The engineering sector is experiencing a brain drain dilemma. Many baby boomer engineers are retiring at greater rates than graduates are entering the workforce. This isn’t a new phenomenon, but it will play a significant role in how organizations strategize for their 2019 hiring.


This skills gap is the underlying theme for many of the recruiting and hiring trends that are top of mind this year. Our aim is to provide you with a comprehensive guide to the labor market to prepare your staffing and recruiting practices for the year ahead.



  • A Quick Glance at the 2019 Labor Market
  • A New Focus for the Future of Hiring
  • Hiring Insights in Engineering
  • 2019 from the Perspective of Key Leaders

A Glance at the 2019 Labor Market

The national unemployment rate is at a record low since 1969 and is even lower in many industry sectors and regional markets.

This is a typical increase in wages, only 0.1% higher than 2018, which implies stagnant wage growth.

However, job switchers in engineering can expect a 4.9% wage increase – a highly attractive reason to seek something new.

25.7% of employees are actively seeking new job opportunities.

And 55.5% are passively open to new job opportunities.





Best cities for jobs

Glassdoor ranks these cities based on hiring opportunity, cost of living, and overall job satisfaction:

  1. Pittsburgh, PA
  2. St. Louis, MO
  3. Indianapolis, IN
  4. Cincinnati, OH
  5. Hartford, CT
  6. Boston, MA
  7. Memphis, TN
  8. Raleigh, NC
  9. Cleveland, OH
  10. Detroit, MI


Top Perks Employers are Highlighting

  • Casual dress codes
  • Employee discounts
  • Remote work opportunities
  • Extra paid time off
  • Signing bonuses
  • Free lunches
  • Gym memberships
  • Work from home Fridays
  • Daycare


A New Focus for the Future of Hiring


In 2018, AI-powered recruitment technologies took off across every industry. Seeking to automate the application, screening, and interviewing processes, these tools unburden the hands and minds of recruiters and corporate talent acquisition professionals everywhere.


However, our stance on this trend has been, and always will be, that humans are greater than machines – most especially in recruiting for highly skilled Technology, Finance, Engineering and Marketing professionals.


Even with a quarter of employees looking for a new job, and over half passively interested should the opportunity present itself, employers cannot rely on the programming of their recruitment technology to make the right matches and entice the best-fit talent. This is the year that employers must focus on the human side of recruitment, specifically, the candidate experience.


Here are a few numbers proving why the candidate experience is critical this year:

68% of employees believe the candidate experience is a reflection of the employee experience 

51% of people continue to look for jobs even after they’ve accepted an offer

31% of candidates expect a customized message when a company reaches out with a new opportunity 

55% of applicants give up if they haven’t heard back from a company within two weeks 



In short, the role of the candidate experience in your recruitment process cannot be overlooked. One in seven new hires accept a job offer only to walk away at the last minute. Do not let this become your story.


Quick steps to an awesome candidate experience

  1. A fast and easy (and mobile-responsive) application process
  2. Quick feedback and responses to every candidate
  3. A compelling employer brand that reflects your company culture
  4. Personalized emails, phone calls, and messages throughout the process
  5. A short, but thorough, interview process
  6. A clear understanding of the benefits and perks you offer
  7. An efficient and valuable onboarding process

Hiring Insights in Engineering


Engineering employment has seen sustained growth over the last few years, up 2.27% in the last year alone. A majority of companies, 69%, anticipate hiring more engineers over the next 5-10 years.


The Growing Engineering Talent Shortage

The demand is strong, but the level of engineering talent can’t keep pace. This is partly due to too few engineering graduates, as well as an increasing number of retirees. It’s a major concern; 98% of companies are all too aware of how their business can suffer if they can’t fill open engineering positions.


Here are the top 5 biggest concerns with the engineering shortage:

  • Loss of competitiveness
  • Inability to innovate
  • Higher product development costs
  • Lost revenue opportunities
  • Poor design efficiency


Not only are there too few engineering graduates, it also appears that even those who do graduate with an engineering degree aren’t fully prepared for their career ahead. Here are some skills they’re missing out on:

  • Product cost management
  • Manufacturability
  • Industry knowledge
  • Project management
  • PDM
  • CAM
  • PLM
  • CAE
  • Problem solving
  • Systems engineering
  • Ideation
  • CAD
  • Technical problem solving
  • Integrating software and electronics

2019 from the Perspective of Key Leaders


“Low unemployment and increasing skills gaps continue to plague employers who are struggling to fill roles at all levels within their organizations,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “Fifty percent of U.S. employers reported that it is taking them longer to fill jobs today compared to any other period of time — a trend that is ultimately giving job seekers more leverage.”

How Are You Overcoming the Engineering Talent Shortage?


You’re probably gearing up for 2019 hiring, but some of these statistics might be concerning.


For us, these statistics are eye-opening. We’re always looking for new ways to partner with companies to overcome these challenges. Our talent acquisition solutions are one-part relationships, one-part insight, and one-part results. It’s a recipe that works every time, and we’d love to introduce you.


We want to partner with you. Let’s chat.