Three rookie mistakes when hiring a Data Scientist

It's a fact that analysts (or Data Scientists) are a hype right now. More and more companies are focusing on analyzing their data, for example in order to enhance customer experience or optimize their product offering. Companies who decide to take their first steps in finding and integrating a Data Scientist in their team, can end up making a few mistakes that are actually easy to avoid. In this blog post I will share three common mistakes to avoid when hiring an analyst. 

  • The job advert is too vague. It is common that companies keep their job adverts broad and general in order to widen the pool of candidates applying to the role. However, this can often work in the complete opposite way. Many candidates get discouraged from applying for a role where it seems like the company don't know what they are talking about. Have a think about what you actually need the Data Scientist to do, and if you need a strategical partner to help you in defining this, consider taking advice from outside your company. 
  • The process is too slow. Whenever a qualified Data Scientist is out on the job market, he or she will definitely be able to find a job quickly. Most hiring managers are aware of this and see the value in meeting with candidates as soon as possible. Successful managers will sometimes need to meet candidates off site, close to the candidate's current workplace, over Skype or after working hours. Also, managers who engage all stakeholders in the recruitment process and make efforts to facilitate each step, are often the ones who end up with a successful hire. 
  • Too many promises. The most common reason why Data Scientists are contacting me about job opportunities is that they were promised too much before taking on their current role. One of my candidates was told that they would have the chance to present their results to stakeholders in person, that they would be a part of business level decision-making and (of course) that there would be a ton of data to play around with. When it turned out that most of this was empty talk, or at best an unrealized vision, they decided to move on. Be careful what you communicate about the role during the hiring process, and make sure that the expectations you set are well grounded.

If you are interested in making your recruitment process better adapted to Data Scientists, contact us and we are happy to share our insights.