Candidate searches for big data professionals can be long and frustrating for hiring managers. There are a lot of boxes to check off and your “ideal” candidate can be hard to find in today’s market. Given this tough landscape, many hiring managers think they must compromise if they want to fill vacancies efficiently. This year, use these tips to find awesome big data candidates who check off every box on your wish list.

True Passion For The Field

Skills can always be learned over time, but a passion for big data simply cannot be taught. If you want to hire someone who will be enthusiastic and engaged in their work, you have to be able to identify passion throughout the hiring process.

Include questions that require candidates to explain:

  • Why they got into the field.
  • Why they stick with the field.
  • What drives them to succeed.
  • What they like most about the work that they do.

Someone who really loves big data will be easy to spot. They will answer these questions with genuine enthusiasm and will elaborate without much, if any, prompting.

The Ability To Drive Innovative Solutions

It’s true that big data is all about numbers and analysis, but it also requires creative thinking. You aren’t looking for order-takers, but rather people who have the ability to solve problems creatively. Data and intelligence teams face a host of problems, ranging from lack of leadership buy-in to budgets, to data that doesn’t always cooperate with the problem at hand or the answers the team is looking for.

Successful big data professionals view these obstacles as challenges to overcome, rather than roadblocks. They can innovate under pressure and find new ways to look at data that others may not initially see. Make sure to ask questions that require candidates to discuss the way they overcome obstacles to find new solutions.

Understand the Skills You Need (And Be Able To Identify Them)

Big data managers often send the hiring team a list of skills they are looking for with little explanation. If you reject every candidate that doesn’t match up 100% with that skill list, you could be tossing out a rock star with long-term staying power before you ever have a chance to interview them. Therefore, it is essential to sit down with managers and understand which skills are must-haves and which might be able to be learned on the job.

It is also critical to know how to measure a strong candidate’s skills. A past job with a similar list of tasks may not translate to the needs of your position. Any big data hiring process should include skills measurement so that you can be sure that the person who accepts the job can handle the most important tasks.


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