Engineering recruitment: How you can overcome the skills shortage

Recruiting engineers

Australia's ongoing skills shortage can make it challenging to find the right engineers for your team — just ask anyone who’s tried to fill a vacant technical role recently. 

While skilled migration is helping, strong overseas demand means the race to attract top engineering talent is now going global. 

The good news is that there are proven steps you can implement right now to fill your skills gaps and attract the right people to your company. 

Learn from the best in the field 

Kim Seeling Smith knows how to beat the skills shortage, having consistently achieved an impressive 98% success rate during her  30-year career as a recruiter, specialising in STEM. 

Now she is sharing her extensive talent acquisition know-how in a new short course series on engineering recruitment. 

The series is designed for everyone in the engineering recruitment process. That means senior engineers, project managers, and executives, as well as HR and talent acquisition teams. 

"Anybody who enrols in these courses will get at least three new ideas from each and every course,” Seeling Smith says. 

Join multiple courses and save 

Better yet, there are discounts on offer if you join multiple courses in the series: 

  • Register for first two courses in this series, save 2.5% of the total 
  • Register for first three courses in this series, save 5% of the total 
  • Register for all four courses in this series, save 7.5% of the total

Email [email protected] to receive your discount and organise your multi-course registration.

Here’s just a few of the topics you’ll learn about in the series: 

1. Make sure you write a great job brief 

As boring as you might think writing a job brief is, it's the key to hiring well the first time. 

In a market where there are far more jobs than there are candidates, standing out from the crowd is critical. And an essential part of that process is figuring out what to put in your job briefs. 

“You don't just write a job brief to turn into an ad to put on Seek or LinkedIn,” Seeling Smith says. “You write a job brief to articulate what the role actually is, why it should be of interest to the right candidate, and what makes this role and your organisation unique. 

“You always need to be recruiting. So you need to learn how to articulate the uniqueness of your organisation, your team, and your role in a way that's really compelling to candidates, who are a very limited resource right now.” 


Learn more about how to write a great job brief

2 Look for talent in innovative new ways 

Businesses have spent years trolling the same talent pools and recycling candidates. To solve this talent shortage, you must think differently about how to fill your roles.   

Tapping into talent pools your competitors don’t even think about is the key to filling roles faster. If done right, it will mean you never have to worry about a skills shortage again. 

“I challenge engineering managers to think differently about the skill sets that are required to do the jobs, how they can fill them with people from outside of the industry, and what kind of training they will need to get them up to speed,” Seeling Smith says. 


Learn more about accessing talent from different talent pools

3. Create job ads that stand out from the crowd 

Competition for top engineering talent is intense. Generic recruitment campaigns and vanilla job ads just won’t cut it anymore. 

That means creating job ads that attract the right people, while repelling others who will be a poor fit for your business.  

Your job ads need to do more than attract someone with the right skills and experience for the role. They also need to attract someone who will be the right cultural fit for your organisation. 

“What is the culture of the team? What will this person add to that culture? It's not just finding somebody that fits in with the culture, it's finding somebody that can add to the culture or that can move the culture in a way you want it to move,” Seeling Smith says. 

“Do you want to look for somebody who can work autonomously, or are you looking for somebody to work in in a team?” 


Learn more about how to persuade the right talent to your business

4. Use hiring hacks to master the interview process 

Running candidate interviews can be stressful and time consuming. And, unless you manage the process properly, can lead to bad outcomes.  

For example, did you know that 44% of hiring managers regret their last hire, according to recruitment firm Hudson, and, according to LinkedIn, 65% of candidates decline to go further in the interview process due to a poor candidate experience?   

However, applying a few simple 'hiring hacks' can cut down your workload, increase the effectiveness of your interviews, decrease your stress, and provide a better candidate experience too. 

“Not only will it save you time, but you will also exponentially increase your confidence that the person that you're hiring is going to be the right person for the job and the person that you're hiring is really who they say that they are,” Seeling Smith says. 

“You won’t be getting into a situation where you interview Doctor Jekyll and have Mr Hyde walk through the door on their first day of work.” 


Learn hiring hacks for busy managers