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How to attract and retain top engineering talent in Australia

02 February 2022

To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be. To the engineer employer, the glass is hard-to-find.

Australia’s engineering sector is in the midst of a critical talent shortage. Demand far outstrips supply rendering the search for relevant talent far more challenging for employers.

In this blog, we share some top tips to help companies attract and retain top engineering talent.

1.Meaningful Projects

Engineers are responsible for the development of products and services across all industries. From mechanical to civil, aerospace to chemical, data to systems, most engineers share the following value. They want to work on meaningful projects that challenge, stimulate and make a difference in the community.

Australia has a huge pipeline of engineering-related projects in technology, government, engineering, construction, transport, energy, mining and the list goes on. But what makes a project meaningful is one that solves a key problem affecting the community, and one that helps advance the career of any engineer who happens to work on it. For example, projects facilitating the transition to renewable energy, development of innovative technology in healthcare or transport infrastructure that connects regions across impassable terrain.

Meaningful projects drive engineers and give them purpose. So, when advertising your engineering roles, highlight your most meaningful projects to top engineering talent that’ll attract them to your business.


Reputation is the beacon that brings top engineers and top companies together. So much of Australia’s engineering sector relies on word-of-mouth and referrals, boosted by the state of your reputation. Highly reputable companies tend to work on the best projects and have the best people making them far more attractive to talent.

So, how do you build a strong reputation? Reputation is built by public perception of all your front-facing activities. Your delivery track record, your people, your service deliver, your customer care, your impact on the community, etc. All these elements to varying degrees are crucial to your reputation in the jobs market. It takes years to build and seconds to break.

However, if you can combine your strong reputation with compelling marketing, your ability to attract and retain top engineering talent in your business will be enhanced.

3.Perks & Benefits

Perks and benefits are the icing on the cake when it comes to the employee value proposition. These are the additional perks, financial or non-financial, that add superior perceived value for talent when contemplating joining or staying with a company.

In a candidate driven market, you need to recognise what benefits are core, what are expected and what will give you a competitive edge over your rivals from a talent perspective. According to LinkedIn Talent Insights, the top benefits that engineers are looking for is additional compensation, good work-life balance, job security, flexible work arrangements, training and career progressions. If you’re able to cater to these needs via the right combination of perks and benefits, top talent will place greater consideration on your business when making a career change.

So, consider what top engineers are looking for, and try to differentiate yourself from competitors in the combination of perks and benefits you offer. These additions to your EVP could be what attracts top talent into your business versus your competitors.

4. Learning

All engineering disciplines are very technical, where required skillsets are always rapidly advancing. As such, top engineers need (and want) to continuously upskill, and they expect their employers to contribute to this need by giving them access to high quality training and development. This might consist of on-the-job training, online courses, outsourced training providers or something more creative. According to LinkedIn, the fastest growing skills for engineers are Analytical skills, coding languages, mechanics, project management, lab skills and quality control. Training in these areas might be great additions to your learning programs.

Remember, top talent only stays that way via continuous upskilling. So, by making learning & development a key component of your EVP, you will go a long way in attracting top talent to your business. If talent sees a company willing to invest in their future, they are far more likely to join or stay with that business.

Top engineers in this market are very hard to find, but it’s not impossible. Like all workers, there are ways to attract and retain their critical skills into to your business. Give them purpose and sell them your most meaningful projects. Focus on your market reputation to organically attract top talent. Offer them suitable benefits that outshine your rivals and provide them with access to learning and career progression. These actions in tandem will make your business far more attractive to top engineering talent, enabling you to thrive through a period of rising talent shortages. At Ignite, we specialise in engineering recruitment. We have large talent pools of top engineering talent open to new and exciting career opportunities.

Talk to our team to find our more!