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How do you separate one candidate from another in interview?
As a recruitment company we are regularly called upon to give advice to our candidates on improvements to CVs and tips on what to expect in interviews. We always tailor this to both the individual and the type and level of role for which they are applying. However, each person you meet in interview will bring something different to the table and you need to make sure you are getting the best out of them during this meeting and find ways to get a true picture of their suitability for your vacancy.
So assuming your shortlist looks great on paper, how do you separate your candidates one from another in interview? Within the relatively short time that any face-to-face interview is held for each candidate, does your interview format include elements that can really get a true picture of how well that person would fit within your organisation and deliver what is required? Consider if your interview style will ensure you gain an understanding of how well they react in ‘real life’ work situations.
Competency based interviews, or something else?
We all know that competency based interviews are a given aspect of most recruitment activity these days – and very valuable this style of measurement is too. But, while it does give an indication of how well individuals could do by the examples they provide, is it really enough to ensure you really do get the right person for your role? For those who prepare well before their interview, their examples of past work experiences can be well rehearsed but, when push comes to shove, how would they react in the present?
Heineken’s advert, The Candidate launched in Spring 2013 (See video above) is a great, if extreme, example of testing candidates in the interview scenario to discover elements of the real person. They were looking for an intern and had over 1700 applicants, most of whom seemed to offer the same stock answers to their questions.
While this was a marketing campaign, it does support the point that, sometimes, embracing new ways of drilling down to find out how individuals react in situations can be a valuable aspect of your recruiting process. Introducing elements that are unplanned, with definitely no preparation involved from the individuals, can really show how your shortlist of ‘suitable’ candidates will react in a given scenario. It is a very powerful way of discovering more about them and how they react under pressure. While we are not for one moment suggesting you should go to the level depicted in the Heineken campaign, you could consider introducing some pared down elements to test your applicants in situations relevant to your business.
You need to prepare as much as the interviewee
Within Data & Analytics problem solving will be a key aspect of any level role. So instead of just asking them for an example regarding how they have solved a problem in the past, why not introduce a specific situation into the interview and ask them to provide a solution there and then? Alternatively create a scenario where they need to show an aptitude which is a prerequisite for the role and see how they react. Incorporating this may be a challenge to set up but will definitely give you a much greater insight into how individuals react when a quick decision or specific result is required.
Likewise, if you require your new employee to have certain rare skills or talents, then get them to show you those skills and prove they actually do have the experience needed to be successful in the role. This was definitely the focus of the Heineken advert – a classic case of "don’t tell me, show me". Incorporating this into your interview process will guarantee you quickly get a much deeper understanding of the individual’s capabilities with regards to specific skills or traits you need them to have.
These suggestions should obviously be well thought out ensuring you do introduce an element or two that successfully provides you with the additional insight you are after. Catching someone off guard is absolutely fine, making them feel uncomfortable, threatened or vulnerable however is definitely something to avoid. So throw in some new elements and you can be guaranteed of a much more rounded impression of the individuals you choose to interview. This ultimately should aid the decision process when choosing your new employee.
With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.
Visit our Blogs & News portal or check out our recent posts below.
