How can we get more young engineering talent?

Dear Control Engineering: How can we get more young engineers interested in applying for positions at our location?


The question of how to get more young engineers involved or interested in automation, controls, and instrumentation is often discussed around here and at other locations. The Automation & Control Engineering LinkedIn group (moderated by Control Engineering) has several related discussions, and also has an engineering-related job board. The challenge about getting needed engineering talent is large and likely to worsen as increasing numbers of more established engineers reach retiring age in the coming decade. 

A recently posted series of articles offers some answers, including asking five questions of yourself to assess if you're doing the right things to encourage young engineering talent. Part of the issue seems to be how people with more experience (and in a hurry) relate to people with less experience.

Getting younger engineers interested during the interview process may involve discussing some of your company's more innovative, new-technology projects. Retaining young engineers may include improving communications internally, taking time for mentoring and keeping them involved, engaged, and interested. It sounds basic, but during the heat of a project, it can be easy to assume others know what to do, which can leave them hanging. Help them succeed and have a good engineering experience. 

Another article suggests involving youth with an internship program, exposing them to various engineering projects with the company, then continuing correspondence while they finish their education. These can be a first-look talent pool when they enter the job market.

What's worked or hasn't worked at your location? What do you see at other engineering-related firms that has helped? Share you comments using the tool at the bottom of this post.

These articles, linked below, also have more information.

How to hire, retain engineering talent

Training versus mentoring: You need two in a canoe

- 2013 salary survey and career advice

- Building diversity in the engineering profession

- Compiled by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, Control Engineering,  

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.