Have you ever been approached by an engineering recruiter and felt like you two were speaking different languages? You’re not alone. There is often a gap between what recruiters think engineers want, and what you might be looking for.
To make sure you are on the same page, here are 10 questions to ask an engineering recruiter.
10 Questions to Ask an Engineering Recruiter
1. What experience do you have with the engineering industry, specifically?
This is the most critical question to ask a potential job recruiter. While many recruiters say they recruit for engineering positions, what they really mean is “we recruit for any industry.” Working with a recruiter who specializes in only engineering and manufacturing will help you tap into a much better pool of employers while also working with a recruiter who understands the ins and outs of your specific field.
2. How do you alert applicants to open jobs?
The advantage of working with a recruiter is that they will send open jobs your way – but it’s useful to know how that process works. Will you receive an email? A text? A phone call? And how quickly can you expect to hear back from a recruiter if you have any questions?
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Note: The next questions relate to specific job openings.
3. What are the top 3 qualifications required for this position?
While the recruiter likely has a long list of what the company is looking for, there are usually 3-4 top qualifications that are requirements. Engineering positions require very specific technical expertise, but beyond that the company may be looking for specific interpersonal experience or other qualities. It’s useful to know what is a “nice to have” and what is a “must have” before you proceed.
4. Why is this position open?
Some job applicants may shy away from the tough questions, but it’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s worth exploring why the position is open – which goes along with question #5…
5. How long has this position been open?
This may not matter if there is a robust team in place or growth has provided an expansion opportunity. However, consider the implicit requirements given a position that has been vacant for a long period of time. There may be added pressures to “catch up” quickly or re-establish workflows that have fallen to the wayside in the interim.
6. What is the company culture like?
Company culture goes beyond fitness centers, perks and cool décor. Are the necessary tools available to you to do the work? Is there a support system for feedback and growth and learning opportunities? Do employees feel satisfied with the management structure? Answers to questions like these will paint a picture of how the organization values their engineers.
7. Is this a temp-to-hire opportunity?
Many companies will test the water with a new employee by listing positions as temporary or contract. However, this doesn’t mean that the job is necessarily temporary. It’s worth asking the recruiter if this opportunity could grow into a hire if both you and the company want to move forward together.
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8. What do you know about the company?
This question goes beyond the company culture, tools, and requirements. A quick search will tell you a little about the company, but a recruiter likely has other anecdotal information. They may have worked to fill other open positions and may be able to speak on those experiences.
9. What does the interview process look like?
Some hiring processes outline extensive interviews and tests. Will you have the opportunity to meet with senior management or interview with human resources? Learning how involved the management team is in selection and hiring can be an indicator of future success.
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10. Do I need to follow up with the company directly?
Each recruiter and each company will handle follow-ups differently. After you complete a job interview, should you reach out directly to the hiring manager at the company, or should the recruiter reach out? Will the company appreciate a proactive approach if you contact them directly, or will they dislike that and want to work through the recruiter? The recruiter will be able to provide you with this insight.
Working with an experienced engineering recruiter like Strom Minnesota can be like using any other tool to solve a problem. Dig in and ask questions, so you know exactly how they work and share what you are looking for in your next position. Find the right fit to advance your career goals and follow up with your recruiter so you can both build on your success.
Don’t waste your time scouring the internet for job postings or waste time applying with multiple individual employers. Strom Minnesota takes all the hard work out of the job search, so you can find a new position faster.
Strom Minnesota is an engineering and technical recruitment agency that specializes in high-skilled job candidates for highly technical positions. We facilitate contract employment, project staffing, temp-to-perm and direct hire opportunities. Industries served include IT, engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. We are affiliated with Strom Engineering, a national staffing and recruitment agency.