About 18 months ago (in August 2013) we conducted a “flash survey” of our network of over 10,000 analytics professionals and data scientists to determine how often they were approached by recruiters on LinkedIn, and how often they responded to recruiters’ requests. The results, while interesting, also hinted at a larger problem within “Big Data recruiting”: skilled quantitative professionals are being haphazardly targeted by internal and external recruiters about jobs that are irrelevant to their skills and experience.

A few weeks ago, we conducted a follow-up survey to see how the demand for analytics professionals and data scientists has changed. Given that the fervor surrounding analytics and data science has only increased, we were interested to see how the increased attention was affecting your LinkedIn inboxes and what we call “recruiter fatigue”.


Question 1_Primary Results


As you can see, the desperation for quantitative talent has clearly affected how often they are besieged by recruiters, with 93% being contacted at least monthly (compared to 89%), and 8% being contacted several times a week (versus 4%). With this much activity, it’s no wonder the attrition rate for quantitative professionals (18.6% changed jobs last year) is nearly double what it is for the rest of the market. As I’ve emphasized before – recruiting and retaining Big Data talent requires a very different approach than it used to. The stigma on job hoppers isn’t what it used to be either, and so the average tenure is decreasing.

We also looked at how often the subset of data scientists are being contacted. As you can see (below) they are very in-demand, with 96% being contacted at least monthly and 31% being contacted several times per week – wow! I can’t imagine having to deal with that many messages, and what will these figures look like after another year of accelerating data science hype?


Question 1_DS Results


In looking at how often quantitative professionals respond to recruiters on LinkedIn, it’s clear that many are beginning to suffer from “recruiter fatigue” – the inevitable result of receiving email after email regarding irrelevant job opportunities.

Question 2_Primary Results


55% of quantitative professionals respond to recruiters half of the time or less (up from 46% in 2013), and 13% never respond (versus 7% in 2013). Although the percentage of Quants reporting that they always respond increased, I suspect that this is mostly due to (as many wrote to tell me) professional courtesy.

Looking at the responsiveness of data scientists, the numbers are even more dire: 65% of data scientists respond to recruiters half of the time or less, and 11% report that they never respond. Considering how often they are being bombarded with messages, these numbers are not entirely surprising.



Question 2_DS Results

As a recruiter, I keep close tabs on trends in the talent industry, including the latest buzz around LinkedIn. It may just be me, but the buzz as of late seems to be increasingly negative. As the platform becomes oversaturated (anyone remember Monster or CareerBuilder?), recruiters need to better target their searches and be certain that the candidates they’re approaching are actually a fit for the position. Instead (as these results show), I worry that many have adopted an overzealous, spamming approach.


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9 Responses to “Flash Survey Results: Big Data Professionals Contacted More than Ever Before”

  1. Randy Sherwood

    The LinkedIn messages don’t bother me–they can be ignored. The bigger issue is the relentlessness of some recruiters. I had one message me on LinkedIn Monday, then call my *work* number a half hour later and again the next day. As if calling me when I’m surrounded by my coworkers isn’t awkward. If you’re trying to poach someone, discretion is advised. Needless to say, that recruiter is looking elsewhere.

  2. Steve I

    You might want to consider a new category, “Several times a day”. I’ve started a separate email folder for “recruiters”. I just counted, and I have 22 emails for the past 10 days, 9 in the past 4 days. And I think the word “accelerating” is appropriate. Just when I think it’s slowed down, it inevitably picks ups even faster. It used to be flattering, but now it’s getting kind of obnoxious. Recruiters offering a “once in a lifetime opportunity” is quickly becoming the new boy who cried “wolf”. And please don’t think an average salary with a typical title and job responsibility is going to impress anyone. If it doesn’t wow me immediately in some way, all I have to do is wait 24 hours (or less) to hear from someone else.



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