Best Engineering Staffing Agencies

Hubs for qualified engineers

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An engineering staffing agency connects qualified engineering professionals with companies in need of their expertise. While using an agency could complicate your job search, it might be a good move for you if you need help with resume development, interview preparation, or gaining access to unadvertised opportunities. The cost of going through an agency is almost always paid by the company seeking talent. Each engineering staffing agency offers unique perks that cater to a variety of job seekers in the field.

The best engineering staffing agencies are well-connected in the engineering world, well-versed in the staffing process, and focused on making a great match between their client and the job candidate. We examined 12 engineering staffing agencies before coming up with our best picks. Keep reading to see which agency may be best for your career.

The Best Engineering Staffing Agencies 2021

Best Overall : Randstad Engineering

Randstad Engineering

Randstad Engineering

Why We Chose It: Randstad Engineering took our top spot because the agency has a strong presence in the industry and employs highly qualified recruiters.

What We Like
  • Locations all over the country

  • Large, highly qualified team of technical recruiters

  • Career resources provided

What We Don't Like
  • Some online complaints

Founded in 1960, Randstad is a major staffing company that recruits for various business functions, including engineering. The firm places candidates nationwide and has local offices in most states as well as Washington, D.C. 

The agency employs over 100 technical staffing experts with three or more years of technical recruiting experience, an engineering degree, or both. That means your recruiter will have a solid understanding of the industry, what you do in your current role, and the appropriate next steps for your career.

Randstad Engineering works with job candidates from all engineering backgrounds and career levels. Some of the agency’s current focus areas include but aren’t limited to:

  • Civil engineering
  • Structural engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Automation engineering

The agency can help you find a contract role or permanent employment. Your recruiter will work closely with you to ensure they match you with suitable opportunities. 

Randstad offers numerous career-related resources, including an online resume builder. If you’re hired into a contract role, you’ll be eligible for a competitive benefits package that includes health insurance and paid time off. To get started with Randstad Engineering, apply to one of the agency’s job advertisements or contact the location nearest to you.

While Randstad’s online reputation is positive overall, there are some complaints out there, mostly about communication issues with the agency.

Runner-Up, Best Overall : Peak Technical Staffing

Peak® Technical Staffing

 Peak® Technical Staffing

Why We Chose It: Peak Technical Staffing is our runner-up due to the agency having several locations and offering a robust benefits package to employees.

What We Like
  • Nationwide operation with multiple offices

  • Robust benefits package offered

What We Don’t Like
  • Some negative online reviews

We like Peak Technical Staffing because it operates nationwide and provides benefits to employees placed on contract assignments. The firm has been operating since 1968 and has offices in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, San Diego, and Sunnyvale.

The agency places candidates in contract, contract-to-hire, and direct hire roles. Currently, the firm works with professionals with the following engineering specialties:

  • Product
  • Manufacturing
  • Defense
  • Civil
  • Construction
  • Bio-med
  • Telecommunications
  • Software 

If you’ve been trying unsuccessfully to get noticed by a particular company, the agency may be able to leverage its connections to make it happen. Plus, if Peak doesn’t have any suitable roles for you at the moment, the company may feature your profile on its website with the hope of catching the eye of a hiring manager.

If Peak places you on a contract assignment, you’ll be eligible for medical, dental, and vision insurance and have access to a 401(k) plan. Depending on the project, you may also qualify for paid holidays and paid sick leave.

Peak Technical Staffing’s online reputation is generally favorable. However, some complaints exist due to dissatisfaction with contract assignments or agency communication.

If you’re interested in working with the agency, apply to an open job listing or submit your resume on the company’s website.

Best for Industry Specialization : Premier Search Associates

Premier Search Associates

 Premier Search Associates

Why We Chose It: Premier Search Associates focuses solely on placing engineering professionals into the consumer packaged goods industry.

What We Like
  • Expertise in the consumer packaged goods industry

  • Nationwide operation

What We Don’t Like
  • Limited online presence

  • Information about benefits, hiring process, etc., is scant

We like Premier Search Associates because the agency helps engineers advance within the consumer packaged goods industry, which includes economic sectors such as beauty, chemicals, food, packaging, and plastics.

Operating nationwide since 1994, the firm fills several types of engineering roles associated with product development and manufacture. The agency works with professionals with the following engineering backgrounds:

  • Electrical
  • Health, environmental, and safety
  • Maintenance
  • Packaging
  • Plant
  • Process
  • Project
  • Quality 

Premier Search Associates places engineers at all career levels, including management. 

