Today, many companies are facing a shortage of engineers. The historically low unemployment rate further exacerbates the problem. One way companies contend with this shortage is to raise engineer wages. But employers can avoid this wage spiral by first looking at how the engineers they are already paying are deployed. By developing a clear understanding of current engineering skill sets and competencies across disciplines and aligning it more effectively with actual needs, organizations may be able to avoid hiring new engineers or raising wages.
Why there’s an engineering talent shortage
We expect the market for engineers to remain tight. The root causes of this talent shortage can be attributed to several factors:
- Shrinking immigration
- Declining interest in engineering studies
- Lack of women in engineering
- Aging workforce
We find that engineering talent is frequently deployed ineffectively. Often, too many engineers are assigned to a project or engineers are misassigned: they are too senior or too junior for their projects. To address these issues, companies should begin thinking about engineering talent not as a human resources problem, but as a supply chain issue to tackle continuously.