How to Hire a Data Scientist - 9 Tips You Should Know

Understanding various information and putting them into perfect arrangements and creating applications for converting them into newer, dependable big data, all comes under a technology called data science. And currently, there is a high demand to secure people to fill data scientist roles. While programming is a must-have skill for candidates, there are certain additional skills and understandings required of both the potential employee and the employer. Here are nine tips on how to hire a data scientist for your company.

1. Select curious minded people

Scientists should be eager to dive to the depths of their study. So seek candidates who are always curious to know about new innovations. They should be ultimate thinkers. They should be detail-oriented and should be eager to know more and more. That’s what a scientist should be like.

2. Consider his or her ability to program newer languages

A data scientist should be a good programming engineer. Avoid hiring one if you see few programming skills or ability. Instead, hire one who has the desire to know and learn new programming languages. As a scientist, he or she has to delve deep in data science technology, and any language may be necessary at any time. So the one whom you hire should have the hunger to learn and know new coding terms.

3. Notice if statistics are at the tip of his or her finger

Data science is all about information – the arrangement, calculation, comparison and ultimate results. Playing with information needs more statistics. And one who will study and work on information research should obviously know about statistics. The understanding of the behavior of data and the certainty of how they will react on given arrangements fall under statistics. Statistics is a must.

4. Make mathematics the foundation

Mathematics is the basics of data science. To even think about becoming a data scientist, an individual must have an excellent foundation of mathematics. A perfect mathematician only can become a good data scientist. Data is all about information and calculation. Arrangements of data in rows and columns all require mathematics. A basic mathematics knower is not fit to be a data scientist. In most cases, people seem to hire advanced coders without concentrating on their mathematics ability. In such situations, it is difficult for the scientists and coders to communicate. Since data science stands on the pillars of mathematics, a person with mathematics background is the best hiring choice for a data scientist position.

5. Stay away from puzzling tests

Don't ask your candidates to pass a test on puzzles. Solving puzzles does not mean that he or she will be great in research work. Many people do not solve those puzzles because of limited time, while some do because they are good at it. If given more time, the failed candidates may have nailed it. Research needs time. You cannot always put a time frame in research. It isn't proportional to solving puzzles. So better not to include it in the interview process.

6. Know that good communication is an added advantage

At times, scientists may be considered awful communicators. But communication is actually very important. Whether you are a data scientist, writer or marketer, you will not work alone. At some point, you have to communicate with colleagues or vendors. A data scientist with great communication skills will be able to explain his or her study to others and spread knowledge. And clear communication is critical for scientists to transfer their research and studies to the next scientist, passing knowledge generation after generation.

7. Take soft-skills into account

Give importance to a candidate's personality.  Consider whether or not the candidate possesses leadership qualities, a responsible nature and a positive mindset.

8. Schedule minimal interview sessions

Be sure your interviews include a team of seniors. Instead of one-to-one interviews for several different times, schedule an interview for a single time with a group of experts. Add scientists, coders, mathematicians and managers in the interview round. Based on everyone’s varying perspectives, select the best finalists or one candidate.

9. Let senior data scientists join the interview session

Although recruiting is the job of HR, when it comes to selecting staff for a technology team, it's better to include technology experts, too. If you want to recruit data scientists, try to invite experience employees working in the same technology to participate in the hiring process. They have gone through the same work and functions, and they know the exact qualities required to hire a data scientist.

Time and energy is a worthwhile investment in order to get the best candidates and fill open data scientist roles in your organization. In this big data era, data is as important to a company as ever, and the need to fill data and technology positions will not disappear anytime soon. But don't fret about the hiring process – just follow the above instructions, test and select the deserving candidates. You will be doing a great deed in the data science world.

For additional resources related to this article check out the data science jobs index + data scientist salary index + icrunchdata's job posting platform to hire data scientists.

Article written by Vaishnavi Agrawal
Image credit by Getty Images, E+, Yuri_Arcurs
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