‘Green Shoots’ for Engineering: Mike Taylor gives his hiring insights for the sector

To give enhanced context and insight to our 2022 Salary Survey, we asked our Associate Directors to give us their key take-outs and perspectives from the year in business, and to reflect on the hiring trends that they foresee continuing to impact the market in the year ahead. Read on for Mike Taylor’s take-outs from the Engineering sector.

Key Take-Outs

• As the economic position is improving we are seeing sales recover and bounce back
• Engineering and Manufacturing are two of the many areas where the skills shortage is becoming apparent
• Hybrid working has revolutionised the workplace and increased the geographical area employers can recruit top talent
• We are seeing much more generous remuneration packages including extra holidays and wellbeing days
• Companies need to consider internal career development and upskilling
• We have noted a drop in contractors, presumably to payroll post-IR35

In the Engineering and Manufacturing sector, we can all see the green shoots as economic conditions improve and sales start to recover and bounce back. But what is also clear is that good candidates are becoming increasingly difficult to find to fill the growing number of vacancies. As with many other sectors, engineering and manufacturing continues to be impacted by the growing skills shortage in the UK. That said, hybrid working has revolutionised the workplace, and most employee surveys indicate an even split between those who would like more office-based interaction and those who wish to continue to work remotely. The recent CIPD report ‘Addressing skills and labour shortages post-Brexit’ highlighted many of the reasons behind skills shortages across the UK.

One positive outcome of the move to hybrid and remote working is that the geographical area from which companies can recruit has widened: not just from local to national, but even to the consideration of international talent pools. One key change we are noticing is that firms are increasingly offering more generous remuneration entitlements. Benefits packages often include extra holiday entitlements or days off for wellbeing, birthdays and activities, healthcare or generous pension entitlements. Another clear consequence of the candidate shortage is that companies are having to think about their internal promotion and career development systems. There is an increasing emphasis on upskilling in-house and greater transparency around career progression for new recruits. Implementing any or all of these will ensure a higher level of staff retention. Our sector is one which has seen an impact post-IR35 (off-payroll working) and we have seen a drop in the amount of contractors, who we presume have moved on to payroll.

The industry seems to be busy with lots of exciting new start-ups, tech companies, and investment in UK Engineering, and this look set to continue into 2022.


Click here to download our Engineering Salary Survey for 2022.