And if the company wants to outsource hiring analytics talent, it is important to choose the ideal recruitment agency. There are various factors to consider — from specification to the budget — for picking the right agency.
Sign up for your weekly dose of what's up in emerging technology.
Here we break down the process, brick by brick.
Understanding The Analytics Needs
First and foremost, a company needs to define why it wants to hire analytics professionals. Based on that, the company needs to decide what position to hire talent for and in what numbers. This is the most crucial part in determining the right recruitment agency.
Different agencies specialise in recruiting analytics talent when it comes to hiring in big numbers. If there are more specific roles, then there are dedicated agencies for the same as well. In terms of seniority, some agencies specialise in hiring CTOs, SVPs, and other high-level positions, while others are better at recruiting junior level professionals.
“Analytics is a very niche industry and there are many recruitment agencies who strive to be considered as the top analytics recruitment firm but not many of them make the cut,” said Khushboo Gogoi, Head of Talent Acquisition at AIM Recruits, a leading recruitment agency for hiring data science talent for analytics companies.
“While the agency pitch would claim that they have closed many niche positions in the market, a good way of choosing would be meeting their core recruiters and talking to them and understanding their knowledge in analytics.”
The hiring agencies should be shortlisted based on all these factors.
Previous Hires And Network
After handpicking the agencies, you should look at the agencies’ previous hires and clients.
“The company scouting for a suitable analytics recruitment agency should first make sure the agency works for their competitors or organisations similar to them in nature and is aware of their line of business and hires similar kinds of people in the industry,” said Gogoi, “We can ask them questions about their knowledge of our line of business and how they have hired such people in the past.”
This will give you an idea about their clients and network. You have to understand whether the agency specialises in hiring analytics professionals and have served companies similar to yours. A recruitment agency should have an extensive, and at the same time, the right network that fits your requirements.
It is also important to consider the roles recruitment agencies specialise in hiring and not just their clientele. Just because they recruit for mass numbers for big IT companies, does not necessarily mean they might be good at hiring specific analytics talent. On the other hand, you might overlook the right hiring agency that recruits analytics talent for pharma companies because the clientele did not look related to the analytics field.
Analytics is a skill set that is applied across sectors. Hence the agencies should also understand the cross-sectoral skill matrix the company is looking for in a candidate.
Knowledge Of Analytics Ecosystem
Once you find a good match and approach a recruitment agency for its services, you should ensure that the company understands the breadth of the analytics and the data science ecosystem. If the professionals in the agency do not understand the difference between data science, machine learning, business intelligence, and statistics, they will not properly understand your requirements.
The recruitment agency should have a good idea, for instance, of what a data analyst’s job entails and how it is different from a machine learning developer. Asking them a few questions about their understanding of the topic will give you a better view.
After you have established the firm’s credibility in hiring analytics talent, you should move to the specifics. Every recruitment agency has a database of resumes. It is essential to understand their methodologies as to how they shortlist and select their analytics candidates. It is necessary to know which analytics professionals make their database, why and how they are filtered. You may want to see if they use an algorithm to screen candidates, or is the process manual, or to what extent is the process automated.
For a specific job in analytics, you may want to ask what parameters are used to separate one candidate from the another to give you an overall idea of whether the agency can fulfil your hiring needs. You could have pre-defined parameters in terms of qualifications and relevant experience to see if they are used by the recruitment agency when hiring talent.
“Some of the specific questions you could ask are the channels of sources that they follow, qualities they look for in a data scientist, target educational institutions, understanding of current pay structure, and their way of managing dropouts,” said Khushboo Gogoi.
Finally, negotiating the rate is another key point to consider, since analytics professionals are expensive hires. Usually, recruitment agencies take a cut off the recruit’s salary. Sometimes they charge a flat fee. At the end of the day, a company outsources hiring to an external agency to get the most bang for their buck. In the long run, the right talent will save the company money and resources. So it’s important to have a calculus to arrive at the right quote, lest you run the risk of high overhead costs.
It’s still early days for analytics, and people working in the field understand their requirements better than anyone else.
Thus, it is essential to define your needs at the start. Hiring talent on your own might be more beneficial. That said, if you are going to enlist a recruitment agency, make sure your needs are well defined and pick an agency that aligns best with your requirements.