5 Key Attributes to Look for When Hiring Engineering Talent

Engineering is fundamental to a much wider variety of industries than the general public realises. But if you’re an insider in, for example, R&D, product development, supply chain and logistics, procurement and manufacturing, you’ll understand the indispensability of the engineer’s technical skills and knowledge.

Hiring the very best engineers is not simple. In today’s jobs market, these skilled professionals are in unprecedented demand and finite supply. However, competition to attract the best is only one of your battles. Anticipating your immediate and future requirements and visualising your perfect hire is just as challenging. At Morpheus, we’ve drawn on our years of experience to identify 5 of the most important attributes you should look for when you hire new engineers.


Engineers may have the most sophisticated technical knowledge and skills in their field, but they don’t function in a vacuum. They have a central role, but they are nonetheless a part of a team, and practical cooperation requires a constant and transparent flow of communication. Written, verbal, online, in person, articulate, tactful, authoritative, and versatile: it’s what enables the smooth management of workflows.


All engineers are problem solvers, undaunted by significant challenges. The best engineers have the creativity to think laterally and devise solutions others have discounted, missed, or not even considered. It’s where technical skills and creative excellence intersect to turn the theoretical into reality.


In rapidly developing industries, however skilled, there’s no place for an engineer who has a set of fixed approaches to problems and projects. Technology, circumstances and environments evolve. The most talented engineers will lead from the front, embracing change not as a hindrance but as a driver.


Global connectivity has transformed the way engineering is required to function. Collaboration on a trans-national or global scale is becoming the new norm, with extensive research, construction and infrastructure projects frequently involving partnerships and joint ventures across several disciplines and specialist firms from several countries. Engineers need a collaborative vision that enables them to work with people of different skills, cultures, and nationalities who probably speak different languages. They must be comfortable in their working relationships with both colleagues and stakeholders.

Emotional Intelligence

Engineering has always been about new ideas and open minds. In its modern incarnation, this is more important than ever and a high level of emotional intelligence is essential to effective communication, collaboration, interpersonal connection and management. It also acts as a powerful driver of creativity and flexibility. In some ways, this underpins all the other attributes.

Before inviting applications, you need to have a thorough understanding of the business needs that have to be met. This is all important intelligence to bring to the recruitment process but won’t, in itself, remove the need for a structured hiring process. Depending on the role, you may need to depart from your standard recruitment model and customise the process. Fix some firm deadlines for the procedure to avoid needless delays and candidate fatigue.

It’s vital that responsibility is given to the most qualified and appropriate management team members. If you’re not taking it on yourself, appoint specific people to oversee each stage. Work out a realistic budget, bearing in mind that the cost of delays in hiring can be significant if hidden. Failing to hire at all is even more expensive.

During the interview stage, ensure your questions are targeted to elicit the most valuable replies. This is harder than it sounds. Remember that although it appears to be a conversation, the interview has particular objectives.

You have a good chance of making high-impact hires with a clear vision and strategy. To give yourself the best chance, you should consider the substantial benefits of working with a partner who can deliver exceptional talent solutions.

Morpheus is a specialist in recruitment and resourcing for businesses planning or experiencing growth. To you, hiring is a management function; to us, it is our entire business. Find out how we can help you find and recruit the engineering talent you need.


You might be interested in...