It takes a wide variety of people to create a fantastic manufacturing team.  

From the maintenance technicians that keep your organisation running smoothly, to the quality engineers that preserve your reputation, everyone has a role to play. A mechanical design engineer is one of the people driving innovation and creativity in your business.  

Mechanical engineers research, develop and design mechanical devices for a range of markets/industries. Their careful combination of analytical and out-of-the-box thinking often drives growth opportunities for companies. So, how do you hire the right one? 

As a specialist in manufacturing recruitment, Sigma has had the opportunity to network with plenty of mechanical design engineers over the years. Here’s our list of the top qualities to look for 

Engineering and Design Skills

mechanical design engineer will need solid grounding in mechanical engineering. Ideally, it’s best to look for someone with a degree in mechanical engineering. However, candidates qualified by experience can also be viable options depending on their track record.  

Along with a proven understanding of engineering industry standards, mechanical design engineers also need to be comfortable designing with computers. Much of this role will include creating and simulating products and parts through  3D CAD. Common design packages are SolidWorks, Solid Edge, Creo and Inventor.     

During a competency-based interview, ask your candidate to explain the process they would take to design a new part or product. Usually, this will involve using 3D CAD software, creating prototypes from blueprints, and testing according to regulatory standards. You may also want to create a handson CAD test to use during the second interview.

A Blend of Creative and Analytical Thinking 

Mechanical design engineers need to use a unique blend of imagination and logic in their work. To design incredible things, they must be willing to push the limits of what’s possible and get inventive with their strategies. However, they also need to take a scientific approach to ensure that the items they create are practical and are able to be manufactured (design for manufacturing) 

Look for someone with a scientific mindset. Your new employee needs to be able to hypothesise and experiment, looking at original ideas through a rational lens. Mechanical design engineers are naturally curious and agile, but they won’t waste time on projects that can’t work.  

Ask candidates about a time when they took a new approach to design, and how the risk paid off. This will direct you towards people who know how to balance their inspirational side, with their practical resourcefulness.

Excellence in Communication and Teamwork


Mechanical design engineers drive innovation in business, but they don’t do it alone. Usually, their work involves interactions with plenty of inspired and engaged individuals.  

Your new team member will need to feel comfortable working with quality engineers, manufacturing engineers, sales engineers and more. They’ll be able to take the initiative and lead the group when necessary. However, they won’t prevent other members of staff from having an input 

The wide range of people a mechanical design engineer works with means they also need to know how to communicate well. Often, these people may need to explain complicated devices or machines to people who don’t speak the language of engineering. Make sure your candidate knows their way around industry jargon, but that they also know how to translate it too.  

Fantastic Problem Solving  

As innovators, mechanical design engineers often explore different routes and opportunities on the search for better products. Sometimes, exploring the unknown can lead to problems. However, the best candidates aren’t afraid of challenges. They know how to take control of a situation by analysing the issue at hand and coming up with quick solutions.  

Mechanical design engineers rarely take the “easy way out”. They’re highly driven and determined, so they don’t mind pursuing the more complicated path if it’s what’s best for the business. This may mean investing in additional training at times or seeking help from a mentor. Because they’re committed to constant growth and development, mechanical design engineers often drive their own progress at work.  

Attention to Detail 


Finally, as the 
manufacturing sector continues to evolve, mechanical design engineers like to stay on the cutting edge. This means embracing new strategies and methodologies when they emerge. The right employee will know how to analyse each detail of a new manufacturing technique, to decide whether it’s right for your company.  

What’s more, as they work, mechanical design engineers pay attention to every detail in the creation process. They’re the people who spot inefficiencies first, as well as opportunities to improve production quality.  

Rather than rushing into a solution, these team members take systematic and careful approach. This allows them to explore exciting new ideas in a way that benefits your organisation over time.  

About Sigma Recruitment 

We are ‘South Wales Recruitment Specialists’ based in Cardiff, Wales. 

We offer a full range of permanent recruitment solutions to many of South Wales’ and the South Wests’ leading manufacturing, technical, automotive and life science organisations. This includes companies in Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Ebbw Vale, Port Talbot, Bridgend and the surrounding areas in South Wales. 

Sigma Recruitment has one of the largest and most comprehensive recruitment candidate databases in the area. To get in touch with our team call us now on 02920 450 100. Alternatively, contact us here. 

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