Many recruiters are recognizing that their recruitment strategies of yesteryear aren’t cutting it today. This is especially true for in-demand specialties, including many STEM professions.

In 2019, tech unemployment reached a shocking new low, coming in at 1.3%. Finding skilled professionals in this STEM category, as a result, is frustratingly difficult. During the past 12 to 24 months, approximately 700,000 and 1 million tech jobs went unfilled, partially because the composition of the workforce can’t meet demand.

Engineers are similarly hard to come by. The unemployment rate for engineering occupations is sitting at 2.2%. Considering the unemployment rate across all categories in the U.S. is 3.6%, it shouldn’t be a surprise that finding high-quality engineers isn’t a simple feat.

To overcome the challenge of locating the right STEM candidates in today’s market, you need a sound and innovative STEM recruiting strategy. Otherwise, you may struggle to reach the kind of talent you need, leading to less than desirable recruitment results.

If you require skilled STEM professionals, here are some tips for developing a winning recruiting strategy for these niches.

Proactively Build Relationships with Passive Candidates

To put it plainly, the number of active tech and engineering candidates will likely remain low for the foreseeable future. If you only target STEM pros who are actively seeking opportunities, you are overlooking a more abundant source of talent: passive candidates.

While many engineering and technology professionals aren’t spending a significant amount of time looking for new opportunities, that doesn’t mean they are opposed to making a change. However, these candidates can’t be enticed easily. Often, they need to be wooed over time.

Building a relationship with a passive candidate (or professional who may one day become a passive candidate) requires a different approach. You need to connect with them on a different level as they aren’t going to become engaged by the presence of job openings. Typically, this involves proactive networking activities that provide them with value. For example, you might begin sharing content on social media that provides them with information that enables them to boost their career, increase their efficiency, or otherwise improve professionally.

Additionally, you can forge a connection and increase interest in an organization by outlining what it has to offer that its competitors don’t. Highlight recent innovations or emerging technology implementations. Showcase intriguing aspects of the company’s culture, including professional development opportunities, community involvement, or unique benefits.

The idea is to convey your expertise while also demonstrating that the company with a vacancy is an employer of choice. By making the content you share valuable to STEM professionals, they are more likely to monitor your activities and offerings. Then, when the right opportunity comes along, those passive candidates may be inclined to take the leap.

Connect with an Upcoming Round of Graduates

Today’s college students are the STEM professionals of tomorrow. During a single school year, 331,000 bachelor’s degrees were awarded in STEM fields, reflecting a pool of talent that should be tapped. By engaging with them while they are still in school, you can cultivate a relationship that ultimately encourages them to join your team when they graduate.

For instance, a mentorship program that pairs students with employees working in their target field can be a great first step. Internship programs can also be incredibly useful when well-structured. In both of these approaches, you gain an opportunity to show potential recruits your expertise and what you have to offer, increasing the size of your talent pool with what could be considered known-quantities should you choose to pursue them after graduation.

Focus on Diversity and Inclusion

Both technology and engineering have somewhat poor reputations when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Women and minorities are not always well represented, and they may not initially feel welcome by an organization unless proactive steps are taken.

Both your professional brand and vacancy announcements need to show your dedication to diversity. After all, 67% of job seekers (both active and passive) cite diversity as being a critical point when they evaluate potential employers. Plus, companies also benefit, as ethnically and gender diverse companies are 35% and 15% more likely to outperform the industry financial mean than those that aren’t, respectively.

By incorporating the points above into your STEM recruitment strategy, you can increase your hiring success. If you’d like to learn more about effective recruiting practices, the team at Cloutera can help. Contact us to discuss your recruitment needs with our skilled staff members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

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