It’s no secret that hiring top data scientists has been a huge challenge for enterprises across industries. The situation is only going to get worse as IBM predicts that the demand for data scientists will reach 28% by 2020.
However, it’s going to play a critical role in businesses going forward and as a result, we all have to find a way to access top talent. Those who are qualified as a senior data scientist can command a paycheck that’s worth as much as $184,705 annually.
But finding senior data scientists with over 20 years of experience can sometimes be harder than finding the next unicorn. With the rapid growth of both artificial intelligence and machine learning, big data will be the differentiator.
So how do you find top data scientists for your next project? Let’s dive right in and take a look.
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Develop a Purpose & a Plan
Before placing that wanted ad, the best approach is to first clearly define your purpose and develop a plan. While a lot of businesses may be motivated by the hype surrounding big data, not having a purpose or plan will have significant consequences.
For example, you’ll waste a lot of time and money and you will also end up losing the talent you managed to hire (that’s if you actually managed to hire anyone). So it’s important to identify the problem you’re trying to solve and then ascertain your return on investment.
Doing this at the beginning will help you figure out if it’s worthwhile. If it turns out to be worth the effort, then you have to try and figure how difficult it would be to apply big data principles to your business. All this will help you develop a plan encompassing all of your tactics and strategies.
It’s important to have a purpose and a plan because highly in-demand data scientists are going to be very picky about their next job. They can easily get their desired financial package from any one of your competitors, so you have to present them with a challenge that they can get excited about.
You should also know what you want to do and how you’re going to do it. This should be crystal clear before hiring anyone as it will help you identify the skills required and the type of talent that will be best suited for your business.
Hire an Experienced Recruiter
If you haven’t directly hired a data scientist before, it’s best to leave it to an experienced recruiter. This will help negate any possible unprepared interactions that don’t highlight what they’re interested in.
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It’s common knowledge that the skills gap is huge, so you can’t really afford to sabotage yourself at the first point of contact. An experienced recruiter will do their homework, so they’ll know all about your HR policies, know what type of work you do, what you’re trying to achieve, and most importantly what type of projects potential hires will work on and what tools will be available to them.
Another advantage is the fact that the recruiter might already have an established relationship with a pool of potential candidates. This will give them unique insights into what a potential hire might be interested in.
Because they’re highly experienced in hiring big data professionals, they’ll also know the right questions to ask during an interview. Once they have identified the most suitable candidates for your organization, you can join in during the second phase of the hiring cycle.
At it’s most basic, a top data scientist will know how to communicate highly technical and statistical information with business people. This means that their findings will be easy for just about anyone without a statistical background to understand (however, this isn’t always easy to figure before they start working for you).
They’ll also understand the intricacies of your business and correctly interpret results as it relates to your specific business model. They will be able to work on a mass scale, provide product ready solutions, and make highly efficient predictions.
If this isn’t the case, you probably made a mistake somewhere in the hiring process. However, it’s also important to note that you’re not going to get immediate returns. It will take time, but you have to stay on top of it to ensure that you can fix any mistakes in time if you’ve made the wrong hire.