5 Traits of an Engineer to Look for When Hiring

By Jezabel Southard

Posted on April 30, 2014

Hiring for engineers is becoming more competitive as the economy returns to full strength from its recent recession.  Hiring managers who know their organization’s needs and culture well are better placed to find the right engineer for their company.

It also pays to know what skills, qualities, and personality traits serve engineers well in their professional field.  When hiring engineers to your company’s staff, keep an eye out for the following engineer personality traits and skills:

Skills Needed for Engineering

Engineering programs in colleges and graduate schools are typically rigorous programs that call on a young engineer’s mathematics and technical skills.  Top engineers should have an extensive portfolio that demonstrates their technical ability in their field.

The best engineers, however, demonstrate more than just outstanding technical proficiency.  They also bring to the table an array of key engineering “soft skills” including:

  • Communication.  Top engineering candidates can describe and explain their work – not only to other engineers, but to non-engineering staff members whose decisions affect their work.
  • Collaboration.  Like other professionals, engineers must frequently work on teams.  As a result, they must be able to collaborate with other engineers and with professionals across disciplines.

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Key Engineer Personality Traits

Although engineers are first attracted to the field for varying reasons, top engineers seem to share a core set of personality traits, including:

  • Creativity.  Engineers must be able to solve practical problems in an ever-shifting field of stringent requirements, under the pressures of specific deadlines, and while adhering to a strict budget.  Top engineers bring a healthy dose of creativity and innovation to the job to get the work done effectively and efficiently.
  • Organization.  Every project has deadlines, and unexpected delays, disasters, and other events can throw a schedule off track.  Top engineers have the ability to organize their time, as well as the flexibility to handle unexpected challenges.
  • Perseverance.  Especially when a deadline looms, engineering is about getting the work done.  Top engineers will be no strangers to perseverance, buckling down, and working overtime when necessary to complete work well and on time.

Ensuring Cultural “Fit” In Your Organization

Unlike skills and personality traits common among all engineers, finding the right “fit” between a particular engineering candidate and your company is a personalized process.  Talk to your current engineers and other staff members to determine how they work and what they value in your company’s culture, and look for candidates who work in similar ways and value similar qualities and goals.

At TERRA Staffing, our experienced recruiters can help you find the top engineering talent you’re looking for.  Contact us today to learn more!

Categories: Employee Development, HR and Management Advice

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