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Gear Up! How to Hire an Engineering Project Team Leveraging Your Staffing Partner

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman When a client or manager green-lights a project, there’s no time to lose. But assembling a team of contract engineers in short order requires teamwork, efficiency and a well-executed strategy. Without these, you’ll inevitably waste time, money and make poor hiring decisions. Plus, a lengthy or disjointed selection process may cause you… Read more »

5 Reasons Why Engineering Contractors Absolutely, Positively Need a Personal Brand

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman If you think branding is only for movie stars, professional athletes or consumer-driven companies like Coke or Proctor & Gamble, think again. Whether you’ve been an engineer for nine months or nine years, you’ve earned a reputation. And since recruiters and engineering managers are influenced by what they hear and read about… Read more »

Client-Facing Skills Give Engineering Contractors an Edge

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman Are you able to interpret technical and design information and present those ideas to clients in a way that’s easy to understand? Are you calm and composed under pressure? If you answered yes to those questions, you’re in luck. A Harvard University study revealed that 85 percent of jobs and promotions happened because of a candidate’s… Read more »

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 »

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