Data as a Data Scientist Recruitment Tool

Posted in: Business Insights

Everyone knows that data scientists are in high demand and recruiting them is very challenging these days, especially if you’re not a huge sexy brand-name company. What are these data scientists looking for in a company and how can you make sure you can deliver what they want?

I was talking to a client yesterday about his data scientist recruiting challenges and he told me a story that really resonated. He works for a hugely successful software company, his offices offers that wonderful mix of fun, but not over-the-top, located in a great part of town. Everyone I met was incredibly nice and looked happy to be there. They are VERY committed to differentiating themselves based on data– from the CEO down. What could be better than that as a set up for recruitment of a data scientist?

He told me that they had just been turned down by two data scientist candidates, not for any reason you’d expect but because the company couldn’t convince the candidates that their data was good enough to support a productive data science initiative. That was the first time I had heard that, but it makes total sense. Talk to any data scientist about their frustrations at work and most of them will talk not about their internal clients or the company valuing their work, they’ll talk about how much time they spend finding, cleaning data and integrating data. They’ll talk about not having access to enough data and about how long it takes to run their models.

So if you have a data lake with all the data in it. If your data is clean. If your data systems are powerful enough to deliver results within a reasonable time, you should make this a big part of your recruitment process. I know from experience that most companies are not yet this mature in their analytics platforms so you’ll have a real recruiting edge.

And of course the converse is also true. If you don’t have a well architected data platform and you want to move into advanced analytics, start now to get this addressed. Not only will you be able to attract the best talent, you’ll also make them much more productive and when they deliver results sooner, you will also a win.


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About the Author

With more than two decades of experience in digital organizations, Lynda Partner is a seasoned thought leader with an exceptional record of driving businesses to financial, operational, and market success. Lynda is passionate about data and helping enterprises turn valuable insights from their data into revenue. She wears multiple hats at Pythian. As Vice President of Analytics, Lynda has been instrumental in growing and defining Pythian’s analytics practice and is the driving force behind its new Kick Analytics-as-a-Service solution. As Vice President of Marketing at Pythian, Lynda makes data-informed decisions every day, empowering the team to achieve greater results with measurable outcomes. Before joining Pythian, Lynda was Chief Communications Officer at publicly-traded Redline Communications where she and her team helped return the company to profitability after 15 straight years of losses. Lynda has led and founded several successful start-ups, including In-Touch Insights, and GotMarketing ( Lynda has been a digital marketer for over a decade and is a certified quantitative market researcher.

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