engineering recruitment survey 2022
engineering recruitment survey 2022

Engineering Survey 2022

Christian Addison, Director

​"2021 was a challenging year for UK manufacturing as it came out of the pandemic and reacted to the impact of Brexit. Arguably 2022 has been even more challenging. Why?

With over 1m workers returning to the EU and 12% of the workforce in UK manufacturing nearing or already at retirement age, the skills gap in the UK has continued to widen with the number of unfilled vacancies in the UK peaking at 1.3m in April. With demand massively outstripping supply, candidates have been in pole position and this has certainly seen a shift in their behaviours. This combined with the cost of living crisis has resulted in the most volatile market I have ever seen in my 23 years in recruitment.


One of our core principles is providing added value services to our customers and we regularly provide data to support their recruitment and retention strategies. To help us understand this shift in job seekers behaviours further we surveyed a cross section of the 55,000 engineers in our database for their opinions. The results have certainly made interesting reading and demonstrated a significant change in engineers outlook to work. We hope you find it useful.


  • 89% of those surveyed were in work

  • Of the 89% that were in work, 52% were looking for a new role"

When asked why they were looking to leave the current employer



% change on 2021

Salary and benefits



Don’t feel valued



Lack of Progression



Lack of training



Work life balance




When asked about their decision makers for selecting a new role



% change on 2021

Salary and benefits



Positive work life balance












Flexible working




When looking for a new role



% change on 2021

Upload CV to a job board



Apply to an advert on a job board



Use a search engine



Wait to be approached a recruiter



Apply through a recruiter website




When asked about how they select a recruiter to work with



Would use a recruiter they trust/have worked with before


Range of opportunities available


Recommendations from friends


Testimonials to show reliability


Additional support through the recruitment process



When asked whether the cost of living crisis has affected them



Have been forced to look for a higher paid role


Already accepted a higher salaried role


Received a pay rise from the current employer


No impact at all



Has your mental health affected you at work this year?
  • Yes - 38%

  • No - 62%

"What does this mean for employers?

1)     Focus on Retention

As we are in a cost of living crisis, there is no surprise that ‘Salary and Benefits’ is showing an increase. What is worth noting however, is that there has been an even sharper increase in employees not feeling valued by their employer. This highlights a message that ATA Recruitment are supporting our clients with on a daily basis – that retention is more than just salary. It’s a case of truly understanding your company culture and workforce, including their motivations and pain points as employees.

2)     Reach the passive candidates

2022 has certainly seen the candidate market become more reactive, with increasing numbers preferring to either post their CV on a job board or wait to the approached by a recruiter rather than using the traditional route of applying to adverts. Is this also an indicator that with work like balance increasing in importance candidates don’t want to spend their time trawling through adverts, instead preferring to be approached with opportunities?

3)     Make mental health awareness a priority

Unfortunately, 38% of those surveyed highlighted that their mental health has been impacted by their work throughout 2022. For employers, there is nothing more critical than the health and wellbeing of their workforce. We encourage all employers reading this report to evaluate what support they have available to their teams, whether it be Mental Health First Aiders, an Employee Assistance Programme, or other initiatives dedicated to health and wellbeing.

Get in touch

If you are interested in the findings of this survey and want to discuss the impact these trends will have on your business, contact Christian Addison, Director of ATA Recruitment on 07787 289 367 or, or complete the form below.


We will also be releasing our annual Salary Survey in the new year, which will convey data gathered from all the permanent and contract placements we have made throughout 2022. This extensive report, together with the feedback from candidates and their employment plans, ATA Recruitment hold the knowledge and expertise to ensure you're ready to face the continuing concern of staff retention."