TESA Quick Tips: Attracting and Retaining Talent

Our lifelong clients and candidates often refer to TESA Talent as the “go-to” recruiters for sales, marketing, service, and application positions in the lab sciences industry. All factual statements, but there is more; we are well-connected across all professional functions from a mid to senior level within the science industry.  

We are noticing a rapid rise in the demand for talented engineers, including Mechanical, Electrical, and Manufacturing Engineers, as well as the managers and directors that lead these departments. The estimate for 2024 is that Engineering positions will account for roughly 25% of all new projects as more baby boomers leave the workforce, new technology demands specific skills, and the decline in college graduates with engineering degrees continues.   

Do you have a plan for attracting “A-players” to your engineering positions? If not, it’s time to start considering how you’ll stay competitive as the market continues to change.    

Review your compensation and benefits. Competitive salary packages are fundamental to attracting and retaining top talent. Benefits such as healthcare, retirement plans, bonuses, and professional development opportunities are also vital incentives. If you haven’t done so in a while, research what your competitors are offering for similar positions to see how you’re measuring up. If you can’t afford to match salaries, consider what other quality-of-life benefits you can contribute to make up some of the difference.   

What professional development and career advancement do you offer? A-players in every industry want to expand their skill sets and stay updated with the latest advances in their field. Do you provide ongoing training, workshops, access to conferences, and resources that foster continuous learning and career growth? Are there clear paths to promotion within your corporate structure? Companies that are specific and up-front with those offerings will have a competitive edge in the marketplace.  

Leverage any cutting-edge technologies you work with. Access to state-of-the-art equipment and technology is a huge draw for everyone in our industry, from engineers to laboratory scientists to field service folks who want to tinker with the latest toys. Employers should invest in modern laboratory facilities and tools that enable professionals to conduct high-quality research and experiments effectively. Employers that offer challenging, innovative, and intellectually stimulating projects are more likely to attract and retain talented individuals.  

We know it’s such a buzzword now, but how’s your work-life balance? This is important for engineers and lab scientists who often work on complex projects that may require long hours. Offering flexible work arrangements, remote work options, and policies encouraging a manageable workload can enhance job satisfaction and retention.  

Find out your reputation as a company if you don’t already know. The lab science instrumentation industry is a small world, and your reputation matters if you want to attract the top people. Your scientific contributions and ethical practices may be a draw, but the real clincher for most will be what they’ve heard about how you treat your employees.  

So finally, honestly evaluate your company culture. Companies that are honest and upfront about what recruits can expect from their role, manager, and team will attract the people who are fulfilled by that and keep them longer.  

  • Collaboration: What kind of environment do you foster? Some people love collaborative work environments where they’ll have the opportunity to interact with and learn from their peers. Some people prefer more independence and autonomy to get their work done.   
  • Recognition and acknowledgment: what systems do you have in place to offer constructive feedback and reward achievements?   
  • Diversity and inclusion: Bringing A-players of multiple backgrounds together can foster innovation and creativity that otherwise might be missing. Be specific about how your company fosters an environment where everyone feels supported and safe.  

Clear, well-thought-out answers to all these points are crucial to retaining employees. It is especially critical now if you’re competing for a smaller pool of suitable candidates.