How to compete for top talent



 


Our latest salary and trends guide shows that many Data & Analytics skills are in high demand and continue to be scarce. So, how do you ensure you get the best candidates to join your organisation over the competition?
Unemployment is still relatively high in the UK, yet many great jobs are going unfilled. Most companies we are working with aren't complaining about the lack of applicants; they're often concerned about the quality, as often the best of the best are currently only on the job market for such a short time.

Real talent will be looking for a profitable company where they can build their careers and get paid market value. Other factors that influence individuals to accept a position in a company include; structuring a role to suit ‘me’, individual training, customised career paths, workforce flexibility in terms of hours, tailored benefits packages and performance related remuneration. So with those factors in mind, here are some suggestions to ensure you have the best possible chance to secure the best individuals for your Data & Analytics vacancies:



Make Their Career Aims Your Priority

Offer the Best of Both Worlds

Listen to Their Needs

Appeal to Their Lifestyle

Focus on Your Mission and Culture

Become a “destination employer”

Widen your Horizons



Make Their Career Aims Your Priority

Without big budgets or maybe a product or service that is not considered cutting edge or glamorous, it's tough to compete with big brands and exciting product ranges. But you can cut through a lot of that by placing a degree of emphasis on the work aims and ambitions of individuals.  Finding out what candidates want from their careers and trying to make that happen for them could be a really powerful tool for hiring and retaining top talent. And it doesn't cost you a penny.

Offer the Best of Both Worlds

Companies often don't take the time to understand why certain people choose to participate in a new or recently launched business over choosing to work for more established companies. These individuals want freedom and autonomy to create something and be in right at the start. So if you’re in the ‘established’ category, to compete for creative talent, you will need to take your core success and provide an environment that supports and rewards the freedom and innovation these individuals crave.

Listen to Their Needs

Treat talent acquisition just as you do client or customer acquisition. Know the type of individual you want to target, go find them, learn what they need, and meet those needs. Too often organisations recruit in safe mode with a “here we are and here's why you should join us” attitude. Dialogue is vitally important, so talk to key potential candidates as soon as you’ve identified them, listen to their needs and shape your offering accordingly.

Appeal to Their Lifestyle

In recent years, a very high percentage of employees reports their workloads have grown, as budgets are cut and staff headcount is frozen or reduced.  So many individuals are increasingly becoming discontented and disengaged. Long working hours are a given in the UK now, so how do you combat that? Create attractive compensation packages and offer lifestyle benefits like flexi-time, for example as even the most driven employees need to enjoy life outside of work.

 

Focus on Your Mission and Culture

Despite the supposed talent shortage, fast growing companies can absolutely recruit the best workers. Focus on your mission and culture as increasingly, individuals are more concerned with these than with anything else. You may not be able to match the salaries that large corporates can pay, but you can absolutely have an inspiring, world-changing mission and an open, transparent, fun culture that attracts the best and brightest. 

Become a “destination employer”

If a limited budget is a factor in your recruitment campaign, consider developing a brand with a reputation for helping employees build a long-term career. A decade ago, employers could fill jobs by promising a high salary, today, companies can't necessarily up the ante with their pay levels—but that's actually good news because today's employee wants more than just money. So build on this desire and create a reputation that your company offers a good opportunity to develop a career, not just a steppingstone onto more senior level roles. That does mean offering on-going training and career development, innovative compensation and benefits plans, coaching and mentoring, and other ways beyond salary to show employees that they're valued.

As organizations have become leaner, they've cut out a lot of steps in the career ladder, and it's harder to learn from someone with more experience when they aren't there to learn from. So you have to create a framework where people are going to get the opportunities they need.

Widen your Horizons

Finally, don't overlook people who have taken time away from the workforce, whether to raise a family, earn a degree or dabble in entrepreneurship, for example. These candidates are likely to be open to new opportunities—and if they're at a later stage in their career, they may also see it as a last chance to consolidate a reputation as coach and mentor.

In summary, high calibre talent is almost always employed or not available for long when they do look for new opportunities. So to recruit them, you may well need to change your recruitment strategy and introduce a more creative element to your candidate attraction to suit this emerging employment situation.




<< By Kat Heague >>

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With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.

