The hidden costs of recruiting engineers

You’ll be all too familiar with the figures bouncing around about the cost of attracting and hiring talented engineers in the UK – leading you to opt for internal recruitment to save some of your budget. However, have you considered the hidden costs of recruiting engineers internally? Do you really know how much a new hire is going to cost you when compared with the fees of a specialist engineering recruitment agency? If you haven’t done the calculations, the following might surprise you.

The true costs of engineering recruitment

Whether a long-serving engineer has just handed in their notice or your company is growing fast enough to justify additional headcount, you know it’s going to cost you. Certain recruitment expenditure is expected including salaries, advertising costs, job fairs, legal fees and new equipment spend. If you think that’s all, you better take a seat because internal recruitment also costs in terms of:


Recruitment takes time away from the business – whether that’s the time of HR in arranging interviews and onboarding successful engineers, the time of the hiring manager in sifting through CVs and attending the interview, or the time of the team leader in discussing the interview outcomes and training your new engineer. It’s all time that takes business-critical employees away from performing their roles and generating profit for the company.


It’s not just the performance of those involved in the recruitment process that’s impacted. The role you’re recruiting for is being carried out half-heartedly by someone daydreaming about their new senior engineer role, being covered half-heartedly by a team member who has their own job to perform or being covered by engineering contractors who are charging you an hourly rate.

Employee engagement

And, unfortunately, the curse of impacted performance also extends to your existing employees. Employee engagement takes a hit when someone hands in their notice – it’s change, it’s disruptive, and it’s bound to have an impact on the rest of the team. At best, this could result in reduced performance; at worst, this could result in other employees handing in their notice – looking for the patch of green grass that their former colleague has found.


Your company’s reputation as an employer can also be damaged when someone leaves and you need to replace them. To begin with, someone’s left your company, and if they’re heading to a competitor, the industry will start asking why. But it goes further than that. When you’re recruiting new engineers, candidates are judging you. If you’re slow to respond to applications, inflexible about interview times and don’t send feedback, people will talk about their negative experience and word will get around – damaging your chances of attracting the best engineering talent in the future.

Bad hires

And the costs don’t stop as soon as someone has signed the dotted line. Bad recruitment decisions, caused by a limited number of poorly qualified candidates, are unlikely to last beyond the probationary period. This mistake is perhaps the most costly – wasting money on the recruitment and onboarding process, having to put projects on hold, further damaging employee morale and having to repeat a costly process you thought you’d completed.              

Saving money when recruiting engineers

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Many companies avoid engineering recruitment specialists because of the fees. But, when you consider all of the above, recruitment agencies can genuinely save you money by:

Reducing the time involved

All the grunt work (such as advertising and sifting) is done for you, and because we’re highly experienced at recruitment, it’s done much quicker.

Reducing the time to hire

Because the initial stages are completed quicker, you can begin your interviews sooner – reducing the time it takes to hire, and the time your position lays vacant.

Increasing employee engagement

The less time your position lays vacant, the less impact it has on your existing employees. A quick hire also demonstrates that people want to work for your company, creating a sense of pride for those already working for you.

Improving your brand

Specialist recruitment agencies are also hugely trusted and experienced at creating a positive recruitment experience. Your employer brand benefits, as a result, attracting talented engineers who can further increase the performance of your business.

Reducing bad hires

Finally, specialist engineering agencies are experts at matching talented engineers to the right vacancies – reducing the number of bad hires substantially.


Get in touch

If you’d like to discuss how we can reduce the costs of your next engineer hire, speak to one of our specialist engineering recruitment consultants today.