How Employers Benefit from Using a Specialized MEP Recruiter

If you are hiring mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) engineers, you should consider working with a specialist MEP recruiter. This is even more true for companies hiring sales talent in the MEP industry.

Construction companies, contractors, consultants, engineering firms, and manufacturer’s representatives in the MEP industry – all struggle to find the specialized talent needed to deliver for customers and build the business.


Sourcing the right talent at the right time can be overwhelming for any company facing a tight labor market. But the process becomes even more challenging when you work within a niche industry like Mechanical / Electrical / Plumbing – where multiple employers are competing for a fixed pool of talent. In this case, an MEP specialist recruiter can help find the best-fit candidates for your roles that are difficult to fill.

Large staffing agencies often claim that they can deliver the same quality candidates as a specialist MEP recruiter. But, if your company has a relationship with a large staffing firm, and you are forced to work with them on specialist MEP assignment, you know that’s not true. Large staffing firms provide a wide variety of services and hire everything — from entry-level secretaries to IT staff, to HR managers. Their breadth of skills is impressive, but they are not experts in MEP and they don’t have inside connections within the MEP community.

A specialist MEP recruiter knows the industry inside and out and brings numerous benefits as your partner filling an open MEP position.

Save Time

Sometimes you need to replace an employee quickly. For example, when an MEP engineer is performing a critical role for a key customer, and they quit, or are terminated, you may need to get a replacement in there fast to ensure continuity. In addition, if you ask other employers to cover for the departed person, they may become resentful if they need to take on those additional responsibilities for an extended period.

In this situation, a specialist MEP recruiter is your best bet for filling that position quickly. They already know many people in the industry who are actively looking. They might have just had a conversation recently with a perfect candidate who called them thinking about making a move. In addition, the specialist MEP recruiter can send out an email blast and reach thousands of qualified candidates on your behalf immediately. Being plugged-in to the MEP community gives the specialist an edge in getting the job done quickly.

Expertise and MEP Market Outlook

Given their expertise and MEP market outlook, a specialist recruiter brings a structured approach to the recruitment process that will help you zero-in on best-fit candidates and not waste time on unproductive activities. Their extensive experience of filling MEP roles means that they have developed effective approaches for reaching the types of candidates you need to consider. In addition, they have benchmarks that can tell you whether a search if proceeding well. For example, a specialist MEP recruiter will know how many candidates you should expect to interview during the first week, first month, etc. They will know how long it usually takes to fill an entry-level mechanical engineering position vs. a senior sales executive. This knowledge will help you both understand if a search is proceeding as planned, or if adjustments need to be made.

This expertise can be particularly helpful during a period of sudden growth at your company – where your organization may not have sufficient resources or expertise to fill the open positions quickly. A specialist MEP recruiter can design and implement a strategy for time-critical hiring. They will know where to find top talent quickly, and how to pitch effectively.

A specialist MEP recruiter is also likely to have an in-depth understanding of the talent in the market and how the skills available match up against your hiring needs. Drawing on their market knowledge, a specialist MEP recruiter serves as a true partner, offering advice on compensation trends, candidate interests, competitive hiring practices, and more. A specialist MEP recruiter is well placed to see the “bigger picture” and help guide your company throughout the hiring process.


Cost Effectiveness

A specialist MEP recruiter will save you money in two ways. First, they will offload time-consuming activities, freeing up your in-house staff for more productive work. Second, they will source candidates faster, putting billable resources to work sooner, thereby generating additional revenues for your firm.

Your specialist MEP recruiter will offload grunt work throughout the process. In the next section, we talk about resume screening, but that is only one activity. A specialist can quickly develop a candidate brief that resonates with candidates you seek to hire. They can reach out to cherry-pick talent based on your feedback. They can launch a full email and advertising campaign within hours of completing the brief. Not only does this offload work, but it gets your search up and running much faster than with an in-house team.

In so many ways, “time is money” in the MEP recruiting businesses. By starting and finishing your hiring process faster, your specialist MEP recruiter literally turns time into money. Suppose, for example, that you are trying to fill an open position that bills out at $150 per hour and the fully-loaded cost of this engineer is $100,000. If your MEP recruiter fill this position one month faster than an in-house team, and that new hire can bill 120 hours in that first month, then you have added an extra $18,000 in revenue at a cost of $8,333. So, by recruiting faster, you generate almost $10,000 in additional revenue.