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3 questions to ask yourself before your next BI hire

Data & Analytics are a vital part of every organisation nowadays, so it is not surprising that the importance of Business Intelligence keeps growing. With increasing demands from executive management, operations, and sales, a stronger and better BI team is essential.  The responsibilities of the BI team include but are not limited to: performing Data validation and Data Analysis, delivering KPI related reports and dashboards, and working with end users to define business requirements and needs. However, as every company is different, every BI department is different as well. This means that from one BI team to another, the needed skills can vary completely. To get the most out of your team, it is important to have a clear understanding of what skills you already have, which skills you need to add with your next hire, and whether this is realistic for your business.  Here are three important questions to ask yourself before your next BI hire:  1) What does your team look like at this moment? To be successful in expanding your team, it is vital to take a closer look at the type of profiles and skillsets you already have. This is a good time to map out where the skills are in your team and see what is lacking, or what can be improved. To do so, you should consider three key elements: how (much) Data is used and made available, how this Data is structured and what is being done with this Data. The following three questions are important here:  Do you get the right Data out of your Datawarehouse/Data Lake? How is the Data structured now, and do you get the reports and dashboards needed?  Are you able to provide stakeholders with the right insights? These questions can function as starting point of deciding what skills you have now, and which areas to focus on with your next BI hire to fill in gaps or improve the areas where needed. 2) What does your Data Roadmap look like?  It is important to have a clear vision of where you want to go with your BI team and how to leverage your Data. At the highest level, your vision will be determined in a Data Strategy. On a more practical, day-to-day level, the steps to take are outlined in a Data Roadmap, with every part of the process requiring a different skillset. 
 What we often see is that companies who are at the start of their Data Roadmap, first hire a Data Analyst. Typically, a Data Analyst knows how to work with the Data and has a strong business sense but is not a specialist in either field. On the other hand, when the Data infrastructure has been set up, the need is higher for someone who can make sense of the Data and present this in reports and dashboards.  Two key points to consider: What is the next step in your Data Roadmap?  What type of skillset is needed to get to that next step? For example, this can be technical skills such as building Data Pipelines or stronger analytical skills to get insights from the Data.  By having a clear understanding what phase of your Data roadmap is next, it will be easier to hire the next member of your team. 3) What is realistic for your business? While you may know what type of profile(s) to hire next, it is important to determine whether this is feasible. The following factors are important to consider: As with every field of expertise, the salary ranges depend on which type of profile you are looking to hire. It is vital here to ask yourself where to invest your money best. For example, it is great to have an Insights Analyst in the team, but is this type of profile the main priority? You might want to first hire a Data Analyst to structure the Data and build useful reports. The candidate market within Data & Analytics is tight, so think about what you can give them in return to attract the best talent. A training program for personal development and the possibility to work flexible hours are two selling points that make your company stand out from the rest.  Location is key for many candidates. Businesses in larger cities are more popular with strong candidates in comparison to more remote businesses.  It is clear, therefore, that multiple factors are involved in determining what your next BI hire should be in terms of skillset and profile.  If you are looking to expand your BI function but not sure where to start, get in touch and I can advise you on the best next steps.  

Thank You, Next: How Machine Learning Is Revolutionising The Way We Make Music

From Vinyl to Tidal; we all know that the way we consume music has changed. Technological advances have made Steve Job’s claim that he would put “1,000 songs in our pockets” seem antiquated, whilst Spotify’s algorithms serve us tracks that we’ll love before we’ve discovered them ourselves.  But can the technologies that have brought us these advancements change the way we make music? Whether it’s leading to new instruments or creating a song without our input, Artificial Intelligence is a game changer.  Make Some Noise Until recently, the best way to imitate a sound was by experimenting with the different settings on a keyboard. However, this is no longer the case, thanks to Google’s research arm Magenta. They’ve created the NSynth Super, an instrument that generates sounds based upon Deep Neural Network techniques.  These algorithms allow the NSynth to not only imitate a sound, but consistently learn more and more about the specificities of that pitch, creating something closer to reality. Users can then combine those individual sounds to create something unique and entirely original. This is potentially just the beginning of a new wave of music, and in a decade’s time the NSynth could end up having as big an impact as autotune.  Talking About AI Generation Whilst we’re still waiting to see the impact of instruments akin to the NSynth, machine-led compositions are becoming more and more commonplace. Using a Recurrent Neural Network (RNN), one can feed a model existing music and ask it to generate something new. By learning the patterns and rhythms of notes from a variety of compositions, the model should be able to output an original and melodical sequence. Although these may not be the most amazing tracks in the world, they do serve a purpose. Music production platform Jukedeck allows users to input their requirements for a piece of music (genre, temp, mood, length, instruments etc.) that can then be automatically generated using AI. Obviously these aren’t designed to be chart hits, but production music that can be purchased cost-efficiently for YouTubers, Short Films and other backing-tracks.   Despite the fact that this remains the most common use of AI in music, some artists are looking to push this even further. Musician Taryn Southern, for example, has created an EP based purely on AI compositions generated using Amper Score. The platform generated a beat, melody and basic structure before Southern then rearranged and added lyrics too. Could this form of collaboration become the future of mainstream music? Rage Against the Machine Learning As with any change, AI’s interruption of the music industry is not without controversy, and there are those who believe that the human contribution is what makes music what it is.  Indeed, there are still several limitations to what AI can achieve creatively. Despite a neural network’s success with creating original compositions, another’s ability to write lyrics was somewhat lacklustre. Despite being trained on a combination of lyrics (for structure), and literature (for vocabulary), its output was largely nonsense and included lines such as “I got monk that wear you good”.   Perhaps, like Southern’s compositions, AI is best used as an accompanying tool. London-based start-up AI Music offer technology that ‘shape-shifts’ songs to adapt to the context in which they’re played. This could be anything from tempo changes to match a listener’s speed to remastering tracks to appeal to different moods and situations. IBM’s Watson Beat, on the other hand, creates compositions that naturally fit to the visuals of a video. In this context, as within many other industries, AI looks set to support our existing skillsets rather than replace jobs.  Whether you’re looking to create collaborative technologies or revolutionise an industry, we may have a role for you. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our specialist consultants to find out more.

