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How to find the right engineering firm to work for

Finding the right high-tech or engineering employer can be a challenge. Whether you’re looking for a new opportunity or your very first job, you’ll need to consider your options carefully. Your choice of employer can affect your long-term career goals -- or take it to unexpected heights.

If you have specific interests either technical or industry segment, do some research and make sure the company you’re thinking of joining can help you get closer to achieving your objectives.  Here are some of the key factors to consider when seeking a new engineering job:

Workplace culture

As you will need to work closely with colleagues as an engineer, look for a company with a positive, supportive workplace culture. Culture is the environment an organisation creates for its people. Ask questions and research the company before you make any commitments. Glassdoor is a good place to find honest reviews of company culture but ask about employee turnover, what makes the business unique, and what is the sum of its values, traditions, beliefs, policies, interactions, behaviors, and attitudes. A positive culture is significant, especially because:

  • It attracts new talent.
  • It drives employee engagement and retention.
  • It impacts happiness and satisfaction.
  • It affects individual and company performance.

Work-life balance

According to a CIPD survey, 60 per cent of employees work longer hours than they want, 24 per cent overwork by at least ten hours a week, 24 per cent find it hard to relax in their personal time because of thinking about work, and 26 per cent say work affects their personal commitments. That means there are still a lot of employers who expect you to fit your life around your job. Have a clear understanding of the kind of flexibility you want and look for an employer who provides it.

Company size

There is no one right choice here. In addition to offering you opportunities to learn about the industry, a great company should also offer opportunities for advancement within the organisation. Large companies may offer more job security, employee benefits, training, and opportunities for progression. However, they also tend to be more change-resistant and demand more conformity. It’s also harder to stand out as a star employee among so many. Smaller companies tend to be friendlier and more flexible, with strong bonds developing between colleagues and open lines of communication with leaders. However, it may prove harder to progress your career.


How far would you travel for the right job? Do not just think about your commute, but also about whether the job will require local or international travel. In some fields, engineers are expected to be flexible, so be honest with yourself about how that would work with your home commitments.

The company’s values align with yours

When considering a new employer make sure their vision and values align with yours. Whether it is finding a company with a business model you admire or a company that takes environmental action seriously or that they donate and partner with charities you respect. Are these values widely communicated, and continuously emphasised?


What sort of market, industry segment, and potential customers would you like to work with? When choosing an employer, think about the markets and technology they address and customers and whether working with them would give you job satisfaction.


While some companies put the potential salary on the job advert, others will not disclose it until well into the interview process. If that is the case, research the cost of living and likely salary in the area for the type of job you’re applying for, look at salary surveys and arrive at the interview with a figure in mind. Find out what employee benefits the company offers as well as basic salary.

Benefits and Perks

Alongside the salary, companies will offer a benefits package; including things like a pension scheme, insurance, healthcare, and paid sick leave. Additionally, to attract the best employees, companies will often include a competitive perks package, which includes the more fun, non-essential bonuses. This could consist of things such as early finishes, flexible working, work socials, company car, free food, and training budget – all great bonuses to consider alongside your basic salary.

Career growth opportunities

Although a lot of your professional success will depend on you, there are several things an employer can do to set you up for a great outcome. If you are clear on the career goals you want to achieve, you can evaluate whether your prospective employer is going to get you closer to them. Will you be able to gain the right skills, experience, and networking contacts?

Will you be taught transferable skills

Understand what training you will be offered in the role. A great company will develop your transferrable skills regardless of if these are specifically technical e.g., Working as a software engineer in an Agile development environment or communication and presentation training. When applying for an engineering job, ask yourself what you can learn from the role, and do not be afraid to discuss training opportunities and skill-building during your interview.

Work with a specialist recruitment agency

Redline - the UK’s most trusted Electronics and High Technology recruitment specialist for professional Contract, Permanent and Executive positions. With over four decades  of experience in knowledge-led recruitment, Redline is perfectly-positioned to offer advice about future-proofing your permanent, contract, or interim needs. Redline will do the hard work of finding the right employer for you. Our in-depth industry knowledge and connections with leading employers enables us to match you and your ambitions with the ideal place for you to work.

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