The cost of leaving a position open for longer than necessary is called an “opportunity cost” – it is the cost of lost revenue opportunity. As you can see from these numbers, if you have billable opportunities that are not being filled, then that opportunity cost is significant. It makes sense to bring in a specialist MEP recruiter to fill those open positions as quickly as possible.

Better Use of Company Resources

Most MEP businesses lack large HR departments with dedicated recruiters. Typically, HR staff have many duties, including payroll, benefits, and hiring. Without a specialist MEP recruiter, your HR staff may have to spend days reviewing hundreds of unqualified candidates resumes to come up with a handful worth interviewing. However, if you use a specialist MEP recruiter, they will take on this role and simply send you qualified candidates to interview, so you can focus on getting to know the candidates and selecting the one that is the best fit for your organization.


Wide MEP Industry Reach

Your company wants to hire people who will fit in well with the corporate culture. Technical skills are only a baseline set of requirements. You need to fill open positions with people who meet the technical requirements, but who also have the soft skills necessary for success at your company and with your customers. A specialist MEP recruiter can take that into consideration and send you candidates that you both agree have the soft skills to succeed in your culture. These “best-fit” candidates are more likely to stick around and be happy on the job – resulting in higher retention rates and improved productivity.

Furthermore, because a specialist MEP recruiter works for multiple clients, they have a wide view of the talent that’s available. This wide reach in the MEP industry is particularly important for reaching out to the passive talent pool – i.e., MEP professionals who are not actively searching for a job, but who might be open to making a move for the right opportunity.

A good specialist MEP recruiter has a wide reach into the passive talent pool and can pull in a larger number of best-fit candidates by calling or emailing into that pool on your behalf. They can often increase the caliber to the talent that you see by reaching out to these candidates who are not actively look for jobs but may be the perfect fit for your position. A specialist MEP recruiter will often have a long-standing relationship with large numbers of passive candidates and can help you reach people your in-house team could never connect with.

A specialist MEP recruiter spends most of their time building connections within both the passive and active talent pools. You can think of this as their proprietary “talent bank” that they can tap into to help you fill your open position. This can be particularly helpful when trying to hire specialists with technical skills that are in demand. Most of these people, particularly those who “work well with others” will have good jobs. But, a specialist MEP recruiter will probably know a few, having followed their progression over the years, that they can reach out to and interest them in your opportunity.

Promoting Your Employer Brand

It is more important than ever to cultivate your image as an employer within the MEP talent community. Your culture, your policies, your priorities – all contribute to your “employer brand”. Consider your candidates as customers who have multiple options. Create a recruitment process that is well-defined and communicate effectively with your candidates at each step in this process. Lots of communication, and a clear process that lets candidates know where they stand helps to avoid negative candidate experiences and can impact your hiring reputation and tarnish your brand. While your in-house team may not have the resources and time, a specialist MEP recruiter can be very effective at promoting your employer brand in the MEP community.

In the field of engineering and mechanical services where unemployment is less than 2% amongst high caliber candidates, you will find that candidates that have multiple job offers. How do you beat out these competitors to sign the best talent? You need a strong “employer value proposition” that you communicate effectively at each stage of the hiring process. In the early stages, you emphasize company culture, compensation, benefits, and long-term career growth. This is when you are trying to sell the opportunity. Later, after the interviews, when the candidate is considering their options, you need to close the sale. Here, you will need lots of communication one-on-one from inside your company. Schedule conversations with the candidate’s potential boss, colleagues, and others in the company that can help project a positive image of your organization and bond with the candidate.

A specialist MEP recruiter can be a huge advantage during both the sell and close phases. First, they can project your employer brand effectively in a campaign of advertising, emails, and calls. When they connect with a candidate to describe the opportunity, they can reinforce the employer brand that you are cultivating and position your company as an attractive employer. Secondly, they can help provide key information during the close phase. A specialist MEP recruiter may be aware of what other offers the candidate has and can provide you with valuable insight about how to tweak your offer to stay competitive. Since they are familiar with most of your competition, they can also position your company favorably vs. the other options. In this way, a specialist MEP recruiter can be a true ally and partner in your search process.


About Recruiters

At Recruiters, we strive to offer specialist MEP recruiter services with the highest level of service and professionalism. This has enabled us to successfully build long-lasting relationships with both our clients and our candidates. We specialize in the sourcing and recruitment of HVAC, Facilities Management, Mechanical Engineering, Building Automation, and Energy Conservation Professionals. We advise our clients with integrity and treat our candidates with dignity.