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5 Must-Have Skills to Look for When Placing Engineering Candidates
Jan 25, 2024

5 Must-Have Skills to Look for When Placing Engineering Candidates

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Finding and hiring top engineering talent is no easy feat in today's competitive market. With a significant global shortage of STEM skills projected, potentially reaching high numbers by 2030 as suggested by some estimates (e.g., World Economic Forum), companies must have a keen eye for identifying outstanding candidates. 

When partnering with a software engineer recruiter, you want someone who intimately understands the must-have qualities that set exceptional engineers apart. As a business owner looking to bolster your tech team, consider prioritizing these five skills:

1. Problem-Solving Ability

   Your engineers will spend their days untangling complex issues to build innovative solutions. Seek candidates who demonstrate strong analytical and critical thinking capacities, as well as creativity in formulating solutions. Look for examples of them having worked through vague or ambiguous problems on previous projects using deliberate, structured approaches. An engineering degree from a reputable university may often be seen as one indicator among many of a candidate's problem-solving abilities, though it's not the sole measure.

2. Communication Skills

   Even the most brilliant engineers must clearly convey their ideas, collaborate across teams, explain technical details to non-technical colleagues, and present solutions. When interviewing, assess candidates' abilities to express complex concepts simply and listen attentively. Look for experience preparing documentation, specs, tutorials, meeting notes, or presentations. Having worked across diverse teams or directly with clients/customers is also a promising sign.

3. Programming Expertise

   It's advisable to look for candidates with professional experience in coding complex systems, preferably in widely-used languages such as Java, JavaScript, C++, Python, etc. Many reputable computer science programs aim to equip graduates with versatile, transferable coding skills.

4. Passion for Learning

   Given the rapid pace of technological change, it's beneficial for engineers to continually learn new languages, frameworks, methodologies, and best practices. Top talent loves this challenge. Look for candidates that devote time to continued education outside work hours, through avenues like online courses, tutorials, tech conferences, or meetups. Ask about how they stay on top of industry developments. The best will be intrinsically driven to grow their skills.

5. Problem Domain Experience

   For instance, a fintech company might find it advantageous to consider candidates with experience in developing personal finance, analytics, or cybersecurity solutions. While transferable skills are crucial, experienced engineers with a background in your specific problem domain can hit the ground running.

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The Right Match for Your Needs

Vetting hundreds of engineering candidates against this robust criteria is no small ask for any hiring manager. That's where leveraging a dedicated software engineer recruiter can pay dividends.

Platforms such as Weekday Works aim to provide specialized support services to efficiently and effectively source, screen, and match employers with suitable tech talent for their openings. The experienced recruiters at such platforms are tasked with crafting compelling outreach, assessing skills in line with your requirements, coordinating interviews, among other services.

By partnering with a service that aims to simplify and optimize the search for engineering talent, you can potentially give your company an edge in innovation within a disruptive digital landscape. Reach out today to learn more about elevating your tech recruitment strategy.

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