Posts tagged ‘Civil Engineering Recruiters’
The 2016 job market is in full swing and with it, if you are lucky, comes choices. Seasoned professionals as well as graduate engineers find themselves approached with opportunities. Today’s civil engineering companies are as different as their employees. In your job exploration you need to define the type of employer you will best fit.
The 2015 ENR Top 500 list reflected most of the largest A/E firms becoming even larger as a result of mergers and acquisitions. Similarly, a number of firms who were not on the top 500 leaped onto the widely reviewed list.
As an executive recruiter, I experienced leaders from the top 10 firms make notable moves to much smaller firms. In each case, the executive wanted to join a firm where they felt they could have significant impact on company strategic direction and growth. They wanted to join a firm that they felt would allow them to “get back to the practice of civil engineering.” Conversely, during the last year a number of project engineers and project managers asked me if my larger clients had job opportunities for them. These job seekers specifically wanted to join the top 100 firms as they perceived these firms to get a bigger share of complex, huge and sexier projects. In my opinion while these observations seem to be representative of a trend last year, there are a good deal of people who focus their job search not specifically on company size, but on the job itself.
Evaluating where you are in your career, defining your short and long-term goals, assessing culture, company leadership and peers at a new firm- these answers will helping you make a good decision to join a firm. Yes, size of a company does matter but should not be THE factor in selecting a new opportunity. What do you think?
View Carol’s profile & connect with her on LinkedIn
This week I was thrilled to hear a Client say “My ideal candidate would be someone who was in a leadership role in the Army Corps of Engineers, Navy, etc.” Throughout my 20+ years as an executive recruiter for the civil engineering industry, I have usually heard the opposite. US civil engineering firms have tended to seek executive candidates who have run or are running other competitor consulting firms. It is certainly not politically correct to say, but I recall hearing “let someone else train those candidates what it means to make money and stay on budget. We don’t have the luxury to do so.”
It seems that there are stronger arguments to be offered for hiring retired/ex military. Traditionally, these are people who have been given assignments, challenges and missions with direction to accomplish them. They must succeed under unique circumstances, overcoming difficult obstacles. They have been trained how to lead and how to motivate teams not only on a group level but an individual one. These candidates can bring a unique and fresh perspective to the corporate climate.
To tell a retired Colonel who has successfully lead significant programs and large teams while navigating difficult terrain, that he isn’t the best candidate to run a civil engineering department, has been difficult and often frustrating. During this period of civil engineering rebuilding, I hope to see new perspectives on hiring retiring military!
What has been your experience?
One corporate recruiter on Linkedin had as her status update “..be careful not to stalk the corporate recruiter, but do follow-up.” Numerous discussions are taking place online scolding recruiters and employers for lack of follow-up with candidates. But, how do you as a candidate stay on the right side of the fine line that divides assertive job seeker and scary stalker?
Let’s assume you have made it through an initial screen and had a phone or in person interview. As a job seeker, how often should you phone or email in follow-up to your meeting? First, you should end your interview by asking the recruiter to explain the remainder of the hiring process. Ask the interviewer “What happens next?” and “When should I expect to hear from you?” If they tell you what the next step is, then follow it. For example, if the recruiter tells you they have just started the process and expect to complete interviews in a couple weeks, then call them in a couple of weeks. If they do not return your call within 24-48 hours, then send them a follow-up email. If they do not return the email within 24-48 hours, then call them again. After that, move on in your search. Does every job seeker deserve feedback and closure? Yes. Will you always receive it? No. Demanding closure by calling or emailing the recruiter every hour will not always work, nor will it help your cause- even if you are right.
These past several years have taught all of us lessons. For me, as an architecture, planning, civil engineering recruiter, I need to make sure to offer insightful feedback and closure to my candidates. Hiring authorities and corporate recruiters who have been laid off now understand through their own job searches, that timely feedback/closure is necessary after a job interview.
Job seekers are frustrated by limited jobs, overwhelming competition and rejection. They say “Tell me I am not a fit for the job and I will understand.” Rarely has a candidate heard that they are not a fit for an opportunity without them then launching into a debate. We as recruiters, whether corporate or third party headhunter are hired to screen for the right fit. Hiring managers make that final screen and may reject you for seemingly insignificant reasons. Debating, while human nature, will not change those decisions 99% of the time.
