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How Can You Attract Great Data Talent in a Candidate-Led Market?

by Xcede

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We explore the wide data talent market and the steps you can take to become a most-wanted employer.

We live in a data-driven world. Our hyperconnected lives generate data every second of every day. Every internet search, every trace we leave on social media, every purchase we make, they generate a continuous stream of data. This means that data is now a crucial commodity and resource for organisations around the world. The pressing need to collect and analyse data is, in turn, driving a booming data jobs market. This is a market that has matured over recent years, as more generalist data roles have given way to key specialisms.

Today, Product Data Scientists, Product Analysts and Digital Analysts are in high demand, with niche specialisms arising within these bands. For example, there is demand for experts focused on customer data or on building experimentation platforms – it’s an evolving and fast-paced talent market.

Data is a Talent-Short Market

Data is an industry that is growing quickly and there is fierce competition for talent. We are seeing candidates moving in a rapid upward trajectory, and it’s not unusual for Product Data Scientists to move into Senior Product Data roles after as little as 18-months. This means that the candidates we speak to are looking for an upwards move, either in terms of remuneration or their job title. There is little sideways movement in the market and it’s important for employers to consider this climate when developing talent attraction strategies.

What are Data Candidates Looking For?

Many data specialists are scientists and the need for complex and challenging work is a high priority for people who choose to work in the sector. This need for challenge goes hand in hand with the opportunity to experiment and try new things. Many organisations, particularly in tech, are setting aside blocks of time for experimentation each week to see what their employees’ creativity can uncover.

The need to see their work used in meaningful ways is another vital incentive for data candidates. Professionals want to see that the work they do makes a difference, and employers who can demonstrate this vital link are outperforming the competition on retention.

It’s also important to consider how different data professionals want to go to work. Digital Analytics Implementation Architects are often looking for project-based contract roles where they can apply their expertise and move on to a new challenge, whereas Digital Analysts tend to want to find a permanent home for their talents to grow.

What Can Organisations Do to Attract Great Data Talent?

Employers should offer a high level of specificity in their job listings. This is an industry with a high degree of specialism, and it can be frustrating for candidates to see roles that offer them only a vague outline of what might be on offer. Clear and technical skill-set requirements are incredibly important. Detailed job listings also improve attraction to roles in traditional industries, which may otherwise be less appealing to ambitious candidates looking to build a career at the cutting-edge of data.

Flexibility is something that has become increasingly important for candidates across all industries and data is no exception. Remote working opportunities and the ability to work flexible hours are a key attraction factor.

Another important consideration in data talent attraction, is the opportunity for progression and upskilling. Technology and processes in data are leaping forward all the time, and candidates want to ensure that their skills stay relevant. Continuous learning is an important part of the data landscape.

To become a most-wanted employer in data you need to speak the language of the candidates you are hoping to connect with. This means researching key demographics and building targeted employer branding and attraction campaigns. Data is a key talent market and one that is only going to become more important in the future. Employers have to take steps today to ensure they are able to continue to successfully source the data talent they need.

Looking for your next role in data? Or searching for exceptional data candidates? Visit our data page to discover how Xcede can support your success.