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A Big Job for Big Data: How to Hire Remarkable Data Scientists

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Data engineering, tracking, and utilization aren’t exactly common sense. More so, it’s hard to find an experienced professional who is well-versed in all of these things. This is just one reason why companies struggle when they try to hire data scientists.

You can’t expect to find one person who knows it all, especially when it comes to something as complex as data. But, you do need to make sure that the person you make a job offer to is ready to fulfill the specific needs of your data management team.

Here’s the 5-step process you need to follow to make sure your hiring process leads to the best possible result.

1. Make the Job Description Very Specific

Before you start comparing candidates and deciding who to interview, you have to get qualified candidates’ attention. The best way to get things off on the right foot is to be very specific about the role you’re looking to fill.

Everything in the job description from the day to day responsibilities to the required skills has to be made clear. Even the way you phrase the position title makes a difference.

But, it can’t be all about data. Make sure you share a bit about your company culture in the job post and include available benefits as well. These additional details make a huge difference. They’re what make talented candidates seriously consider looking into the opportunity further and actually apply.

2. Improve Your Interview Questions

Most employers make the assumption that candidates need a job. The truth is, candidates have many options available to them and most are willing to wait until the best opportunity comes along. Interviews are your time to make sure yours is the absolute best choice among other job openings.

You have to find the balance between checking a candidate’s qualifications and increasing their interest in working for you. Sell your candidates on the position you’re offering and vet them well, too.

To do this, you probably have to make some changes to your interview questions. Make it a point to get to know a potential data scientist’s passions and aspirations. Talk about what they’re looking to get out of a role and ask what it was about your company that caught their attention.

Then, get into the specifics of the role. Check how well each candidate understands the position and whether or not they’re prepared to handle the responsibilities. Talk about things like data analytics and security.

Discuss how all the roles on your data management team work together and also explain how you will measure performance. This gives candidates the big picture perspective of what their work will help the company achieve.

3. Introduce Candidates to Multiple Team Members

As you’re advancing candidates to different interviews and further narrowing down the prospects, bring more of your teammates into the process. This helps you understand who is the best fit in terms of skills and qualifications as well as personality and company culture.

It helps you get to know the candidates better when you’re getting different input from teammates you trust. This also gives candidates a better feel for the team they’d be working on.

4. Emphasize Retention

Sometimes, you lose great candidates during the interview process. Other times, you hire an amazing new employee only to have them leave within the first 6 months.

These issues both boil down to one thing: retention.

To increase retention from interview to interview, be fast and direct. You can’t expect a talented candidate to remain interested in a position they applied for two months ago. You have to be proactive in moving through the hiring process quickly in order to hold their interest.

Then, keep an open dialogue going with new hires. Ask them how they feel about the role and where they see themselves heading within the company. See if there’s anything that they feel is missing or that they want to take on. The more you can both work together to find the right fit, the better your overall team retention will be.

5. Consult a Professional Recruiter

Keep in mind you don’t have to take on the hiring process alone. It might be worth your while to hire a professional recruiter, especially if you have a lot on your plate right now.

Recruiters are the secret weapon you need to find and engage top data scientists. They understand what these people are looking for in their career and they know how to make your company stand out against other opportunities.

More so, your chances of retention and employee success are higher when you work with a recruiter. These people are trained at finding a great fit; they’ll do their best to ensure that whoever you end up hiring is invested in your team for the long haul.

How to Hire Data Scientists and Make Sure They Stay

It’s one thing to identify great candidates in the hiring process and another to keep them engaged once you onboard a new hire. You have to work hard to make sure the training process goes smoothly and that new hires feel welcomed and challenged.

This begins in the hiring process and it continues long after all the hiring paperwork has been completed. You can’t afford to forget this step when looking to hire data scientists that will bring value to your team and create innovative solutions.

Here are a few employee retention strategies to implement with new hires and current team members.

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