The French data and analytics market: a healthy tension in tech

Despite a decline in activity in 2020, the data and analytics market remains less impacted by the Covid-19 crisis than other sectors.

Indeed, some areas of tech, such as cloud, digital marketing, marketing, and insights data analysis have even managed to maintain growth. As we approach 2022, businesses are particularly focused on talent acquisition, and in a candidate-driven market, there is healthy tension in the data and analytics recruitment market.

Covid-19, a catalyst for growth in e-commerce

For retail businesses operating in e-commerce, the pandemic has been the catalyst for huge growth, explains Sorcha Bray, from Harnham’s French office. This has driven both the need for those companies with already established e-commerce functions to ramp up their capabilities and those new to e-commerce to digitise quickly.

In response to the effect Covid-19 had on consumer behaviour, it became necessary for most e-commerce businesses to find simple and effective solutions to either launch or transform their activity. Overall, the pandemic has sped up digital transformation in retail by several years.

In response, companies are putting enormous effort into data and analytics recruitment. Indeed, 88 per cent of French businesses have been engaged in recruiting talent during 2021. This is putting pressure on the market and there are currently more jobs than candidates. Added to this, new roles are emerging, so it is proving difficult to find candidates with the ideal profile.

Hiring managers are searching for a new hybrid talent

Business leaders and hiring managers are actively seeking web analysts, tracking managers, and digital analysts. A web analyst’s job involves making websites more efficient in terms of traffic and setting up measurement tools to track site visits, click rates, and the visitor journey.

From these insights and subsequent diagnostics, the web analyst recommends website updates for improved UX. We are also experiencing demand for Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) experts, who through a methodical approach aim to increase the percentage of website visitors that take a specific action allowing businesses to generate more sales leads without the need to invest in generating more website traffic.

As identified by my colleagues in both Germany and The Nordics, there is also a demand for talent to fill an evolving hybrid role that sits between data analytics and other business functions. Businesses are looking for candidates with a solid business background that can navigate that path between data insights and wider business ambitions. The ideal candidate will be able to speak the right language and tell the right stories to help galvanise the different business functions and help turn data insights into measurable business growth.

There is a real demand for all of these talents right now, and businesses are actively seeking candidates who are available straight away. With demand outstripping supply, candidates are able to take their time in choosing their next move, dictating the pace of market movement.

A speedier hiring process could help businesses secure the best talent

As well as offering flexible working, businesses that are able to speed up their hiring process are likely to find themselves more attractive to candidates.

While salary will always be a motivator, entry and junior-level candidates are interested in training and development. Alongside this, career development should continue to be on the company agenda to mitigate attrition and help junior tech talent see a path within their current company.

Senior roles are seeing an uplift in demand

From the candidate perspective, senior roles, where candidates are looking to move from ‘good’ to ‘better’ roles in support of career progression are in demand. We are also experiencing an uplift in candidates seeking roles that are not predominantly tech-focused, for example, roles that combine data analytics and digital marketing or social media.

Is remote working here to stay?

In France, remote working is here to stay, and more companies are rethinking their flexible working policies, only asking employees to be on-site a couple of days a week.

But this does depend on the candidate and individual working styles are being taken into consideration during the hiring process in order to secure the right candidate. This also enables hiring managers to cast the net further and consider talent outside of the local area, helping to alleviate tension in the market.

Advice for businesses looking for data and analytics talent for 2022

Adapt your hiring process to maintain a competitive advantage. In a candidate-driven market with a choice of roles, those companies with a streamlined process are better able to secure the best talent right now. Once candidates have made a decision to move, they are looking to do so quickly, so businesses should take advantage of this candidate mindset.

Accept that as roles are evolving and the list of candidate skills required to fill these roles becomes longer, clients should accept that they might only receive a smaller number of better-quality candidates from which to take through the recruitment process. Act quickly and aim to complete the interview process within five working days (good candidates are in demand and may have five other processes running simultaneously).

Be open-minded and don’t be fixated on finding the perfect candidate. If someone doesn’t tick all the boxes but has a breadth of experience, then meet them for an interview – a strong digital analyst will be able to pick up a new skill quickly.

Whether you are looking for your next opportunity in data and analytics in France or need to build out a data team in the region, Harnham can help. Take a look at our latest jobs in France or get in touch with our consultants in France to find out more.