Engineering Headhunters Los Angeles

Automation Engineers

Human and AI interface
Integress Inc 07 Jun 2024

In information technology (IT), automation engineers are essential for developing, testing, and implementing automated software processes that help boost productivity and improve accuracy and efficiency. As with many skilled roles, the requirements and responsibilities given to any individual will vary depending on the level of experience and skill they have as well as the tasks they’ve been assigned. It should come as no surprise that, as with other technically demanding positions, finding qualified candidates becomes increasingly difficult when higher-level skills and a greater depth of experience are required. Understanding what can be expected of automation engineers at each level can help you determine the right candidate pool when you need to hire, and when the help of a specialized recruiting firm might be required to help fill open roles.

How do I recruit an automation engineer?

At Integress we pride ourselves on first understanding your business and culture, and we headhunt the best profiles who are qualified automation engineers, screen them on your behalf, and present them to you for interviews and final selection.

From Entry Level to Team Lead

While the role of an automation engineer might seem to be one with a fixed set of responsibilities, without a familiar path to growth and advancement, it can in fact vary considerably from entry-level roles to more experienced team leaders. A poor fit between expectations and abilities can hamper projects and produce frustration not only on the part of management, but also on the part of employees who are being asked for too much, or conversely, whose experience and talents are being underutilized.

What differentiates each level? Here are some general guidelines:

  • Junior automation engineer: New to automating tests, they may have limited coding skills or testing skills. Rather than building test projects from scratch, they can add tests to the suite using the test project and framework that have already been developed by more senior automation engineers and developers.
  • Midlevel automation engineer: While still not ready to build a full test project from the ground up, a midlevel automation engineer has a greater dept of skill and experience that allows them to function with more independence. Their coding and testing abilities are solid, and they are able to automate tests and expand on existing test projects and frameworks to add new support for tests.
  • Senior automation engineer: Automation engineers who have reached this level have a high level of skill, and as a result spend less of their time actually writing tests (tasks that tend to be delegated to more junior members of a team). Instead, they work on building the test framework, helping to establish best practices for their team, and coaching developers on how to write tests and testable code.
  • Automation architect: An automation architect has a superior understanding of both coding and software design principles, with the capability to write a variety of different automated tests at any level. Their experience gives them familiarity with multiple automation tools and the ability to evaluate new tools to determine if they are the correct fit for a team’s needs. Automation architects typically assist entire departments, rather than being assigned to a single team, as they are most effectively deployed in architecting test frameworks and internal tools to help other engineers.
  • Automation team lead: As the name implies, an automation team lead is responsible for guiding a team of automation engineers, providing the strategy, leadership, and mentorship necessary for the group to function well together. An automation team lead understands how automation testing fits into the overall picture of software development and uses their knowledge to guide the work of the team. They may have interviewing and hiring responsibilities and will be regularly called on to collaborate with executives, managers, and other key stakeholders outside of their department.
  • Consulting automation engineer: Engineers at this level have wide experience. They may be called in short term to provide a boost to a specific team or employed long term to work with various departments to come up with a global test automation strategy for the company. Their knowledge of common problems, techniques, and effective strategies that tend to affect most automation projects allows them to foresee and correct for potential problems, as well as to advise on the best strategies for mitigating issues.

As roles grow more senior, it is not enough for an automation engineer to be familiar with a certain task or process. Especially in roles where they are expected to manage other employees, they will need a firm grasp on where the responsibilities of their team fit within the larger picture and the people skills to guide their direct reports effectively. These qualities may not go hand in hand with superior technical ability—in fact, it becomes progressively more challenging to find candidates with the right mix of abilities as the responsibilities of a position grow. Given that difficulty, and the negative consequences that can arise when there is a serious mismatch in a senior role, using a technical search firm to find a candidate with the right qualifications is often your best move.

Giving You the Edge in Technical Hiring

Ineffective recruitment strategies can put your company behind the competition when it comes to finding the ideal candidates for hard-to-fill positions. Integress is your resource when you need to hire for critical technical and engineering roles, including higher-level automation engineers. As a boutique technical search firm, we provide impeccable service in not only helping identify who will fit your company’s needs and culture, but also in helping you persuade your top candidates to come work for you with well-crafted offers. To learn more about how we can take the headache out of your biggest technical hiring challenges, contact us here.

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