Hiring a senior engineer can be difficult. Ideally, you want a candidate with many years of experience and an array of technical skills so they can mentor a junior engineer. To make things easier during your search, these are three of the areas you should be focused on.
Substantial Years of Experience
The more years a senior engineer has worked in the field, the more institutional knowledge and experience they likely have that can benefit your company. They also should possess the personal characteristics that can positively influence your company within a challenging engineering role.
For instance, a senior engineer typically seeks constructive feedback for their designs. They may ask their peers what they are missing, how their design might not work, or what some holes in their thinking might be. Even if the design is technically sound, the engineer wants to know whether it is understandable enough for the rest of the organization to operate, troubleshoot, and build on.
A senior engineer also knows how to collaborate on projects so that team members want to work with them. They understand that the effectiveness of their designs is as important as their ability to contribute alongside their team to reach common goals. Plus, the engineer knows that stakeholders in complex projects typically have different goals and perspectives that need to be discussed and understood in order to effectively complete the work.
A Variety of Technical Skills
A senior engineer needs to be dedicated to continuously increasing their skill set to provide additional value for their employer. This means they manage their own development by reflecting on what they know, what they should learn next, and how they can improve the next time they perform a task.
Part of the process involves asking questions, gaining feedback, and requesting help to improve the results. The process also includes exposure to different problems, potential solutions, and the pros and cons of each before making and implementing a final decision. Reading an article or book or talking with colleagues may be keys to finding a solution.
The Ability to Mentor Junior Engineers
Pairing a senior engineer with a junior engineer can help the newer one contribute higher-quality work in a shorter amount of time. For instance, the senior engineer can help the junior engineer develop their technical skills, get up to speed with their role responsibilities, and answer process-related questions. In this way, the mentor gains responsibility for an associate while the mentee gets the full attention of the person overseeing them.
This type of partnership can significantly increase the rate of promotion for both senior and junior engineers. Because your company can provide clear career paths for engineers, it should be able to attract more engineering candidates and increase retention rates.
Are You Looking for a Senior Engineer?
If you need help finding quality senior engineers, consider aligning with an experienced partner like The DAVIS Companies. Reach out to us today.