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Unlocking data through your team

I am a senior consultant here at Ambition and I work across the Data Analytics function. There are three standout aspects of this field:

  • Data Analysts who analyse all the data and actually articulate the worth of the data back to the business.

  • Data Engineers who are doing the actual development. For example, building pipelines and getting the data from A to B.

  • Data Architects who have an overarching role, looking at how different systems connect to each other and what the overall IT landscape looks like.

These are the three key areas that I tend to recruit in, with a big focus on cloud platforms. Databricks and Azure are the areas on which I spend 75 to 80% of my time on, with Databricks being a niche I have formed within my role.


Unlocking Data through hiring

A standout feature of organisations bringing in these roles is the ability to unlock data they have never thought of using before, then targeting certain products or services optimally toward their customers. Recognising the hiring impact of many organisations trying to unlock is essential.

Everybody’s had a data program for a few years, but many haven’t quite figured out the value that it can have for the business and the bottom line. A lot of companies are starting to figure it all out all at once and are currently going through the same journey at the same time. They're all looking for the same type of people at the same time as well – it is definitely ramping up compared to 5 years ago.


Changes to the tech hiring market

There's a lot of competition out there for hiring managers at the moment. I have found that it is vital to secure candidates quickly if there is a feeling that they're fit for the role and suitable for the business.

There are also a lot more technical tests being conducted in the hiring process and the jury is still out on whether this is a good or bad thing. There's only so much you can find out in a technical test, but a lot of hiring managers tend to use it as a base within the hiring process. It is important to understand the effectiveness and relevance of a one-time test to evaluate the merits of somebody being in the business for the long term.


Growing your own data team

Something that I see less of but is definitely worth considering is growing your own future data analysts and data developers. It's something that can really help a business moving forward. Using Databricks as an example, that requires certification and there are different levels of certification. Consider someone who has just come out of a 3 to 4-year university course and is looking at moving into a fairly junior role. Out of two roles they are considering, which may be quite similar in terms of responsibilities and salary, one is providing a Databricks certification. That certification would provide them with a leg up as a professional within that field, however, it would more importantly allow the company to secure them as a candidate and grow them into the role. The Australian data market is still relatively immature compared to other parts of the world, and having something like a Databricks certification on a CV helps with future growth and aspirations. Being able to provide that training for young people coming through gives them a sense that they are valued by the business and that they are cared for as an employee. Providing anything along those lines in a role is going to help set companies apart when competing in the hiring market.

There is of course a catch-22 with this approach. By bringing somebody in that's a little bit less experienced but a reliable employee, you’re training them up with the idea that in three to four years’ time, they'll be delivering a strong output but there’s an element of trust that they will want to stay on post-training. However, at the moment my advice is to opt for this as demand is high and supply is low. Investing in people for the long term, growing your own, and moving quickly is the best approach to not only be an attractive option for job seekers but build a sense of value and mentorship for those employees being brought on.


A last bit of hiring advice

Using training and certifications as a way to stand out from the current sea of jobs will get your foot in the door, however, a way to really provide an attractive experience of employment within the company is to showcase the team.

Proof of success, culture, and enjoyment shows the candidate that they are likely to flourish within that environment. As well as this, if I know who I'm going be spending 8 hours my day with and I know that I'm going to get along with my future team, that's going to interest me a lot more. Being able to detail the types of people you have on the team and the diversity they bring is important. It's something that is too often brushed off in the interview process. It's more about the hiring manager and the candidate.

Watch our Small Talk, Big Insights series discussing these points, in our video library.

If you are currently looking to hire within the Technology and Transformation space, you can reach out to the team and myself here.

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