Global Cost of Engineering Talent

By Dave Nerz

Recruitment of engineering talent is becoming increasingly more competitive. The global financial crisis and the dramatic impact on manufacturers is a memory for most at this point. The search and selection of the best engineering talent has become a race to be first to the best engineering candidates with a lucrative offer. As this demand for talent continues, more companies in need of engineering talent will begin to look globally, use independent recruiters vs in-house resources, and start looking at developing their own training and talent pipelines.

As a point of reference for what the global cost of engineering talent looks like, consider Universum’s Global Cost of Talent 2016 survey. It is based on the feedback from 580,397 business and engineering students from 57 countries. The students were asked what they expect to earn in their first job after graduating university. The question was: “What salary do you expect to earn in your first job after graduation? (Please provide a before-tax salary, excluding commissions and bonuses).”

The results are not completely surprising. The students reported expected starting salaries from a high of more than $79,000 to a low of just over $6,000 per year. Expectations in the US were $62K, Canada $44K, UK $40K, Germany $49K, Switzerland $79K and Vietnam just $6K.

Employers have options, but most are not without cost and complexities. They can battle it out to maintain their best talent by paying close attention to compensation, benefits and working conditions and add talent via aggressively recruiting engineering professionals. Another option is to invest in training and development of new engineering talent. These types of programs can help employers hire new graduates and develop talent to meet their growing needs while minimizing the potential loss of talent caused by the best engineering candidates taking new positions as they are recruited away.

The NPAworldwide Recruitment Network has a strong focus on the best engineering talent. Employers are finding a need to revise pay scales and to become much quicker to interview, select and make offers. As an employer if you are not thinking competitively about recruitment, you need to start now.

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  1. Robert Gately, 19-August-2017:

    The following is the crux of the problem; the assumption that the best employers must be the highest paid from the best schools.

    “Recruitment of engineering talent is becoming increasingly more competitive.”

    It need not be.

    “The search and selection of the best engineering talent has become a race to be first to the best engineering candidates with a lucrative offer.”

    If hiring managers don’t know that money is not the primary motivator, then they offer more and more. It is sad but all too true and they avoid hiring the best employees.

  2. Dave Nerz, 21-August-2017:

    Good observation Robert. With limited resources and growing demand costs will rise. But to your point, there is excellent talent that is motivated by many others things beyond money. It takes a special set of skills to uncover those motivations and not all employers are skilled at doing so.

    Thanks for the reminder.

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