Strategic Hiring: When It Makes Sense to Hire a Contract Engineer

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman Business leaders have embraced a new strategy for coping with frequent swings in the economy. To avoid tumultuous and costly hiring and layoff cycles, managers are increasing their reliance on professional contractors, free agents and other contingent workers. It pays to know when it makes sense to hire a contract engineer. June,… Read more »

The Three P’s of Technical Interviews for Contract Engineers

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman While interview questions vary by company and assignment, some questions are designed to explore your technical knowledge. For example, software engineers may be asked to solve a series of coding problems on a whiteboard, while civil engineers might be asked how they determine the size of elastomeric bearings. Whether the queries explore… Read more »

The Ties that Bind: Keep Valuable Engineers from Flying the Coop

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman If you’re not worried about losing key members of your engineering staff, perhaps you should be. According to a recent survey of nearly 700 engineers, 61 percent may look for new jobs in 2014, and 40 percent say they’re actively seeking new positions. Surprisingly, engineers with a wandering eye don’t necessarily want… Read more »

Knowledge Transfer Tips for Engineering Contractors

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman Experienced contractors have discovered foolproof ways to transfer solutions, methods, procedures and designs over the course of an engineering assignment. Naturally, they follow the firm’s protocol for archiving drawings and recording design-related information and changes. But savvy veterans take additional steps to leave a navigable trail for future engineers to follow. “Don’t… Read more »

What Engineers Really Want from Employers

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman Onsite bowling allies, climbing walls and free scuba certifications are just some of the extravagant perks dangled in front of talented engineers by top employers like Google and Chesapeake Energy. While engineering professionals want a competitive compensation package and a few creature comforts, they aren’t always motivated by hefty salaries or quirky… Read more »

How to Be a Team Player without Ruining Your Engineering Career

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman You’ve probably heard the expression there’s no “I” in team. But must your personal goals always take a backseat to the priorities of your engineering team? The short answer is: no. While being on a team requires give and take, with some forethought and finesse, it’s possible to advance your contracting career… Read more »

Chemistry Lesson: Using Science to Select Culturally Compatible Contractors

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman Although managers usually select contractors for their engineering experience, research shows that cultural fit influences a professional’s ability to maximize their accumulated talents and skills even on a short-term basis. A study by Leadership IQ Why New Hires Fail revealed that 46 percent of new hires fail within 18 months, and that… Read more »

Defining the Ideal Resume for Contract Engineers

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman Once you get some contract experience under your belt, you’ll probably find that a chronological resume is not the best way to present your capabilities to an engineering manager. The traditional format – which starts with your most recent project and works backwards – could draw attention to occasional gaps in your… Read more »

Four Interview Mistakes That Turn Off Top Contractors

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman You expect contract engineers to be on their best behavior when they interview, but you may not realize that the expectations go both ways. A negative experience can tarnish your firm’s reputation and drive away top prospects. Worse yet, the problem may be bigger than you think. Twenty-six percent of workers have… Read more »

Encore! Five Tips for Landing Repeat Assignments

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman Obtaining your first contract engineering assignment may take some effort. But once you get your foot in the door, you may never have a better opportunity to enhance your income and reputation. If engineering managers offer you additional assignments, you can sidestep competitors, decrease interview and idle time, and improve your negotiating… Read more »

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