This is Harnham’s weekly news digest, the place to come for a quick breakdown of the week’s top news stories from the world of Data & Analytics. Analytics Insight: Top 10 analytics and business intelligence buzzwords in 2021 If you are a fan of both buzzwords and analytics, then look no further, this article from Analytics Insight is for you! The team at the global publication identify and explore the top buzzwords that are being used to define business intelligence and analytics techniques across the industry in 2021. A few of these include: Predictive AnalyticsEmbedded AnalyticsCognitive ComputingData ScienceX Analytics Ultimately, there are a whole host of buzzwords and key terms being used in Data & Analytics at the moment, but professionals should keep up to date with the core (and most influential) technologies and insights in their area of expertise. Find out more about the top 10 buzzwords and view their definitions here. Forbes: Diversity is what you see, Inclusion is what you do Writing for Forbes, Paolo Gaudiano discusses how to really examine the values and culture of an organisation: you need to change the way in which you think about – or approach – understanding the unique contributions of your team. “Being forced to think about recreating an organization from the inside out, i.e., by actually thinking from the point of view of the individual employees and their experiences, helped us to clarify how we can think about—and define—diversity and inclusion.” It is in considering diversity and inclusion in two separate approaches, that an organisation can truly make this a core area of focus. Afterall, Gaudiano highlights that, “Diversity is a measure of how an individual’s personal characteristics differ from those of the normative majority of an organisation; inclusion is the act of ensuring that people’s experiences within an organisation are not impacted negatively as a result of their personal characteristics.” We need to provide more support, education and tools to ensure that our companies can sustain a growing level of diversity, and to enjoy an inclusive environment. Read more on this here. Computer Weekly: It’s now or never for UK fintech, government told The contributors at Computer Weekly have this week reported on how a Treasury-commissioned review of the UK’s future in financial technology (fintech) has told the government that it must urgently introduce effective policies in five key areas if the fintech industry is to continue to thrive. Policy & Regulation To include creating a new regulatory framework for emerging technology.Skills To include retraining and upskilling adults in support of UK fintech.Investment To include introducing a global family of fintech indices.International To include driving international collaboration and delivering an international action plan for fintech.National Connectivity To include accelerating the development and growth of fintech clusters. The review was comprehensive and provides a startling call to action for senior government officials. Read more on the future growth of the UK’s fintech sector here. AdAge: First-party data strategies for advertisers and publishers in the age of privacy Can brands partnering with publishers discover better Consumer Insights? That’s the question that this insight from AdAge explores, as brands consider shifting their marketing strategies to align with privacy regulations (and maintain or regain consumer trust). Some of the ways brands are responding are by looking at: First-party Data Strategies Marketers need to pinpoint the right customers to target for different messages. One way to do this is by partnering with publishers and other companies that can offer granular consumer insights built from first-party data in a privacy-safe way.Direct Relationships With Publishers By creating ties with publishers, through trusted networks or direct relationships, brands will be operating in a premium environment, thanks to the data and insights the publishers can provide.Creating A New Digital World Marketing’s priorities now need to shift to first-party data strategies and building trusted networks of first-party data owners. This gives brands an opportunity to not only gain more control over their advertising but also to rebuild consumer trust in advertising. To find out more about how brands and marketers are working together in a digital world, take a look at the article in full here. We've loved seeing all the news from Data & Analytics in the past week, it’s a market full of exciting and dynamic opportunities. To learn more about our work in this space, get in touch with us at email@example.com.
05. March 2021
This is Harnham’s weekly news digest, the place to come for a quick breakdown of the week’s top news stories from the world of Data & Analytics. Search Engine Journal: 4 ways call tracking is changing (and why it’s a good thing) Call tracking is no longer about a customer seeing an ad, calling up the company, telling them how much they loved the ad and then deciding to purchase goods. This is a positive thing really because it wasn’t the most effective way for businesses to track how well adverts were doing anyway - who really remembers where they saw a billboard that took their interest, or what time of day an advert popped up on the TV? As call tracking technology becomes more advanced, call analytics have become much more accessible for all. Not only have they been able to transform how businesses of all shape and size advertise and track their success, but also how they market to potential audiences and track their sentiment. This article from Search Engine Journal looks at the evolution of call tracking and call analytics from its most basic form, how it works now and what the future of this crucial set of analytics will look like in the future. Read more on this here. Towards Data Science: Data Science Year Zero Skills or qualifications in Data Science are becoming incredibly sought after by many employers, but the knowledge of how to break into the sector is still a little unclear for potential candidates. In this article by Towards Data Science, they break down the crucial elements of how to successfully enter the industry in four easy steps. What the author, Bala Vishal, lacked when he started and how you can set off on a better footing.The most important skills and tools to have under your belt.Which skills should you home in on first.How to thrive in the workplace. This incredibly insightful piece should be a ‘must-read’ for any budding Data Scientist looking to break into Data in 2021 and beyond. Read more here. KD Nuggets: 10 Statistical Concepts You Should Know for Data Science