ThinkstockPhotos-480349016It’s an exciting time for business: Industries from energy to medicine are ramping up. States and cities are looking to upgrade infrastructure, working on pipelines and water management systems. The Institute for Supply Management’s June 2015 report on the state of manufacturing indicates overall economic growth for the 73rd consecutive month and expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 30th consecutive month. Industries from green energy to food production are seeing growth and responding by ramping up projects that have been on hold for years.

If you’re in any of these industries, you’re probably excited to get these projects started. But when looking for engineering teams to get those goals off the ground, you may be facing an uphill battle. Why? Because your company isn’t the only one that’s looking for engineering talent. You’re competing in a talent war.

Recruiters from all over the globe are looking for STEM talent, according to the recent LinkedIn report 2015 Global Recruiting Trends. The report states that 57% of North American CXOs predict overall staffing increases in 2015.

However, it may take time to get those highly skilled workers in place. LinkedIn’s report 2015 U.S. Recruiting Trends reveals that the competition for talent is the No. 1 thing keeping hiring managers up at night.

That goes double for engineering

So why do engineers seem to be in such short supply? Hiring managers are facing pressure from two sides: too many engineers leaving the field, and not enough new talent coming in fast enough.

By working with firms that already have established networks of highly skilled and expert engineers, project managers dramatically shorten recruiting times while ensuring their projects will be handled with the greatest professionalism.

Workforce and economic research firm EMSI, reports that although it’s foolish to assume that the entire engineering workforce will retire all at once, a significant number of highly experienced engineers are over 55. In fact, as much as 25% of skilled engineers in the fastest growing areas (e.g., petroleum and industrial engineering) are in that “older” category.

EMSI also optimistically reports that engineering is currently the most popular college major choice for high school grads. But, at the same time, the U.S. Census Bureau explains that there is still a shortage. Why? Because 74% of STEM grads are not employed in STEM occupations.

Finding the right talent

To quickly connect with the engineering experts they need, project managers and hiring managers employ through a work-for-hire model, connecting with highly skilled engineers through trusted networks.

By working with firms that already have established networks of highly skilled and expert engineers, project managers dramatically shorten recruiting times while ensuring their projects will be handled with the greatest professionalism.

However, to truly close the gap, industries and corporations have implemented programs that reach out to students as early as elementary age to foster interest in STEM careers. Some organizations sponsor grants to provide technology to younger students. Others have created internship programs that allow students as young as middle school-aged to get hands-on with technology and science.

The skills gap is a growing problem, but it’s one that we can address. It just requires the right leaders and mentors.

What is your most pressing engineering challenge? We’re probably already working on a solution. To learn more about the trends that affect your projects and the solutions you need, be sure to subscribe to our blog. When you need us, contact us online, by phone at 720-222-9666, or by email at Info@idm-es.com.