What Engineers look for in Jobs

Feb 8th, 2013
What Engineers look for in Jobs





What Engineers look for in a Job

As a recruiter, discovering what’s on your candidate’s mind can greatly help you land him. The more you know what the most important factors for them, the better cthe probablity to successfully recruit them. The benefits could be in the following ways-

  • Maintaining your candidate’s interest through cold-call, screening, and interviewing
  • Candidates responding to your phone call or email
  • Reaching a successful outcome in salary negotiation


What engineers tell you

The problem is that if you just ask an engineer what they are looking for in a job with open ended questions, you'll hear things like

  • I like to do many things in parallel
  • No red-tape
  • where I can build something awesome
  • no politics
  • ownership of features
  • make an impact
  • faster growth if i work hard
  • self-directed
  • I need a sense of purpose
  • work with samrt people
  • solve an important problem
  • options to get rich
  • famous company

What they are mean by these things is actually

If you actually look at all these needs you can bucket them into something simpler

  1. People
    • I want to be part of a team of smart people
    • I want them to like me and recognize my ability and contribution
    • I want to learn from smart people I work with and become even smarter
  2. Work
    • I want challenging work
    • I need to find meaning in my work and see my work make an impact
    • I also want to do work that will increase my market value
    • I want to be constantly learning new technologies
  3. Reward
    • I like to see a direct correlation between effort and reward
    • I’m excited about the chance of hitting the “lottery” by joining the next 'Facebook'

How to use it in your recruiting

Now when you look at this, we can see that technical people – developers, software engineers, designers, QA engineers, database architect, DevOps, PMs, etc. – want pretty much the same thing as everyone else. The difference is a good technical candidate is in a position to choose, so they set the bar pretty high. This means they expect to find a job that meets ALL of their criteria, because they can.

So how do you use this insight. You need to change your pitch to them  For example, saying something like

“In our Cloud SDE role, you get to play with petabytes of data, code mind-altering machine learning algorithms, and become a master of all things Cloud and more.”

is a lot more enticing than saying

“I have a very good job opportunity at a Cloud company. I am attaching the JD. If you are interested, kindly send me your updated resume.”

Create interest in your candidates. When you incorporate this into your messages, your candidates will become a lot more responsive.


About the Author

Mei Lu is the Founder and CEO of Jobfully.com, an online start-up focusing on technology jobs. Before starting Jobfully, Mei recruited top talent for Silicon Valley technology companies, including OpenTable, OutSpark, RockYou and TubeMogul. Mei started her career as a software engineer, building software at Qpass, M.I.T, and MicroStrategy. She runs training programs for technical recruiters in Redmond, WA and blogs at http://blog.geekology.biz/

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