Recruiting, Trends & Data

Don’t Wait to Recruit Entry-Level Engineers

September 2, 2014

Labor Day has passed, summer is over, and most of us, suffering vacation hungover after the long weekend, are easing back into work mode. Slowly.

Don’t.

If you’re a recruiter or hiring manager hoping to place entry-level engineers next summer, now is the time to think about advertising your entry-level positions to this year’s college seniors.

Now, as in right now – this week, today, don’t waste a minute – now. Here’s why:

Entry-Level Engineering Job Seekers: The Trends

This week college students resume classes and industrious seniors are looking ahead to their post-graduate employment opportunities. In early March 2013 we began isolating just engineering jobs targeting entry-level engineers and engineering internships. With over a year’s worth of data now, we can better isolate seasonal trends.

There are essentially three peaks of interest for entry-level engineering jobs.

September (aka right now)

The key to this interest cycle is that the longer you wait to advertise your jobs, the fewer engineering students see your ads.

Interest spikes in the first weeks college students return to campus then begins a long, slow decline as the Fall progresses. If you don’t start recruiting college seniors until the last weeks of October and early November, you’re only advertising to about half the interested population you’ll win at the beginning of September.

Post New Year

If you have been a recruiter or hiring manager for more than 12 months you already know that “Get a New Job” must top a ton of New Year’s Resolution lists… traffic to all job sites is typically at its annual peak just after the New Year.

The same holds true for college seniors/entry-level engineers. If they haven’t already secured a job in the Fall or through an intern relationship – they start looking earnestly in January.

Graduation

The last “peak” entry-level job interest period is during the summer months, specifically about a 6-week period starting from early June through July. These are the graduating college seniors who, for one reason or another, didn’t have a job lined up prior to graduation.

Strike While the Iron is Hot

There are several advantages to recruiting entry-level talent now vs after the New Year – and especially during the summer:

  1. Early Birds Get the Worm – advertising entry-level jobs now and beginning a recruiting relationship with engineering seniors means you simply have a wider talent pool to choose from.
  2. Highly Motivated Candidates – the kind of student who hits the ground running in September is self-directed, goal-oriented, and future-focused. These are highly desirable personality traits for any employee – but particularly entry-level candidates.
  3. Less Competition? – if you wait until the New Year to advertise your entry-level positions, you’re going to receive maximum eyeballs – and maximum competition. Now is a great time to stand out, advertise, and start filling your talent funnel while competitors are “easing back into work.”

Summary

Advertising now for a job you don’t expect to onboard until next summer may be seen as contrarian advice, we know. But this is one situation where following wisdom of crowds means your job ads will face greater competition… and miss out on a really motivated engineering talent pool looking for their first job right now.