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Attracting the Best in Electrical Engineering: 5 Key Tips for Gaining The Competitive Edge

The recruiting landscape for electrical engineers has been extremely competitive for some time, and shows no signs of easing anytime soon. Electrical engineers are in high demand in the technology, manufacturing, renewable energy, telecommunications, and automotive industries among others. There is often a shortage of qualified electrical engineering talent across these spaces, especially for those with specialized expertise in automation, robotics, control systems, and power electronics. This shortage amplifies the competition among companies to attract and retain top candidates.

So what do you need to do to stand out and establish your organization as the go-to place for top electrical engineering candidates? Here we take a look at five key factors that can give you the competitive edge you need.


A Commitment to Safety

Safety is a huge priority for electrical engineers, as it can be a dangerous profession. In fact, many of the candidates we speak with tell us that their reason for leaving prior employers often revolves around safety issues. Building a culture of safety matters. The top companies in the industry understand this and are laser-focused on creating and maintaining a safety-first environment.

Some key things to consider:

  • Be upfront about your commitment to a strong culture of safety.
  • Include information about safety measures in recruitment materials.
  • Talk about safety measures, goals, and commitments during the recruitment process.


Training and Development

Electrical engineering is a field that is being continually impacted by new advancements and new technology. These professionals must stay on top of these advancements to remain competitive and valued as employees. Consequently, they value the ability to work with an employer that puts an emphasis on training and development to help them stay current and competitive.

Some key things to consider:

  • Support professional certifications and attendance at professional conferences and events.
  • Emphasize your organization’s commitment to and investment in continued education and development during the recruitment process.
  • Sponsor or subsidize certifications that are important to your electrical engineering staff and consider tuition reimbursement for those interested in pursuing additional education.


An Inclusive and Collaborative Culture

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are important to today’s workforce. Unfortunately, electrical engineering is an area that tends to be less diverse in terms of gender and racial/ethnic background than some others. You can lead the pack here by focusing on creating a culture that is inclusive and collaborative. This, of course, means not only hiring candidates from diverse backgrounds, but ensuring that their voices will be heard and their opinions and ideas valued. This can be done in a number of ways, including through the use of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) serving a wide range of employees needs.

Some key things to consider:

  • Promote an open-door policy to help ensure two-way communication, collaboration, and feedback.
  • Promote employee wellbeing through flexible schedules, wellness programs, and a supportive environment that addresses employees work and personal needs.
  • Showcase positive testimonials about your culture in your recruiting materials.


Freedom and Flexibility

During the pandemic professionals of all kinds, including electrical engineers, gained freedom and flexibility in work hours, workplace, and work processes that they now loathe to give up. Theirs is the type of work, after all, that can be done from anywhere (for the most part). Offering that type of freedom and flexibility to allow electrical engineers to work remotely on projects that do not require physical presence can provide them with a better work/life balance—and you with a better pipeline of top talent.

Some key things to consider:

  • Assess the feasibility of remote work for each role you’re hiring for. If entirely remote isn’t an option, consider opportunities for a hybrid work model.
  • Consider whether offering other flexible options—like remote work days, or alternative work hours, might be feasible.
  • Communicate your company’s commitment to work-life balance and flexibility in your job-related communications.


Competitive Compensation and Benefits

While competitive compensation and benefits aren’t the most important considerations for today’s electrical engineering job seekers, they still matter. It’s important to ensure that what you have to offer, from a total rewards standpoint is at least as generous—if not more so—than what other organizations have to offer. This should include such things as flexible PTO plans, a 401k with a generous employer match, etc. For instance, one company we work with contributes 4% automatically to a safe harbor plan and they contribute an additional 4% when the employee contributes 4%. These kinds of benefits do not go without notice.

Some key things to consider:

  • Conduct thorough market research to determine competitive salary ranges for electrical engineering positions in your industry.
  • Consider providing performance-based incentives and bonuses to reward exceptional work.
  • Clearly communicate your organization’s commitment to providing competitive compensation and benefits.


With fewer candidates on the market, the competition for electrical engineers is on the rise. By setting your company apart in meaningful ways, you can establish yourself as an employer of choice in this tight labor market—not only attracting, but also retaining, top talent.



by Lisette De Dera, Senior Recruiter at Planet Forward

Photo Credit: Canva