITING COORDINATOR! (THAT IS REALLY THE TITLE POSTED ON THEIR WEBSITE!) This is exactly what I am talking about…good stuff:

Job Description:

Play a vital role within a growing company in Land and Site Development. Imagine a career where your opinion counts, where you can ask questions everyday about your work and career and get answers from experienced professionals; your future is important to us, our company and our community.

Bohler is the premier Land Development Civil/Site Consulting Firm in the eastern U.S., providing civil engineering, surveying, planning, landscape architecture and permitting services throughout several industries. Bohler employees produce high quality project documents and continuously communicate with team members, managers and outside entities.

Be part of the Recruiting and Marketing teams to help grow the organization. If you are ambitious, results-oriented, and dynamic and would like to build upon your recruiting career, Bohler may be the right place for you. If you get to the bottom of this job description and are still laughing, well then, Bohler is probably a pretty darn good place for you to work.

We aren’t looking for just anyone; we are looking for a Rockin Recruiting Coordinator in our Sterling, VA office.

What you’ll be doing: (Isn’t that what you really want to know)

*Provide support to the Recruiting and Marketing Managers in various, customer-serving aspects. I know it’s vague but we’ll explain.

*On the recruiting side you will coordinate and schedule all phases of interviews through the offer process.
You will assist in identifying qualified candidates (we can teach you) and schedule them for the Recruiting Manager to conduct an initial phone screen. The good news is that we use Ceridian (Applicant Tracking System, ATS) which makes this process seamless.

*Please help keep us productive by entering resumes on a regular basis. Also, maintain the integrity of the data in the ATS; after all it’s way more efficient if you have good data.

*Preparing general correspondence (meeting minutes), create and maintain tracking spreadsheets and provide administrative support to Recruiting and Marketing.

*Assisting in coordinating marketing events, recruiting events and assist in maintaining vendor activities. You will also register people for events; please do it on time so we don’t miss out. Also you will maintain and update all event activity.

*You will be filing and maintaining the filing system. Why? Well, that way you can find things when you need them.

Minimum Qualifications:

*2-5 years of experience in Recruiting, Marketing, Communications, Human Resources or related field.
Bachelors Degree in Psychology, Marketing, Communications or related. (If it’s unrelated and you are interested and feel you are qualified, please apply).

*Superior verbal and written communication skills are a must (really; do we need to explain, come on you’re reading what we wrote). Oh, we really need someone who is tactful.

*Must be proactive and have the ability to multi-task while maintaining a positive and enthusiastic attitude.
Must be proficient in MS Office. Proficient means you know the programs as well as if not better than we do and typing is a must.

*Do you have the ability to work under minimal supervision and resolve issues independently based on project/company standards and verification of facts prior to releasing documents? If so, please apply.

*Strong attention to detail while maintaining consistent workflow and meeting deadlines; Capable of processing impromptu requests as needed.

Bohler Engineering is an equal opportunity employer and affords equal opportunity to all applicants and employees for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, veteran status or any other status protected under local, state or federal laws.

SOOOOOO…engineers, recruiters, marketing professionals and many other members of the civil engineering community are in high demand these days.  Your competition on the floor below, the building across the street and in the corporate park down the road have the same position available.  Candidates can afford to be quite selective these days as they are in high demand; get their attention right off the bat with a unique and attention getting job description that gets them in the door before anyone else.  Good Luck!


Entry filed under: Civil Engineering Shortage, Recruiting. Tags: , .

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