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Why you’re missing out on Data Top Talent

On a daily basis, I speak with leadership figures from the world of Data. From some of the biggest global brands, to the most cutting-edge start-up organisations and everything in between. Every one of them profess that ‘people’ are the organisations biggest asset and differentiator and every one of them also state that it’s getting harder and harder to identify and secure top talent. From this I have come up with some reasons why you could be missing out on some data top talent.

In the world of Data Science, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, there has been an almighty rush to hire the top talent in those respected fields and everything surrounding them which make them function better.

If you hire Data Analysts, Data Engineers, Data Scientists, Data Architects, AI Engineers, ML Engineers etc, then you’ll find that the ‘good’ candidates will have 3-5 offers when they begin exploring what is out there as ‘the North’ is starved of talent – there simply isn’t enough of it here.

Every organisation is fishing in (for the most part) the same arena, all professing to have the best brand, opportunity, team, culture, projects, benefits etc.

Candidate Experience

There has been more and more noise made about ‘candidate experience’ over recent years.

However, according to most candidates across the data landscape, one of the main reasons they chose one company over the other is the process; the length of the process, the speed of getting through that process,  the layers of the process etc – a large part of the candidate experience.

What we have found is that the organisations that are managing to attract the best talent have a couple of common traits. Yes, of course, they are great businesses; clear vision, great projects, genuinely data driven where these data professionals can see the impact of their work, but they also are the companies that are agile and adaptive in their recruitment process.

As you’d probably imagine, organisations that have rigid, drawn out processes that span 3-4 stages and 8-12 weeks typically aren’t at the forefront of attracting top talent, often purely down to the timescales of getting through that process. If a company’s recruitment process is rigid and lengthy it’s likely that their internal day to day processes are rigid and lengthy. Unfair? Well that’s what these candidates think.

This doesn’t mean that top talent jumps at the first thing they receive or aren’t willing to wait for something they truly believe in. However, the battle for top talent is tight and actions speak louder than words. A business that goes out of its way to make “its process” more efficient to be more competitive, naturally makes the candidate feel wanted and valued – feelings that every prospective new employee wants to feel when looking for a new company to join.

Don’t misunderstand me, these candidates aren’t expecting organisations to make any uninformed, rash or rushed decisions. But, if a business is serious about hiring top talent, then they need to be aware that they are competing with organisations that are turning 2-3 stage processes around in 2 weeks and some are wrapping all 2-3 stages into 1 day to put themselves in more favourable positions to acquire the very best talent.

Worse Still…

These candidates are sought after and often very well connected and networked. They have colleagues, friends and acquaintances in the industry who often ask for advice when they themselves start to consider their options. If these people have had a poor experience with extremely long processes, lengthy periods waiting for feedback, sometimes not getting any, then they are very likely to advise these people to steer clear of those organisations.

If you are nodding along in agreement about the struggle to hire, your “process” could be the reason why you are missing out on top talent, not only right now, but also in the future as the candidate experience is often below par.

We can’t be all things to all people and there physically aren’t enough candidates for us to be able to work with everybody. Therefore, we have started to be a lot more selective in who we partner with and create an exclusive, engaged partnership where we create a customised “process” which is much more effective. In return, these businesses receive much more from us, and often talk to candidates on a priority basis.

To summarise, if you are losing out on top talent and/or are struggling to fill roles in the data landscape, then have a look at your process.

Also, I am always happy to advise and share experiences of how best to design a process specifically for these type of roles, just get in touch!