In the United States, the civil engineering field is experiencing a labor shortage. Over the next couple of years, the sector will need around 23,000 professionals to meet demand. The situation is made even more complex by the specific requirements of many civil engineering roles. For many employers, recruiting from further afield is the onlyviable way of plugging the skills gap. Fortunately, civil engineering shortfalls aren’t the standard internationally. Countries like China offer a rich resource of high-skilled talent for employers looking to fill civil engineering vacancies. If you’re eager to capitalize on this lucrative labor market, it might be time to consider investing in Chinese language skills to aid your international recruitment efforts.
Why Hire From China?
There’s no shortage of civil engineers in China. The number of engineers emerging from undergraduate education has soared in recent years. Around 1.4 million graduates emerged from higher education with a civil engineering diploma in 2020 alone.
If you’re struggling to source talent locally, targeting this huge skills market makes complete sense. However, there are several other benefits of focusing your recruitment strategy on the Chinese labor market. For starters, labor costs are comparatively low compared to the United States. For smaller companies, cheaper labor markets are very attractive, especially when you consider the average salary for a civil engineer in the United States is $95,490. The cost-saving benefits are particularly obvious if you’re looking to fill short-term vacancies or employ civil engineers on a freelance basis.
Key Things to Consider
If you need to fill a civil engineering vacancy quickly and affordably, the Chinese candidate pool is worth considering. However, you’ll want to approach international recruitment with caution, especially if it’s your first time casting the net wide.
While civil engineering graduate statistics are impressive, it’s worth remembering that a significant proportion of the labor force will have minimal hands-on experience in civil engineering roles. If you’re actively looking to recruit for entry-level positions, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you’re seeking out an established team leader with project management experience, you’ll need to spend longer singling out the best candidate for the job.
The Challenges of Hiring Remotely
While there are many reasons to consider hiring from overseas, remote recruitment comes with unique challenges. In addition to qualifications and hands-on experience, you’ll need to consider the soft skills a candidate can bring to the table. In many cases, soft skills are undersold on resumes and hiring documents. It’s only during preliminary discussions and the interview stage that personal qualities and soft skills can be communicated. Unless you have a local office established in China staffed with Mandarin-speaking hiring managers, you’ll struggle to communicate effectively with potential employees.
Furthermore, hiring civil engineers in China isn’t a viable option for companies that aren’t established locally. However, you don’t necessarily need to expand into new territories to access the local labor market. Employers of Record organizations can help you navigate around the issue of hiring from overseas. Not only do these third-party entities assume liability for any local hires, but they will also usually handle everything from onboarding to payroll responsibilities.