Do your best to follow-up with the recruiter after your interviews. Even if you deserve closure and feedback on the status of your candidacy, you may not receive it. For the record, this is not right. Everyone deserves a return call.
Weekly I receive emails, calls or see Linkedin updates of corporate recruiters who are looking for employment and third party recruiters looking for contract recruiting jobs. We all knew that cuts in “overhead” staff were imminent. So, now many corporate recruiters are looking for new employers and many headhunters are looking for new clients.
Corporate recruiters are networking like the pros that many of them are. They are using Web 2.0 tools, posting resumes on niche job boards and some are hanging their own shingle – hoping to win some search assignments from firms. Many headhunters are aggressively making marketing calls, offering to team with others and using crystal balls to assess the next upcoming recruiting trend.
Both recruiters have something in common: both are utilizing LinkedIn and social networking sites to their max! AdvertisingAge reported that LinkedIn membership hit 36 million last week. Everyone wants to connect with everyone else. Networking is at an all time high. This has presented a few issues. Several headhunters contacted me and told me of their hesitancy to connect with corporate recruiters who had nothing to do with them until the corporate recruiters were laid off. And some after “linking-in” report that the corporate recruiters won’t share their connections. I say…GIVE IT A REST. As we have discussed in numerous BLOGS here, looking for a job is stressful under most circumstances. Stress is heightened when looking for a job when one is laid off. Folks, help each other out. And….people remember those that help them when times are tough.
The market is starting to turn. As recruiters, corporate, contract or third party headhunter, let’s work together. Our work, as in consulting engineering, is mostly about relationships. If you have established, good relationships, no one can take them away from you. I have yet to hear from a civil engineer that his or her colleagues are hesitant to help them network!
civil engineering jobs :: civil engineering resumes :: civil engineering industry blog :: civil engineering discussions
After 21 years of recruiting in the civil engineering community, I admit, I have my favorite clients. When they call, my team’s ears perk up. Fingers fly over computer files and the phone lines light up! What makes them a favorite? How can companies get a recruiter’s loyalty, their trust, their market intelligence? Here are 7 steps to get you on the road to the right relationship:
1. Treat your selected recruiter as a teaming partner.
After you sign a contract, accept that recruiter as someone who can make your life easier. Team with them on your searches. Recruiters should be partners; we should not be put in an adversarial role. Integrity and trust are a two-way street.
2. Describe your search assignments honestly.
In many instances, recruiters are Emergency Medical Techs (EMTs). We are hired to perform triage. An opening has occurred and help is needed immediately. To make accurate assessments and plan a course of treatment, we need you to provide us with vital information. If this urgency changes or a candidate is identified during the process, inform your team as soon as possible. Time is a valuable asset. Don’t waste yours or anyone else’s.
3. Respond in a reasonable timeframe to calls, emails, presented resumes.
Relationships take time. Discuss your preferred method of communication and set guidelines for response times. Remember how it was when you were looking for a job? Timely feedback is critical and a reflection of you and your company.
4. Know how to sell your company, and do so in an interview.
The days of quality job seekers begging you to hire them have ended. New job seekers are savvy. Many talented, prospective employees have multiple interviews. You need to know your company strengths and sell them. A good recruiter will have the job seeker excited of the potential of joining your company. Help keep that excitement!
6. Make a judicious decision to hire or not hire.
Indecision about extending an offer to a candidate is tantamount to a “no” offer decision. Don’t expect a recruiter to tap dance for days on end. Keep them informed of roadblocks to the hiring process and together you may come up with a solution to keep enthusiasm alive for those potential hires.
7. Extend a strong offer package.
Tell your recruiter what you will and will not be able to package in an offer. Let them do their job and work with them in closing the deal. Give them the tools to fill the gap in your technical team.
Successful recruiting, while part skill and part timing, is about relationships. Productive relationships take time and commitment. Recruiting the right headhunter can reduce your hiring stress and ensure a strong group of qualified candidates.