The agency has found that most of its candidates are currently employed, so if you’re an engineer in the consumer packaged goods industry, don’t be surprised if a recruiter from Premier reaches out to you at some point. But if you want to apply on your own to a job posting, you can submit your resume on the agency’s website.

It’s unclear how the agency guides job seekers through the placement process or whether the firm provides benefits. Also, the company’s online presence is limited, so it isn’t easy to gauge its reputation.

Best for Executive Level : Shepherd Engineering Search

Shepherd Engineering Search

 Shepherd Engineering Search

Why We Chose It: Shepherd Engineering Search primarily focuses on placing managers and higher-level executives.

What We Like
  • Focus on helping leaders advance their careers

  • International presence

  • Career-related resources provided

What We Don’t Like
  • Minimal information online available

  • Unclear whether benefits are offered

Part of Shepherd Search Group, the agency places leaders within the engineering industry nationwide and has nearly a dozen offices spread out across three continents.

Some of the roles the company fills include but aren’t limited to:

  • Water Engineering Manager
  • Health and Safety Manager
  • Product Manager
  • Mechanical Design Engineer Manager
  • Sr. Project Manager

You can view the agency’s current open positions on their website. 

Desiring a long-term professional relationship, the agency will work with you to ensure you get matched up to your ideal role. The agency will keep your search confidential and will only submit your information to a company with your consent. To initiate service from Shepherd, submit your resume on the firm’s website or contact the agency directly.

To guide you through the hiring process, Shepherd offers various tools and resources. These resources will help you prepare for your interview and plan for relocation (if applicable). 

As is the case with most staffing agencies, you won’t have to pay Shepherd any fees.

The agency’s website doesn’t note whether or not benefits are offered. It’s also challenging to ascertain the company’s reputation since minimal information is available online.

Final Verdict

There are many engineering staffing agencies in the country to choose from. That means it may be challenging to select the right one for your career. Fortunately, we did the preliminary legwork for you, and, based on our research, we’ve concluded that Randstad Engineering is the best engineering staffing agency.

But before you entrust your professional trajectory to a particular firm, we encourage you to do your homework and thoroughly vet any engineering staffing agency that may fit your needs. That way, you can be confident about your choice.

Compare Providers

Staffing Agency Category Why We Chose It Engineering Positions Staffed
Randstad Engineering Best Overall Highly qualified recruiters All types and levels
Peak Technical Staffing Runner-Up, Best Overall Robust benefits package Various types, including manufacturing, civil, and software
Premier Search Associates Best for Industry Specialization Consumer packaged goods industry expertise Exclusively those related to consumer packaged goods
Shepherd Engineering Search Best for Executive Level Executive-level career focus Mainly managerial and executive

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is an Engineering Staffing Agency?

An engineering staffing agency is a company that specializes in finding and placing engineering talent at organizations that need the expertise. Depending on the business model, the agency can fill contract, contract-to-hire, and direct hire positions. The firm may also offer other services like payroll processing, recruitment outsourcing, and human resources consulting.

Who Should Use an Engineering Staffing Agency?

You should consider using an engineering staffing agency if you need assistance finding a new engineering position. You may also want to use an agency to brush up on job search capabilities such as resume writing or interview preparation. If you’re a business owner or hiring manager, using an engineering staffing agency could be the right move if you’re struggling to fill an open engineering role within your company.

What Does an Engineering Staffing Agency Cost?

Engineering staffing agency costs vary based on the specific firm used. Typically, job candidates won’t have to pay for the services they receive. The company that orders the search is usually responsible for paying the agency’s fees. 

Fees are generally a percentage of an engineer’s first-year salary (for direct-hire situations) or a markup on their hourly rate (for contract or contract-to-hire situations). Companies hire engineering staffing agencies on either a retained or contingency basis. With a retainer agreement, the company must pay the agency a percentage of the agreed-upon fee upfront. With a contingency agreement, the company doesn’t pay the agency until an employee gets placed.

What Is the Difference Between a Headhunter and an Engineering Staffing Agency?

While a headhunter and an engineering staffing firm perform similar functions, they’re not the same. A headhunter generally focuses on a small number of specialized roles, often recruiting professionals that are already employed. On the other hand, an engineering staffing firm usually works with many candidates with varied backgrounds, most of whom are actively seeking a new opportunity.

How We Chose the Best Engineering Staffing Agencies

We carefully vetted 12 engineering staffing agencies before naming our four top selections. We closely examined each agency for services provided, employee benefits offered, and general reputation. While not a primary factor, we also considered how long the agency has been in business.

All of our top choices work diligently to ensure any match made is the right fit for the firm’s staffing needs and the engineer’s career.