Recruiting, Trends & Data

Who are the Summertime Engineering Job Seekers?

August 18, 2014

If you’re a recruiter or work in human resources, we don’t have to tell you the summer months tend to be… slow… for hiring. Basking in the sun on vacation has a way of making experienced job seekers forget they aren’t happy working with their current employer, and engineering students are either fresh into their first entry-level job or knee-deep in a summer internship.

So who are these elusive engineers looking for jobs between Memorial Day and mid-August? And how does this population differ from those looking for a job, say, in the first weeks of a new year?

We examined visitor analytics to EngineerJobs.com from Memorial Day 2014 through August 15, 2014 (81 days) against an equal period of time beginning New Year’s Day – March 23, 2014 (81 days).

(Historically, the period just after the New Year is the annual high season for job seeker interest.)

Summer Engineering Job Seeker Demographics

Job Seeker Age Comparison

 

Examining the New Year vs. Summertime Engineering Job Seeker population by percentage of overall traffic, we can see that the 18-24 demographic drops off significantly; – 6.61% to be exact. However, the 25-34 year old demographic shows a 4.76% boost in overall interest – and 45+ engineers also see small % increases.

Given the age shift – the summertime may be your single best window to advertise and access difficult to reach experienced engineers. 

Entry-Level Engineering Jobs & Internship Search Comparison

We have separate portals for Entry-Level Engineering jobs and Engineering Internships & Co-Ops. Since we noticed that the 18-24 year old demographic was the most significant drop-off between the New Year and Summertime traffic, we examined how traffic to these pages were effected.

entry level engineering job interest

In sum: if you are targeting interns for the Fall, your marketing dollars are better spent before engineering students leave campus in the Spring.

Logic would lead you to conclude entry-level candidates who haven’t successfully found work are probably responsible for the traffic uptick during the summer, but we were surprised to learn how small the increase was (0.67% of New Year’s traffic – 0.76% of Summertime). 

Does Gender of the Engineering Job Seeker shift over the Summer?

female engineer demographicsIn a word, no. Women engineers represent a little over a quarter of engineering job seeker traffic regardless of season. This number corresponds with a 2011 US Census Bureau Report that of the roughly 7.2 million member STEM workforce, women make up only 26 percent.

Where Engineering Job Seekers were Located: New Years Day – March 23, 2014

New Years Engineering Job Seekers The Top 10 cities by Engineering Job Seeker Density from January 1st – March 23rd were:

  1. New York
  2. Houston
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Chicago
  5. San Diego
  6. Atlanta
  7. Seattle
  8. Denver
  9. Austin
  10. San Francisco

Where Engineering Job Seekers were Located: Memorial Day – August 15, 2014

Summertime City Engineering Job Seeker Hot Spots The Top 10 cities by Engineering Job Seeker Density from May 26th – August 15th were:

  1. New York
  2. Houston
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Chicago
  5. San Diego
  6. Seattle
  7. Atlanta
  8. Austin
  9. Denver
  10. San Francisco

As you can see by comparing the two maps, very little geographically changed between the two time periods for engineering job seekers. 

Though New York had the highest number of sessions from anyone looking for an engineering job this summer, they also had the highest bounce rate and lowest pages per session, meaning: of all metropolitan areas, these engineers were the most likely to be “scanning” for better opportunities, not necessarily committed job seekers.

Conversely, Pittsburgh engineering job seekers produced only 16% of New York’s volume – but those engineers had the lowest bounce rate and the highest pages per session, meaning: these are more likely to be engineers with high intent diligently looking for new work.

What are Summer Engineering Job Seekers Looking for?

Engineering Discipline Job Searches; New Year vs Summertime

The largest percentage gain of interest vs overall traffic was Mechanical Engineering, which saw a 1.80% overall traffic percentage increase during the Summertime compared to New Year engineering job seekers.

Taken as a whole though, there was very little percentage change between the most popular engineering disciplines in the New Year or Summertime.

Most Popular Engineering Employers – New Year vs Summertime

You’ll note 6 of the top 10 companies in both time periods are the same; Boeing, Amazon, Parsons Corporation, Lockheed Martin, Johnson, Miriam & Thompson and KLJ.

They have excellent employer brands and enjoy resultant evergreen interest among engineers.

Summer engineering talent acquisition is uphill; not impossible.

Though volume of interest comes down during the summer, there are several advantages to the attentive recruiter or HR department that doesn’t take a break from hiring. The engineers interested in new career opportunities during this period tend to be older, more experienced, and high intent.

One piece of data discovered we haven’t mentioned yet: search by engineering discipline is much more popular than search by location. So if you read this far down, take that hint home next time you write a job description or announce a vacancy – the engineering discipline is the first limiting factor in engineering job searches, location second. Title (or appropriate relocation funds!) accordingly.

Takeaways:

  • In the summer your interested candidates are likely to be a little older; this might be a great opportunity to connect with experienced and senior engineers.
  • Engineering Internship & Co-Op interest plummets, but entry-level engineering job seekers increase by almost a full percentage point during the summertime.
  • There is no gender difference between these time periods whatsoever.
  • There is very little change between engineering discipline interest seasonally, a popular job in the New Year will be a popular job in the Summer, too.
  • Engineering job seeker interest-by-geography appears to hold steady regardless of season.
  • Companies with strong employer brands enjoy high levels of job-seeker interest year-round.

All comparisons above examine visitors to jobs on EngineerJobs.com between January 1, 2014 – March 15, 2014 vs. May 26, 2014 – August 15, 2014.