Why Should Data Professionals Move To The Netherlands?

You might only know the Netherlands for its windmills, amazing cheese and coffee shops, but there is so much more than meets the eye.  It might be a small country, but the Netherlands is a booming tech hub. As more and more world leading companies move their headquarters to Amsterdam, and innovative start-ups settle in, it’s the perfect time to get in on the action. Here’s why the Netherlands could be right for you.  You’re welcome in the Netherlands  The Netherlands is a small country and, thus, a very close community. But we’re very used to people  from abroad and so we have a very inclusive approach to them, especially when it comes to our national celebrations. Take King’s Day at the end of April, where the entire country celebrates the birthday of the King in all orange style. It’s my favourite day of the year and there is plenty to get involved with around the city.  Another great thing about moving to the Netherlands is that it is not necessary to learn Dutch to feel included. English is spoken throughout the country, and every day I speak to many non-Dutch candidates. In fact, I think 80 percent of the candidates I have worked with weren’t born in the Netherlands, and there is a big community of expats; perfect for someone moving from abroad to settle in.  You’ll have a great work-life balance  If you’re looking for an awesome work-life balance, then the Netherlands is the best country in Europe. It has some of the shortest working hours on the continent, an informal culture and a huge emphasis on life outside of the office. Part-time employment is common and our flexible freelance culture sees many entrepreneurs working from their local café instead of being stuck in an office. Dutch people value home time as much as work time and, typically, both parents tend to spend a lot of time with their kids.  Our culture is very ‘gezellig’, if you know what I mean. No? Well, Gezellig is my favourite Dutch word and, when I am back home, I use it all the time. There is no direct translation for it, but it’s the best way to describe the Dutch lifestyle. Meaning cosy friendliness (similar to hygge in Danish), gezellig is one of the loveliest things about life in Holland. From the snug tiny brown cafés and super modern bistros, to spending time at home with your loved ones - being gezellig is central to Dutch life.  Also, let’s not forget that the Netherlands is the country with the best biking infrastructure in the world. In fact, we have more bikes than people! No matter what the weather conditions are, Dutch people cycle everywhere.  You’ll have the chance to work for amazing companies  Although the Netherlands did not manage to qualify for the football World Cup last year, the Dutch are clearly becoming one of the finest players in Europe’s technology industry. I have seen a lot of tech companies begin to move over, with some even relocating their headquarters, such as Booking.com and Sony. The technology-driven city that Amsterdam has become has made it a popular area for start-ups as well, with so much good tech talent making it even more attractive for companies to settle there.  You’ll be earning good money  The Netherlands is one of the most developed countries in the world and the Dutch government offer a great amount of support to those moving there to work. To attract highly skilled migrants, expats can apply for a 30 percent tax break scheme: an amazing benefit! The government also helps small businesses grow by offering tax breaks. The Dutch property market is a complex one but, like any other big city, location is everything. Cities like London or Oslo are a lot more expensive to live in than Amsterdam, where there are loads of up and coming neighbourhoods. These hubs are where you’ll find tech start-ups locating their businesses and are fun, modern, and affordable places to live. The Netherlands has quickly become the place to live and work for people in the Data & Analytics market. Amsterdam, with its amazing variety of tech companies, in particular, is booming. And, with an excess of ‘gezelligheid’, great tax breaks, and a wonderful work-life balance, it could well be the perfect place for your next step.  Want to become part of it? We are recruiting for various Data & Analytics roles in the Netherlands. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with me to find out more. 

Diversity in Data & Analytics: Harnham's 2019 Report

We're pleased to announce the launch of our 2019 Diversity in Data & Analytics report.  Using feedback from over 1,600 respondents, the report features commentary on how different ages, ethnicities and minorities are represented within the industry. You can download your copy here. Kat Heague, one of our Partners, comments: “The business case for a diverse workforce is clear - research has continuously proven that diverse teams yield better results A diverse workforce creates a more holistic business; one filled with more innovative products and services, in addition to creating a more stimulating, enjoyable and challenging environment for individuals to thrive in. In order to remain competitive in attracting and retaining the best skills in the market, businesses must explore ways to accommodate and support a diverse range of talent.” If you have any thoughts on our findings, or ideas for what you'd like to see in the future, please contact us at feedback@harnham.com.

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