Data Intelligence, Business Analytics
Recruiters consistently complain about the lack of great analytic talent. In this post, we explore causes and remedies.
There is a fourth remedy: Fire the recruiters.
I was recently looking for work after leaving an employer that dissolved its centralized database analytics team, preferring to use traditional market research for corporate-wide KPIs, with the various lines of business outsourcing their analytics to the agencies providing the strategies being measured (think conflict of interest).
With some notable exceptions, the recruiters were incompetent, rude, or unethical. Most didn't know understand the role descriptions, lied about the roles (e.g., one role maxed out at $60k, not the $120k he claimed), were non-responsive, copied my LinkedIn profile and put me up for roles without ever talking to me, or claimed I was unqualified because I was allegedly paid less than my male co-workers.
And of course there are the recruiters who want nothing to do with unemployed analytics professionals.
I don't respond to recruiters who call or e-mail anymore, unless they are one of the few who genuinely maintained a relationship with me over the years and did try to help me my find an appropriate role when I needed one. Now I help them, forwarding opportunities to the appropriate people qualified for those opportunities. The stark reality is that most of us now hear about opportunities through our professional networks, which rarely include the recruiters famously spamming every job board and open LinkedIn group.
If companies want talent then the hiring managers will have to get out of their corner offices and start networking with the talent where the talent is - conferences, certain LinkedIn groups, AnalyticBridge, and Twitter.
I'm in a similar position. I'm at uni doing a (somewhat) quantitative degree and seeking experience in some sort of analytics role to see if I want to move further in that direction. However when I applied for an incredibly basic and simple statistics focussed role, I was told that I didn't have enough experience.
It only would have taken me about one day to learn their processes inside and out, but they weren't prepared to take on someone who didn't know exactly what to do from the start in that role. If companies won't be prepared to take a chance with someone who has related but not identical skills, then no one's ever going to get the experience they need to become good analytics professionals.
The complaint about lack of talent is ridiculous. Dozens of experienced candidates with proven success stories and lower salary requirements [than MIT or Stanford graduates] compete for each opening. You can check these stats yourself when you apply for such jobs via LinkedIn. Time permitting, I'll produce stats to prove my point. Indeed, we also get dozens of great candidates ourselves when we advertise an internal position. Some data science positions have 100+ applicants.
My comment is posted in response to the Wall Street Journal Revenge of the Nerds: Tech Firms Scour College Campuses for Talent.