Sourcing for Engineers

Sometimes, candidates will apply for a position at the agency where I work because they see that we recruit for engineering, but we recruit for the electrical engineering industry. I find myself following-up with the candidates and letting them know what kind of engineering specialties we recruit.

The engineering industry is vast; some of the top engineering fields include:

  • Aerospace/Aeronautical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical/Electronics Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Engineering Management

Let’s take a look at the many ways you can find potential candidates for your engineering specialty.

Patents & Publications

I remember my first SourceCon and Steve Levy showing me how to find engineers via patent sites. I was amazed at the leads you can find regarding many topics relating to engineering. There are two sites I like to use, Google Patents and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) site. The difference between Google Patents and USPTO is that USPTO tells you the location of the individuals, which I think is a bonus when locating leads.

Sourcing from Engineering Societies

I love using engineering societies to find engineers. Engineering societies are professional organizations for engineers of various disciplines. In the United States, there are over 50 engineering societies.

A bonus of engineering societies is that they can help you find diverse candidates. Take, for example, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is a great place to find candidates. I ran a simple X-ray search into their site using a Boolean string, and it returned over 100 results. Taking the same organization and doing a site search into LinkedIn led me to 77,100 results using (“National Society of Black Engineers” | NSBE) member

How about the Society of Women Engineers (SWE)? Using Boolean to X-ray into the SWE site with names of women, I found 315 potential leads (abigail | adriana | brianna). Want a more targeted search? Try adding an email address to it, such as this example: (abigail | adriana | brianna), which returned 75 results.

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Engineering Conferences

Where do all the cool engineers’ hangout? At engineering conferences! If you Google “engineering conferences,” you will come across 181,000 results. I did and came across a pretty cool site called Conference Monkey, where you can find conferences worldwide, including engineering conferences. I was amazed at all the types of fields they have for engineering.

Engineering Meetups

I Googled “engineering meetup” and received a ton of results. My first was from Meetup who touts you can find over 727 Engineering groups with 263,828 members. It was like Christmas came in July! I need to narrow the list a bit more as I am looking for a “chemical engineering meetup” and that gave returned 448,000 results.


Yes, engineers are busy developing economical solutions to technical problems, but they can be found in many ways with just a bit of ingenuity. Only as their work can lead to great discoveries, using the methods above can help you discover that perfect lead.

Trish is a Research Associate (Sourcer) for Fidelis Companies specializing in executive search and contingency staffing for the semiconductor engineering, biopharmaceutical, ERP and EMR industries. She grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and currently resides in the Dallas, Texas area. She currently holds an associates degree in Culinary Arts with certifications in baking. Additionally, she is pursuing degrees in Computer Systems Database Development and Business Administration. Prior to joining Fidelis Companies in 2011 Trish spent eight (8) years in the Air Force, serving state-side and international, and has prior experience in the aviation, mortgage and medical practice management industries. During her free time Trish is an independent resume writer/career counselor and enjoys watching movies with her two cats, Paprika Jane and Patches McGee.