Interviews This article is perfect for anyone in the Data Science industry. Whether you’re new to the game or looking to take the next step on the career ladder, make sure you brush up on these crucial statistical concepts you should know inside out before entering interview. A few, in no order, include: Z tests vs T tests An invaluable piece of knowledge that will be used daily if you are involved in any statistical work.Sampling techniques Make sure you’ve got the main five solidified in your knowledge bank - Simple Random, Systematic, Convenience, Cluster, and Stratified sampling.Bayes Theorem/Conditional Probability One of the most popular machine learning algorithms, a must-know in this new era of technology. Want to know about the other seven? Read more here. Forbes: 48 per cent of Sales Leaders Say Their CRM System Doesn’t Meet Their Needs. The Good News Is That This Is Fixable. This article by Gene Marks explores why teams aren’t happy with their current CRM systems, and how this can be remedied. New research from SugarCRM found: 52 per cent of sales leaders reported that their CRM platform is costing potential revenue opportunities.50 per cent of the companies said they cannot access customer data across marketing, sales and service systems.Nearly one-third complained that their customer data is incomplete, out of date, or inaccurate. While damning statistics, Marks then goes into how this worrying situation can be fixed for good. He says: “Like just about all problems in business, this problem comes down to two factors: time and money. The blunt fact is that most companies are not willing to spend the necessary time or money needed to enable their CRM systems to truly do what they’re designed to do. CRM systems are not just for sales teams. And they're not just for service teams. For a CRM system to be effective, a company must adapt it as its main, collaborative platform.” Read more on this here. We've loved seeing all the news from Data and Analytics in the past week, it’s a market full of exciting and dynamic opportunities. To learn more about our work in this space, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
26. February 2021
This is Harnham’s weekly news digest, the place to come for a quick breakdown of the week’s top news stories from the world of Data & Analytics. KDnuggets: 10 resources for data science self-study If you are interested in getting into data science, there are two basic pathways that you can opt for. There’s the traditional college degree route or the self-study option, the latter of which is growing in popularity among aspiring data scientists. This informative article from KDnuggets provides some insightful tips for data science self-study, grouped into three main categories: Resources for building fundamental knowledge; resources for data science practice; and resources for networking and continuous studies. Resources for building fundamental knowledge:Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)Learning from a TextbookYouTubeKhan AcademyResources for Data Science practice:KaggleInternshipsResources for networking and continuous studies:MediumLinkedInKDnuggetsGitHub Find out more here. Analytics India Magazine: How machine learning streamlines risk management Abhaya K Srivastava, SVP at Northern Trust Corporation, recently spoke at the Machine Learning Developers Summit 2021. Srivastava delved into how different sectors including financial, healthcare and retail are making use of emerging technologies like AI and Machine Learning. One of the main takeaways from the speaker session was discussions around how Machine Learning can support how organisations streamline their Risk Management. Srivastava stated, “It is essential for us to establish the rigorous governance processes and policies that can quickly identify when the model begins to fail.” He continued, “The terms of AI are not new, but businesses and organisations have started using these technologies in a different way. We have noticed the influence of machine learning in business applications, ML is playing an important role in Risk Management and there has been a constant focus on how risks are being detected, reported, managed.” There are a range of different machine learning techniques that can be applied to support risk management. It is the role of organisations, and their partners to discover how these processes can be applied. Read more on this here. Information Week: 3 Ways to Empower Female Software Engineers on Your Team We think this is a great article from Information Week that acknowledges the importance of establishing greater diversity and inclusion within software engineering, in particular to empower women in the industry. The article focuses on three areas: Create an inclusive team:Building an inclusive team is a strategic process and should include making sure everyone has a voice and that the workplace is a safe place to take risks.Provide a support system:Support establishes trust and shows a commitment to the well-being of your people. When leaders support their employees, it can significantly affect job satisfaction and performance.Enable women to inspire othersThe first thing to do is make sure the women in your organisation have a seat at the table; they should have a say in the decision-making process. Even if you have a good understanding of these, it’s important to keep educating yourself and the wider team in order to implements processes and strategies that make for a truly inclusive team. Read more on this here. TechRepublic: 8 must-read leadership books recommended by tech titans and innovators Are you looking for your next read to help you elevate your visibility and skill as a leader in the tech industry? Look no further, as TechRepublic have put together a list of leadership books recommended by notable leaders from within the industry. Here are a few: The Ride of a Lifetime (Robert Iger) - Recommended by Bill GatesDrop the Ball (Tiffany Dufu) - Recommended by Sheryl SandbergMindset (Dr Carol S. Dweck) - Recommended by Satya NadellsTrailblazer (Marc Benioff) - Recommended by Susan Wojcicki It’s valuable to have insight from leaders that are already leading the way for tech innovation in their field, inspiring and supporting future leaders to achieve great things too. Click here to read the full list of recommended leadership books from Bill Gates, Satya Nadella, Sheryl Sandberg, Tim Cook, and other notable industry leaders. We've loved seeing all the news from Data & Analytics in the past week, it’s a market full of exciting and dynamic opportunities. To learn more about our work in this space, get in touch with us at email@example.com.
