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Data Science Pros: Solve the Problem-Solving Problem
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Re: Let's Turn Recruiting Upside Down!
  • 4/1/2015 4:57:18 PM
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@jdorothy. I suspect that it's in both good times and hard times that people lean on their network for hiring. Being in the network may not be a guarantee of a job but it does carry some bonus points.

Re: Let's Turn Recruiting Upside Down!
  • 4/1/2015 2:41:34 PM
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In spite of the recruiter's advertisement of looking for the best and brightest, some companies are looking for the naïve (but yet smart) and the one that will accept the lowest salary.  The movement of data science and "asking questions" is new to people.  Especially in companies where the old culture is "ask no questions" or "you ask too many questions".   I can think of a few (Maybe companies that are highly regulated) .  In hard times, people hire people that are in their network (Skills or no skills).

Re: Let's Turn Recruiting Upside Down!
  • 3/29/2015 12:31:58 PM
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James

"Lets just flip the process around and put the weight on the problem solving ability right up front if that is the most important talent that you seek."

Yes that's the right approach. Too many candidates' interviews is a time-taking process and in these circumstances of hiring data scientists not the only effective measure. Tests can do both the effectiveness job plus the time-saving part.

Re: Problem Solving
  • 3/26/2015 11:01:04 AM
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@JDorothy. By the way, welcome to the discussion.

One thing about finding the ideal candidate: You probably won't find all of the right attributes and experiences in a single candidate. But you can hope to assemble them across a team of several analysts.

If you have a small company that only has a team of one person, you'll probably have to sacrifice a couple of the job requirements.

Re: Let's Turn Recruiting Upside Down!
  • 3/26/2015 10:57:24 AM
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@Jdorothy. Yes, there absolutely are ways that a company could abuse this problem solving approach and have ask job candidates to offer solutions to real problems that he company is having. Of course that would be foolish for the company, considering that they can't really count on the offered solutions to be right if they don't know whether they can trust the candidates. Also, I'd suggest that companies use more generic, not company-specific problems in the test. (Although it wouldn't hurt to ask the candidates something about the company in general, because anyone who doesn't do at least minimal research on a potential employer before applying is wasting everyone's time).

That said, I'll also note that some employers already abuse job candidates in terms of picking their brains while having no intention of hiring them. Usually this happens at the interview stage when the employer seems to be intent on stealing a good worker from a competitor.

Re: Problem Solving
  • 3/26/2015 12:56:48 AM
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Well some people may be like that.  However, if companies are treating its analysts fairly, most of them are not going anywhere.  One or two may leave; but that is part of the growth process for them.  So companies should not always feel that something is wrong because someone chooses to leave.   There is also too much concentration in that area as well.   Let them leave.  If you build a good team, the pain of them leaving will not be so stressful to the company.  Every analyst wants to be the best.  So, good healthy competition does not hurt.  It forces you to be sharper. 

Re: Problem Solving
  • 3/25/2015 10:44:39 PM
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@JDorothy, your post reminds me of a conversation I had with analytics veteran Michael Koukounas, who has a theory on team building that really resonates with what you wrote. (See: http://www.allanalytics.com/author.asp?section_id=1859&doc_id=274886) Part of the problem in team-building you say is that management wants perfect candidates with all the skills in one. But isn't another part of the problem that individual players want to be that perfect candidate, that star, and thus can't stand to be on a team for long?

Re: Let's Turn Recruiting Upside Down!
  • 3/25/2015 9:02:21 PM
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There are pros and cons with this.  Some companies will misuse it.  They may take advantage of the candidate with no intent to hire in the first place.  They may just want free service in solving their problems.  I am seeing this a lot.  People want everything for free.  

 

Problem Solving
  • 3/25/2015 3:58:42 PM
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You need good technical and analytical skills.  However, if you are a good communicator and have good technical and analytical skills, that will make you more desirable.  People will gravitate toward you more often.  However, that may not be the desire of a highly technical and analytical person. 

There are plenty of data scientists with excellent analytical and technical skills.   Some people are just not good communicators.    You develop your team in a way to keep everyone in harmony.   Everyone is valuable.  Everyone has something to bring to the table.   Recruiters and HR should stop looking for the perfect person because they do not exist.   It takes work experience and self-development.  If you desire to be a good communicator, you will develop it over time.    There is too much emphasis on screening out people.  

Re: Let's Turn Recruiting Upside Down!
  • 3/24/2015 11:55:19 PM
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@Jim Definitely. It is important to have a good way of sorting through all those resumes the company gets. The candidates most interested in the job will have a chance at it.

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