Our Toronto executive recruitment team shares the latest insights, tips and tricks to help you hire the right leaders for the right opportunities.


How to recruit the best engineering talent on the market

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The world is facing a shortage of engineers, and Canada is no exception. 


With a little over 250,000 engineers currently employed, Canada is grappling with a significant skills gap in various engineering fields. Experts estimate that by 2020, around 95,000 of these engineers will retire, yet the country’s educational institutions produce only about 12,000 new engineers annually. 

Despite its relatively small population, Canada is renowned for producing top-tier engineers. Three Canadian universities are ranked among the world’s top 50 engineering schools. But the last decade has seen a declining interest among young people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields which must be addressed to ensure we can maintain a solid talent pipeline in this field for years to come. 

A pressing issue exacerbating the engineering shortage is the loss of senior engineers. According to The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), 62% of employers believe new engineering graduates lack the necessary skills to fill senior roles. The skills gap is evident across numerous engineering fields including civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, automotive engineering and biomedical engineering. 

The 2016 Global Engineering Report by Staffing Industry Analysts highlights significant skills shortages across multiple engineering disciplines in Canada. Critical fields experiencing these shortages include:

Economic Impact of Engineering Shortages

Engineering roles are pivotal to the broader economy. Research shows that every new engineering job creates two additional jobs in other sectors. So strong engineering employment opportunities are essential for building infrastructure and driving innovation in related industries.

Conversely, unfilled engineering positions can lead to project delays, understaffing, and broader economic repercussions. Companies facing recruitment challenges in engineering may see reduced profitability and strained customer relationships. This ripple effect underscores the importance of efficiently finding and retaining engineering talent to prevent negative impacts on key industries such as manufacturing, resource extraction, construction, and public services.

Strategies for Recruiting Engineering Talent

In light of the current landscape, successfully recruiting engineering talent requires a multifaceted approach. Companies should prioritize building strong employer brands that highlight their commitment to innovation, employee development, and inclusive work environments. Offering competitive compensation packages, flexible work arrangements, and opportunities for continuous learning can attract top talent. Additionally, leveraging specialized recruitment platforms and tapping into global talent pools can help fill critical skill gaps. Collaborating with educational institutions to create internship and co-op programs can also provide a steady stream of qualified engineers. 

We know what motivates engineering talent. 

The South End Partners team works with companies across North America to help them recruit key engineering positions. We have deep engineering recruitment experience. 

South End Partners engineering recruiters have the knowledge, network, and experience to source and deliver the brightest minds in the engineering industry. We have successfully recruited and placed engineering leaders in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and throughout the U.S.


Not sure where to start? We can help.

At South End Partners, our Toronto executive recruiters work with large and small organizations across industries to help them find the right leaders for the right opportunities using an objective, data driven approach.

We also provide comprehensive HR consulting services including onboarding support, interview coaching and training, and strategies to develop your superstar teams.

Reach out to find out how we can help you today!