Engineering Staffing Trends to Follow in 2015

21 Apr 2015 Bryan Shaw

Engineering Blog (ES)

Everyone would love to have a crystal ball to predict the weather, the outcome of a big game, lottery numbers, etc…  Unfortunately, crystal balls don’t exist outside of fiction. In business, that means we are forced to look at empirical data vs. statistical data in an effort to come up with the best case scenario for sales planning and execution. Included in that mix of data are many outside factors one most consider; things like contingent labor, technology and automation, manufacturing stateside as well as sustainability. All of these things directly reflect ongoing market trends throughout the evolving engineering industry, and breaking them down can provide accurate insights as to what’s coming next.

Trend #1

Let’s kick things off by taking a look at contingent labor. It is always important to study supply and demand throughout the engineering industry. As we have seen in other markets — including IT — engineering is no doubt experiencing an increased demand for talent, and that demand shows no signs of slowing down.

Today’s companies are looking for candidates that can wear multiple hats and to do more with less; a fact that directly highlights the importance of the partnerships that exist between staffing firms and businesses they work for.

Companies, whether they need to hire new talent or retain existing talent, have grown to depend on their relationships with staffing firms. There are always voids to fill inside the workplace, and not many corporations have the time, resources or expertise to ensure that they’re not over extending themselves. In other words, the corporate / staffing partnership is extremely important when dealing with the influx of talent in the workforce. The right partnership can contribute to prolonged success on all fronts. In return, this translates to an increase in production and escalated cost savings from a retention stand point.

Trend #2

Technology and automation is constantly evolving. With that, there is a growing need for engineers across the board. For example, if you take a look at technologies like 3D printing, there’s a whole new market for prototyping and material. There are all kinds of applications for this technology and manufactures around the globe are investing. The flipside of this growth is that there’s an increased demand for engineers that can develop these applications and incorporate them into the production cycle.

Automation is no different. Technology expansion creates a constant gap that needs to be closed before one can improve industrial / plant automation systems. As a result, a significant need for engineering professionals in the future has been forecasted, and professionals like control technicians, automation engineers and process control systems designers are all in high demand.

Engineering needs will continue to increase in 2015, a fact that reroutes us back to the underlining importance of the viability that exists within the corporate / staffing firm partnerships mentioned above.

Trend #3

Another hot topic for discussion is centered on the growing desire to bring manufacturing back stateside.

The thought of re-shoring manufacturing may come from, and directly coincide with, the increased demand for local labor, difficulties of sourcing overseas talent and the shrinking margins of doing business abroad. Whatever the reason, the competition to find your next great electrical engineer, facility engineer, etc… is becoming a very real challenge.

A deeper look inside the re-shoring trend shows it to be another great example of how corporations need to choose the correct alignment and recruitment strategy in order to thrive. Creating the ideal partnership with a staffing company can help to alleviate the struggle points created by internal recruitment processes while also helping to eliminate expensive hiring mistakes.

Trend #4

The last engineering / staffing trend I’d like to discuss has to do with sustainability. Everywhere you look, sustainability is unavoidable. Examples include clean water projects, renewable energy systems, waste and emissions reductions, etc… All of these projects require a specific engineering workforce such as environmental engineers and electrical engineers. The market does not seem to be easing up, and the demand for talent in this space will continue to expand exponentially.


All of the engineering staffing trends mentioned throughout this article can be summarized and looked at in many ways. That being said, a couple of things remain critical when attempting to tie it all together.

Corporations are regularly challenged by a growing demand for talent, and the partnerships they form with staffing firms are often paramount to their success.

At STS Technical Services, we embrace change and create working partnerships that help alleviate a company’s need to insource their recruitment practices in the face of constant change. Not only do we listen to our clients’ needs and understand the fluid industry they operate in, we are also constantly challenging ourselves and pushing for better ways to make our customers lives easier.

We would love the opportunity to hear your story and for a chance to work with you and your team on all of your engineering staffing requirements.

I hope that you found this article informative, and if you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to contact me any time at Eric.Sanchez@d3.novacreative-dev.