We provide innovative engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting services on large, complex projects worldwide. As a 100 percent employee-owned firm, all of us share in the rewards that come from doing whatever it takes to make our clients successful.
How to Get Hired
We asked Burns & McDonnell for some inside information on how to get hired at the organization. Here is what they had to say.
What key characteristics tell you a prospective employee will be a great fit for your company?
We look for initiative and an entrepreneurial spirit. As a leader in the engineering, architecture and construction industry, all of our people must be technically strong but the added element is client service. That requires strong communications skills — both verbal and written. We define an entrepreneurial spirit as that quality that causes someone to look for a solution that will solve a problem in a new and different way. We want people who are excited and passionate about meeting a project challenge, or even starting a new business line that will contribute to our collective success. We are always on the lookout for people who take the initiative to complete tasks and hold themselves accountable. Often these are people who have served in leadership roles in the community or at previous employers.
What can prospective employees do to get your attention?
Candidates who have done deep research and have familiarized themselves with our company beyond a general description catch our eye. A wealth of information is available about our company through both social and traditional media, so we are looking for people who have gained some insight and ask probing questions. Have they given some thought to how they will fit in with those they will be working with? Have they thought about both projects and processes? Do they demonstrate qualities of an owner? Do they understand how important ownership is for Burns & McDonnell?
Are there any unusual or especially rigorous steps of your hiring process that candidates should be aware of?
Candidates who have recently graduated, or are nearing graduation from engineering or technical schools, should be prepared to do a brief presentation on themselves and why they are interested in Burns & McDonnell. Other, more experienced candidates can expect a series of conversations with a number of people and should be prepared for a less formal but still rigorous presentation on why they desire to work here. We especially look for clues about character and relationship-building skills, particularly when the candidate is in a more relaxed setting. By observing how they speak and act in these settings, we often gain insight that is informative on whether that person will be a great team member and new employee-owner.
Are there any positions or types of candidates you are particularly focused on hiring in this coming year?
Our internship program has proved to be our best source of high-quality new grad employees. In 2015 we brought in 220 interns, and many of them can expect to receive formal job offers upon completion of their degrees. We consistently look for qualified engineers, particularly electrical engineers due to our focus on the power industry. However, we are aggressively seeking engineers and technical staff with commissioning experience or training. Though we are adding staff at our Kansas City world headquarters, the majority of our openings are located in regional offices around the country, many of which are located in large metro areas. We are particularly interested in candidates who are willing to accept relocations to field assignments on some of our large projects. These projects sometimes are located in remote areas and may span two or three years.
What should interested candidates do to find out more and get started?
We cannot over-emphasize the value of networking and establishing connections with current employee-owners. We have a relationship-driven culture, and the ability to influence a current employee-owner to provide a reference or make a call is held in high regard. Our application process is comprehensive as candidates must submit applications, resumes and other materials via our online portal. We also advise prospective candidates to familiarize themselves with Burns & McDonnell via burnsmcd.com and on social channels like LinkedIn or Twitter.