“If you build it, they will come,” might be best known as a prophecy out of Field of Dreams, but it’s also an apt description of how engineers are drawn to their respective careers. After all, whether it’s a baseball diamond or a software engineering project, they’re the ones using their skills to get things made. But what happens when your team desperately needs new engineering talent and the wrong candidates show up, or stop arriving altogether?

In fields like software development and manufacturing, that’s not a hypothetical. For nearly a decade, software engineers have been some of the country’s most difficult positions to fill, and for manufacturers, an impending “silver tsunami” of grey-haired engineering retirements is expected to create a significant shortage of skilled labor.  

Assembling a pipeline of top-notch engineering talent is the best way to pre-empt the possibility of a labor shortage or wave of pending retirements. With the help of talent acquisition software, use these tips to build your future dream team of home run-hitting engineers.

Tap tomorrow’s talent.

Want a quick line on 200,000 engineers? They just graduated. In the 2016-2017 academic year, the American Society for Engineering Education reported the next generation of aerospace engineers, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, software engineers and every other engineer in between earned 124,477 bachelor’s degrees, 64,602 master’s degrees and 11,580 doctorates. And yes, those numbers are growing annually.

The best way to replace a retiring workforce is to plan ahead by recruiting tomorrow’s talent while they’re still on campus. Take advantage of campus recruitment software to streamline campus hiring events and build early talent pipelines, familiarizing candidates with your organization before graduation. Before a star candidate is ready to enter the workforce, you can be ready to make them an offer.

Showcase your brand.

Your employer brand is key to painting the picture of your organization. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, it’s one of the most important pieces of the employee value proposition and helps demonstrate your organization’s culture, mission and values. Successful employer branding creates the right kind of brand awareness that makes candidates jump at the opportunity to apply for an open position.

One of the key components of your engineering talent pipeline is building an employer brand that showcases the experience of working as an engineer at your company. Whether it’s highlighting some of your star employees or sharing knowledge with the greater engineering community (as Yello does through their own Engineers’ Blog), your employer brand tells candidates that your organization is one that celebrates the success of its engineers, contributes to the community at large and has a team worth becoming a part of.

Make your message heard.

Experis Engineering’s Focus on Engineering 2017 report found that two out of three engineers are actively seeking or exploring the possibility of finding a new position. For engineers seeking new roles, their top considerations are salary, a better work culture, more interesting or challenging work, health benefits, and feeling valued or appreciated. Or, in other words, everything about the job.

If engineers are seeking a wholesale change from dollars to duties, seize this opportunity to broadcast your employer brand through recruitment marketing. Start by creating different personas to target your marketing efforts towards. By building an engineering persona, you can build campaigns to communicate your open positions, highlight your employer branding and include targeted engineering-related content.