How to hire a talented engineer

In the summer of 2018 we launched our inaugural Modis Innovation Manager Challenge. We saw more than 2,000 applications from candidates all over the world, competing to take up this special role. After four intense stages of assessment and three months’ rigorous interviewing, we had our winner: Barnee Lloyd.

Having spent months in the role, Barnee has particular insight into the application process. We asked him for the inside track and some advice on finding the best minds in Engineering and Information Technology. Read his words below, from the perspective of a candidate who’s experienced it all.

Barnee Lloyd:

The reality in 2019 is that there are a lot of Engineering jobs out there and getting our attention isn’t always easy. A good job listing is so important, because if you get it wrong, a potential candidate will just swipe to the next one. Below is a list of questions I ask myself when I’m reading through listings, which might help you structure how you write them in future.

1. What’s the company vision?

Personally, I like to see a company with a clear vision – a clear point of view which is reflected in everything they do, and which I would be contributing to as an employee. So, the first thing I’m looking for is what this company’s vision is and whether it aligns with my interests. Why does this company exist? A good introduction will answer this question clearly. If I end up working here, I need to be able to tell people: “This is what we do, and this is why we do it”.

2. What’s the job?

Now it’s time for some details about the responsibilities I’d have and the projects I might get involved with. Provide examples of work people have delivered in similar positions in the past. Will it give me the opportunity to develop my own skills? What might it lead to in future? I want to know that someone has really thought about why this role needs to exist. Tell me about the team, too – how it works, and how it helps the company deliver its goals.

3. Can I actually do this job?

No one likes to waste time on a long-winded application, only to find the job requirements weren’t quite what they’d been led to believe. Be really clear here: what skills does the candidate need to have, and what skills would you like them to have? If possible, add a sentence or two explaining what each skill would be useful for.

man-in-front-of-racing-car

4. Can I imagine my life at this company? 

The best job listings give me the tools I need to imagine. Where would I live? What kind of hours would I be likely to work? Is there flexible working? Will I be travelling a lot? Will there be periods of high-intensity work? Think about who your ideal candidate really is are they the right fit culturally and does your company have the right culture to nourish their career, think about the kind of details they might need in order to plan for their future.

5. Am I going to make a difference?

The best companies I’ve worked with have seen the value of the work their employees do, regardless of seniority. Do try to get that message across in the job description. Let the candidate know how this role will benefit the company. If I get the job, how am I going to improve the standard of the company’s product or service? The most ambitious engineers really want to know that – and you want to recruit the most ambitious engineers.

 man-by-formula-e-sign

The best companies I’ve worked with have seen the value of the work their employees do, regardless of seniority. Do try to get that message across in the job description. Let the candidate know how this role will benefit the company. If I get the job, how am I going to improve the standard of the company’s product or service? The most ambitious engineers really want to know that – and you want to recruit the most ambitious engineers.

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