All You Need To Know About Hiring Data Scientists

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Data scientists have broken away from the stereotypical idea of a nerd in a lab coat and have developed their own image as the core of business and commerce with advanced skills in the management and interpretation of data. Due to the recent increase in data being collected by companies, data scientists are in high demand.

What Is the Role of a Data Scientist?

Without data, companies are at a loss regarding customers, employees, and business processes. This lack of data can impact marketing, finance, and logistics. The last decade has seen us go from one extreme to the other. Social media and the Internet of Things has caused a mass collection of data, which is a great thing because companies can learn more about customer behavior and adapt business strategies and workflow to improve customer experience. But this amount of data is only a good thing if you have a data scientist that can extract insight and presenting reports so that senior leaders can make informed decisions. Certain tasks could include:

  • Assisting a company’s analytics strategy
  • Extracting insight from data by using statistical models
  • Employing ML and AI to enhance analytics
  • Improving data collection strategies

How To Hire a Data Scientist

As with many IT positions, there will often be more data scientist vacancies than there are candidates to fill them. For this, it’s important to get the process right.

  1. Ensure your company has the right culture

Because data science is still quite young, not all companies have had time to catch up with the digital transformation. This doesn’t just relate to technology, but also to the culture of the location.

Ask yourself if your company is ready for a data-driven approach and what analytics infrastructure is already in place. It is necessary for your IT team to prepared for such a large analytics project. This is often overlooked, but it is crucial that leadership is eager for data analytics and are able to respond to the information in order to make the right decisions.

If the culture of a company isn’t right, your data scientist will have a difficult job implementing the mentality and the structure in the workplace. It won’t be difficult for a candidate to spot this during the recruitment process.

  1. Placing an attractive job advert

For the job description, it is worth discussing the content with other team members to come up with what you are looking for in a data scientist. Some things to include will be:

  • Level of education– most companies require a master’s degree; others feel a PhD. is necessary.
  • Background- this could be in coding, statistics, corporate experience or academic.
  • Technical skills- big data structure skills are a must, but you may also want your candidate to have ML and or programming knowledge.
  • Communication Skills- this is a vital skill for clearly explaining information to others that may not have a technical mind. Microsoft PowerPoint will also help with the presentation of findings.
  • Soft Skills- ethics are often required if the data scientist is to work with sensitive information and it is preferred that they have the social skills to be able to work in a team.

A job advert isn’t just about what you need, but just as much about what you can offer the candidate. Mention your company’s goals and vision, the professional growth your offer as well as other benefits that are not related to salary.

  1. Perfecting the interview

Interviewing data scientists is a tricky job if you do not have a technical background. If this is the case, steer clear of technical questions you don’t know the answer to. If you do want to include these types of questions, have a team member join you in the interviews.

Use the candidate’s portfolio to discuss the previous projects and experience a candidate has. If they have worked in groups, find out what their role in the project. Discuss what went well and what could have been improved.

  1. Make the best offer you can

Before maxing out your budget, research the average salaries in your area and if possible, go a little higher. As of 2020, the average salary for a data scientist was $125,250. Don’t forget that many IT professionals are looking for more than just a good salary. Other benefits that attract good candidates are work-life balance, flexibility, and professional development.

  1. Consult recruiting professionals

Because of its youth, and depending on your location, it may be challenging to find data scientists. If you feel like you aren’t making progress, talk to a recruiting agency. They will have all the right contacts and a range of options that can match your needs.

  1. Don’t take your foot off the gas

There is no time to waste when recruiting a data scientist. If you feel a candidate is good, so will your competition, so make an official offer as soon as possible, don’t hesitate.