19. February 2021
This is Harnham’s weekly news digest, the place to come for a quick breakdown of the week’s top news stories from the world of data and analytics. The FinTech Times: Google Cloud Partners with Twitter to Improve Data Insights and Analytics At the end of this week, we learned that Google Cloud has announced a new partnership with Twitter. From now on, Twitter plans to move its offline analytics, data processing and machine learning workloads onto Google’s Data Cloud. For Twitter to be able to process and create correct algorithms based on users’ likes, retweets and comments, a huge amount of data needs to be stored; we’re talking hundreds of petabytes of data and trillions of events. By partnering with Google, Twitter’s machine learning processes and data-informed decisions will not only be much faster and more efficient, it will also allow the company to create much deeper machine learning innovation. Read the full article here. Think with Google: Top five Lunar New Year observations from the past five years As we geared up for this year’s Lunar New Year, Think with Google used Google Trends Data to explore what piqued our interest before the big celebration last year. The top five findings were: Singaporeans love Lunar New Year – Singapore’s searches around the Lunar New Year are the highest in the world!Promotions, not sales, please – In Singapore, interest in Chinese New Year retail promotions isn’t just restricted to the festive period — it happens all year long.Tasty trends – Yusheng is the top food of choice at the time of the Lunar New Year in Singapore. Feng Shui is important in Vietnam at this time, they’re more likely to be banking on higher powers for the Lunar New Year. It starts a lot earlier than we might think – searches of Lunar New Year begin at least 8-10 weeks before the big event! Read the full article here. Analytics Insight: Artificial intelligence redefining and innovating the textile industry AI is becoming a key part of most industries, and the textiles sector is no different. Automation and AI is being used not only for product creation and transformation, but across manufacturing processes and customer service, too. Statista has reported that the textiles industry is set to grow from a value of $1.5 trillion currently to $2.25 trillion in 2025. This rapid increase in demand for textiles will undoubtedly mean the need for increased labour within the industry but, to ensure companies remain profitable, automation and robotics are most likely going to be put in place to reduce workforce costs. In this insightful article from Analytics Insight, we learn exactly how the adoption of AI in the industry is helping strengthen and innovate service offerings. From pattern inspection to pattern making, merchandising and smart apparel, this technology is redefining the industry for good. Read the full article here. Techiexpert: Software engineering trends to look for in 2021 As the capabilities of technology reach further than ever before and businesses invest heavily in software engineering to rapidly accelerate productivity, there’s no doubt that the sector has a lot to look forward to this year. Techiexpert explores eight key trends we should expect to see from software engineering in 2021. From more businesses embracing the abilities of cloud computing to the domination of Python, the full throttle of the Internet of Things and the further growth of blockchain, the landscape is set to continue evolving and continue adding huge value to all businesses. Read the full list of trends for the industry here. We've loved seeing all the news from Data and Analytics in the past week, it’s a market full of exciting and dynamic opportunities. To learn more about our work in this space, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
12. February 2021