Insights for technology professionals

How to boost your chances of hiring top engineering candidates

Posted on November 1, 2018 by Jack Trompert


It’s the third round of interviews, and you’re close to making an offer with a top engineering candidate. But the odds of sealing the deal with the best candidate might slip through your fingers. In a candidate-driven market, they’re weighing their options between offers. As companies race to snag the best engineers, what can you do?

Optimizing your hiring process is one great place to start, but boosting stronger closes with engineering candidates is another story. Beyond assessing culture fit and skills, hiring managers have to do their part to sell their company to candidates.

In this article, let’s look at four strategies hiring managers can use to make strong offers and boost closes.

Reveal candidate motivations

The more you know about their interests and passions, the better you can tailor the entire interview process. Before you launch into the interview or coding exercise, ask simple, targeted questions like:

  • What are you excited about in this role?
  • How do you spend your free time these days?

Not only will you get a window into how they think and collaborate, you can also decipher what gets them excited or interested.

Candidates may also need to hear how their role fulfills a company’s mission. Would they be part of a company that revolutionizes modern computing or lead energy-efficient initiatives?

Help paint the picture so candidates can easily imagine themselves in this position at this company. It all boils down to what the candidate wants out of the role and how you can frame the role so that it will resonate with that candidate.

Offer opportunities in the company

Strong, driven engineering candidates should have a solid foundation of technical and soft skills, but they need mentorship and direction from leaders to learn.

You can ask candidates if there’s anyone they would be excited to work with. If not, suggest specific engineers or technicians who can align with their interests and skills. Positioning team members as a potential resource is a great way to offer support.

Engineering candidates might also express interest in a field they want to grow in. Diving into specific areas of work at your company gives candidates a vision of where those experiences can take them eventually. For example, consider slipping in any learning opportunities around artificial intelligence or highlight machine learning work that existing engineers are doing in the company.

Differentiate your company

Spell out what differentiates your company and how aspects of the role resonate with the candidate’s goals and motivations.

Is it the rapid advancement or impact of the company? Or where the company is heading in six months, a year, or five years? Communicating a bigger vision of what the company growth looks like in the future can foster a candidate’s enthusiasm for the role.

You can also touch points on compensation packages, any signing bonuses, and company culture to hammer home any company benefits.

Close with a warm note

There’s nothing worse than finishing grueling interview panels and coding exercises with a cold goodbye. After you’ve made your case, make sure to close the interview on a warm, positive note. Recap the interview with your strong selling points and communicate how it serves the candidate’s priorities.

As thrilled as you are to seal the deal, remember to have a transparent conversation about competing offers. Stay true to your company’s values if you’re negotiating terms and conditions. Finally, ensure that you give enough time for the candidate to consider the offer.

Do your best from start to finish

There’s no quick answer to getting the best engineers. Recruiting and hiring top engineers is a long-term investment. Getting the basics right is important, but learning how to improve your process takes time and refinement.

Want to learn more about optimizing your hiring process and getting top talent for your engineering teams? Get the Guide to Hiring Top Engineering Talent today!

hire engineering talent guide

Jack Trompert

In 2010, Jack and Janet Trompert started Talent 101 with a clear new vision on how to deliver talent to the marketplace. To work at Talent 101 is to be a part of something creative and big. From our modest roots as an ambitious startup, to becoming a global workforce solution provider to the world’s most recognized semiconductor companies, our growth and momentum owes a lot to our strong company culture of customer service, can do attitude, sense of urgency and always focus on the client and talent.