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  1. #1
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    I see a few references to Job Listings from time to time on this board. When you guys are looking to change jobs or checking out the market, where do you look?

    Newspaper? Craigs List?

    I recently posted an Electrical engineering position on Craigs list and have only gotten two resumes in 3 weeks and neither were really qualified.

    Now we are posting a mechanical engineering position - I would be interested in what you see good or bad about this post and your thoughts on where the best place would be to post ads like this where they are likely to seen by qualified people.

    example ad for Mechanical Engineer

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    Just a few random thoughts based on my experiences in the late 90's recruiting and hiring engineers - mainly graduating BS and MS MEs and IEs.

    Where have your best engineers come from before and how did you find them? If there is an area which has the types of people you're looking for advertise there. I was involved in a plant expansion in Florida once and our most productive recruiting for press operators was in the Chicago area.

    A longer term option may be to grow some of your own engineers - hire some interns and give them work which will stress and test them or provide some senior design projects to a local engineering school.

    Regarding your ad, you asked for some constructive criticism so please take this in the spirit in which its intended. The ad is packed with information but I found it difficult to read and loaded with too many buzz-words. You may have so tightly defined the engineer whom you are looking for that some qualified people won't apply.

    If I was writing the ad, I'd do the following:

    Reduce the first paragraph to one sentence identifiying the company, what you do and the type of engineer you are looking for. If the position is newly created due to growth I would mention this also.

    Keep the second paragraph pretty much as it is.

    Add another paragraph after the job description providing more information about your company - all of the stuff which used to be in the first paragraph.

    I wouldn't bother asking for a salary history unless you plan to eliminate candidates based upon what they may have made in the past.

  3. #3
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    Andy,

    I don't mind criticism at all and I appreciate the fact that you took time to comment. Keep em coming!

    I'll rewrite per your recommendations and repost on Thursday.

    Thank you,

    Ken

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    I hope you don't mind the criticism but I thought that you posted too many no's! First off is the recruiter one, my father keeps on telling me of the importance behind finding a good one and working with him. Heíll tell me that a lot of the head hunters are like the crazy used car salesman but once in a while you find that honest quality guy and you should stick with him. He tells me it makes the hunt much easier and better and will open doors that he may not have been able to or even known about himself.

    The other thing that seems good from the employerís stand point is that the head hunter starts looking for skilled guys sometimes before the skilled worker will even start really looking. Iíve seen my dad switch jobs a few times in my life, but even during recessions thereís never been a time where heís out of work, as heís usually on the phone with the head hunter 6 months before the company heads down the tubes. So while heís still busy working and may not have the time to aggressively hunt jobs the head hunter may have already hooked him up. Since they say that the best talent leaves a failing company first, why limit your applicants by not working with head hunters.

    My dad also has a good mutual relation with his guy (too bad for me he specializes in electrical and not mechanical) when ever he has a job opening he first calls up all his old former talented coworkers to see if any are looking. Then the next call is to his head hunter to see if he has any matches.

    Also it says no phone calls, it is funny I feel that at this point in time my resume for example isnít nearly as helpful in getting me the job as is my attitude and passion for what I do. Being that Iím still in school I guess that this limits me to summer jobs but Iíve found that thereís nothing like meeting the person face to face. Thereís a lot that can be conveyed there that just canít be on a piece of paper. This summer for example I found a great internship. I knocked on the door of a company that researches the application of steam engines on home cogeneration units. Though I start working next Tuesday it seems to be a match made in heaven. I really however feel that had I not visited in person Iíd never got the job. They happened to be looking for summer interns, but hire most all of them from MIT. By simply my resume alone I donít think Iíd have been able to convey my real love and passion for steam, nor my character and ability to learn and I hope become a real valuable employee for them.

    Just a thought by looking at your posting, I have however heard that those online postings can bring in hundreds of crap resumes but thought Iíd present this prospective. One other thing, I don't know how many years of experience you are targeting but I wonder what the demographics of people who would look for a job on craigs list are. I'd bet no more then an average of 30yrs old. I could be wrong, but they definately aren't as well known around here as Monster.com or the local paper.

    Adam

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    You may be being too specific in your experience requirements (unless you're trying to hire a specific person that you already know who meets these requirements.)

    For example, this is a ME/EE hybrid job, which I'm 99% sure I could do no problem (I'm a degreed ME and am currently designing fractional horsepower motor drivers). But I would look at it and not put in a resume unless I was hard up. Here's why:


    "We are looking for a creative and motivated Mechanical Engineer with experience related to performance oriented servo positioning systems. The successful candidate will thrive on electro-mechanical system design and have a natural aptitude in applying Newtonian physics to mechanical systems in motion. AMS will consider candidates with a bachelorís degree in Mechanical or Manufacturing Engineering or significant experience in machine design."

    -Okay, at this point I'd be totally onboard.-

    "Candidate must have experience in designing servo / mechanical drive systems employing ACServo, ACVector and linear motor technologies as well as demonstrate a thorough understanding of precision positioning design practices."

    -From a mechanical standpoint, a motor is a motor, wouldn't you agree? And from an electrical standpoint, an AC motor is an AC motor. Sure, vector drive has some slight flavour variations, and a linear motor is unwrapped, but if the engineer is sharp enough to be who you want, does it really matter if they have previous expereince building a positioning stage with a linear motor instead of a ballscrew based motor? I have no work based linear motor experience. I could pick it up in under a week, but I ain't gonna lie about it. -

    "Required skills include; proficiency with Solid Works as a modeling tool for machine design, FEA analysis and kinematic motion analysis using Cosmos Motion."

    Again, if the guy is sharp enough, should it matter if the place he's coming from was running I-DEAS or Pro/E instead of Solidworks? Honestly it takes like a week to find all the new buttons and workflow changes when switching packages. Cosmos Motion the same way - If someone is an ANSYS guru, would that rule them out?


    This really reads like a job listing for a person that already exists - for example, someone being promoted from within but for equal opportunity reasons you have to post the job externally. If that's not the case, easing up on the specific software packages would get a lot more resumes.

    A good engineer will be able to pick up new specifics fast if he's already familiar with the type. Parametric modeling is parametric modeling, and FEA is FEA. AC motors are AC motors. Sure, there will be difference that the new hire will have to learn, but thats why you're hiring an engineer and not a trained monkey.

    I'm not actually applying for the job, I own half of the (very small) company where I work and am very happy with what I'm doing. But it'd be a good fit if I was job hunting, which I wouldn't apply for based on the posting. Hope this helps.

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    Hi Comatose,

    One thing to consider: They may have opted for this degree of specificity in an effort to reduce the number of applicants. The job market being what it is, any job listing will elicit hundreds of responses which only vaguely meet the requirements. That's an awful lot of paper to sift through.

    And with modern EEO laws you can't just sh*tcan the ones that are obviously off-base.

  7. #7
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    Thanks all for the excellent feedback.

    Our business continues to grow and we need some additional talent in the mechanical engineering arena as several prototype machines we have built in the last few years are now being turned into standard products. In addition, one of our best MEs has expressed a desire to do more programming / system / electrical design and he is quite good at it. We need to get someone else on board to free him up to puruse that goal.

    The ad is modified with the feedback above along with some feedback from some of our employees.

    http://seattle.craigslist.org/egr/164407127.html

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    why not look for someone inexperienced and train him your way and surprise him, best way to go

    when I had my apprenticeship in Germany during the 1950s, I had to sit in the engineering office and make coffee for the engineer, who was a railroad engineer

    now i expected that to be the most boring weeks of my life, but listening over the weeks to what he had to say about his work, i learned many most interesting things i would have never cared to know about otherwise


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