News

The Five Biggest Myths about Contract Engineers (and why you shouldn’t believe them)

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman Despite the widespread availability of data and facts, myths abound in the workplace. For instance, take the misconception that experienced engineers would rather have a regular, full-time job than work on a contract basis. In fact, nearly 86 percent of independent workers indicate they are highly satisfied or satisfied with their work… Read more »

5 Trade Secrets: Improve Engineering Project Completions by 30-50%

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman Despite the best efforts of project teams and managers, most engineering projects don’t finish on time. The problem isn’t a lack of planning, but poor execution says Mark Woeppel, founder and president of Pinnacle Strategies International, a management consulting firm that specializes in rescuing troubled projects. “Even the best project plan can’t… Read more »

Survive the Screening: Mastering Telephone Interviews

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman The phone interview has become a popular screening tool for busy engineering managers. Within an hour, he or she can speak with several contractors, ask about their relevant skills and experience, and pare down the number of contenders for an upcoming project. But phone interviews can be nerve-racking especially for novices, since… Read more »

10 Must-Follow Tips for Becoming a Highly Effective Engineering Manager

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman Of course you need great people skills and a sufficient amount of technical knowledge to guide an engineering team. But elite managers have mastered more than the basics. They insist that proficient managers can become highly effective by following their tips. No. 1: Share credit and shoulder blame. When things go well,… Read more »

Want a Raise? Top Paying Cities for Contract Engineers

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman Your skills, education and project experience influence your value as an engineering contractor. But just like real estate, location drives regional competition for engineering talent and therefore the hourly rate you can command for your services as a contract engineer. While Texas, California and Alaska are hot spots across the board, here’s… Read more »

10 Tips for Starting a Contract Engineering Assignment on the Right Foot

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman Acclimating to a new environment can be stressful, even for veteran engineering contractors. Soothe your frazzled nerves and get off on the right foot by following these tips. No.1: Understand your manager’s expectations Avoid false starts and hasty exits by clarifying your duties and responsibilities from the outset. Hint: Your manager’s priorities… Read more »

Insightful Interviews: Favorite Questions Asked by Engineering Managers

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman Some engineering mangers favor traditional ice-breakers like: “Tell me about yourself,” or “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Others ask insightful questions to assess an engineering contractor’s cultural fit and their technical skills as well as their ability to handle a particular project during an interview. “I never ask superficial questions,” says… Read more »

Managing Mobile Workers: Creative Ways to Keep Roving Engineers Engaged and Informed

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman It’s ten o’clock on a weekday morning – do you know where your engineers are? Between client meetings, site visits and conferences, your team is constantly on the go. It’s no wonder that managers are always looking for new and better ways to keep roaming professionals in the loop. As David Clemons,… Read more »

Lights, Camera, Hired! How to Ace a Live Video Interview

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman Are you ready for your close-up? With companies like Skype and Google+ Hangouts increasingly turning to video-chat software (WSJ article) to screen prospective engineering contractors, you need to shine when it’s time to turn on the webcam. Here’s how to make the most of your moment in the spotlight. Set the stage… Read more »

Should You Involve Your Team in the Contractor Selection Process?

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman Did you know that co-worker relationships play the greatest role in determining on-the-job happiness – even more than financial compensation? In fact, 91 percent of engineers say they want to meet their prospective peers during the interview process, while only 73 percent say it’s important to meet the CEO. Peer interviews actually… Read more »

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