Staffing Firms vs. Independent Contractors: What Engineering Managers Should Know

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman   On the surface, the differences between an independent contractor (IC, or 1099) and a contract engineer supplied by a staffing firm may seem negligible. But employment status can impact the way you select, manage and interact with interim workers. The main difference lies in the fact that contractors from staffing firms… Read more »

For Engineering Contractors: How Staffing Firms Really Work

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman     Even if you’ve been contracting for years, you may not understand exactly how staffing firms work. The more you know about the industry’s inner workings, and the nature of its relationships with engineering managers, the more you can use them to your advantage. Here’s the inside scoop about how professional… Read more »

Stiff Competition for Acquiring Engineering Grads

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman The competition for engineering grads has reached fever pitch on college campuses this spring. U.S. employers are planning to offer signing bonuses to more graduates in 2015 than they have in the last five years. Chemical engineering majors are expected to receive the largest bonuses at $5,250, followed by general engineering majors… Read more »

Start Off on the Right Foot with Your Project Manager

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman Congratulations! You won over the engineering hiring manager and now you’re about to start a new contract assignment. As the news sets in, your excitement turns to angst when you realize that you’ll be working with an engineering project manager you barely know. Relax. Our five tips will help get you off… Read more »

Four Easy Steps to Becoming an Expert Interviewer

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman Engineering managers expect candidates to come prepared to interviews, but did you know that managers have a similar mandate? While you’re evaluating a contractor, they’re evaluating you. A candidate’s interview experience strongly influences their opinion of you and your firm based on the results of a recent survey. Nearly 8 in 10… Read more »

Three Strategies for Getting the Most Out of Your Contract Engineers

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman Are you getting the maximum value from your contract engineers? Collectively, your contract team may have hundreds of years of experience and the wisdom to streamline processes, create cutting-edge designs or make the best use of valuable resources. But unless you’re doing the following three things consistently, you’re probably not reaping the… Read more »

Independent and Loving It! Five Career Management Tips for Contract Engineers

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman While freelancing offers numerous advantages over traditional full-time employment, some engineers lack the confidence or know-how to manage their own careers. As Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin discovered back in 2002, engineers often rely on their managers for career coaching, guidance and support. Don’t let fear stop you from pursuing… Read more »

In the Zone! Coaching Engineers to their Personal Best

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman No matter how much experience or education an engineer has, few can sustain their top performance on their own. Coaches can make a big difference. The best singers, actors and professional athletes rely on coaches to continually improve and stay in the zone. So what’s the secret to coaching an engineer to… Read more »

Six Steps to Better Communications with Your Engineering Manager and Colleagues

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman Knowledge workers spend at least 28 hours each week writing emails, searching for information and collaborating internally, according to a report by McKinsey Global Institute. With so much time spent on communications, it’s easy to see how your career and performance could suffer if you don’t find an effective way to exchange… Read more »

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