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If You Want to Hire Data Scientists, Fix Your Hiring Process

October 20, 2014

Are you hiring the right data scientists for your team? Watch our presentation with the Co-Founder & COO at, Jonathan Beckhardt, or view the video below, to learn about how you can evaluate your hiring process, decide what type of data scientist is the best fit for your needs, and hire the right people for your team!Although many articles have been written lamenting the current talent shortage in analytics and data science, I still find that the majority of companies could improve their success by simply revamping their current hiring processes.


We’re all well aware that strong quantitative professionals are few and far between, so it’s in a company’s best interest to be doing everything in their power to land qualified candidates as soon as they find them. It’s a candidate’s market, with strong candidates going on and off the market lightning fast, yet many organizational processes are still slow and outdated. These sluggish procedures are not equipped to handle many candidates who are fielding multiple offers from other companies who are just as hungry (if not more so) for quantitative talent.Here are the key areas I would change to make hiring processes more competitive:

  1. Fix your salary bands – It (almost) goes without saying that if your salary offerings are outdated or aren’t competitive to the field, it will be difficult for you to get the attention of qualified candidates. For up-to-date compensation information on analytics, marketing research, and data science professionals, check out Burtch Works’ salary studies, which are all available for free and have served as a key resource for our clients.
  1. Consider one-time bonuses – Want to make your offer compelling but can’t change the salary? Sign-on bonuses and relocation packages are also frequently used, especially near the end of the year, when a candidate is potentially walking away from an earned bonus; a sign-on bonus can help seal the deal.
  1. Be open to other forms of compensation – There are plenty of non-monetary ways to entice Quants to your company. I wrote an article for Forbes which talked about what else motivates quantitative professionals, like having the latest tools, solving challenging problems, organization-wide buy-in for analytics and more. Other things to consider could be flexible work arrangements, remote options or other unique perks.
  1. Pick up the pace – Like I said before, talented analytics professionals are rare, and the chances that qualified candidates will be interviewing with multiple companies are very high. Don’t hesitate to make an offer if you find what you’re looking for – your competitors won’t.
  1. Court the candidate – Just as you want a candidate who stands out from the pack, a candidate wants a company that makes an effort to stand apart also. I once had a client from Chicago send an interviewing candidate and his family pizzas from a particularly tasty restaurant here in the city. I can’t say for sure that the pizza was what persuaded him to take the company’s offer, but a little old-fashioned wooing never hurts.
  1. Button up the process – Just as it helps to have an expedited process, it also works to your benefit is the process is as smooth and trouble-free as you can make it. This means hassle-free travel arrangements, on-time interviews, and quick feedback.

Imagine if you were a candidate interviewing with multiple companies, would you be more impressed by the company who did all of the things on this list, or the company who didn’t?

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