Best Strategies to Hire Data Science and Tech Talent Best Strategies to Hire Data Science and Tech Talent
The game has changed but questions still remain. Welcome to the latest talent acquisition strategies for data science and tech talent... Best Strategies to Hire Data Science and Tech Talent

The game has changed but questions still remain. Welcome to the latest talent acquisition strategies for data science and tech talent and jobs. How do employers attract and hire premium talent in a super tight market that’s also expanding at a record pace? The war for talent has been going on for decades, so what’s new about that?

Let’s dive in. First, it’s important to understand that the vast majority of talented workers in data science and tech are already employed; meaning at best they might be only passively open minded to a new opportunity. Some research suggests that passive job seeking could comprise as much as 80% of the talent pool. So, let’s take a closer look at some approaches to reach both an active and passive talent pool as 2019 approaches.

Employer Branding

Candidate attraction is both an art and science that all starts with branding. Build your employer brand and tell your story through the written word or with rich media. Marketing to candidates through branding is crucial to attracting premium talent.  Be sure to add value to relevant blogs by publishing content that reaches your targeted audience. Effective strategies should include your unique brand positioning and the perks of working for your organization. Candidates will research your company, read reviews, and arrive at conclusions about what it might be like to work there, which is quite similar to the way consumers shop online. So, it’s important your employer brand strategy is sound, and your content platforms are wisely chosen for this messaging.

Content Marketing

Why this works is in all in the content itself. Content adds value, provokes engagement, and builds both credibility and depth for an organization. It positions your company in a unique way and opens up the frame for storytelling. Best approaches include written pieces from internal business and thought leaders, which will garnish the respect and attention that you’re trying to achieve.  Content is still very much the king and is probably one of the most evolved approaches mentioned. Content readership is experiencing staggering growth rates across the web whether it be for news, industry updates, insights, knowledge-base, or simply for entertainment. Writing concise and compelling content will win the attention of both active and passive job seekers. Educational and informative topics usually are best. Then publishing and promoting your content on the right platforms.

Niche Job Boards

Posting jobs on a niche tech job board is still a great strategy for tapping into concentrated talent pools. With social media saturation peaking and digital distractions running rampant; posting jobs on a niche tech job board is an excellent way to keep your recruitment advertising more targeted.  Job seekers readily engage in niche communities to search jobs on tech job boards so they can stay informed of the latest trends and opportunities in data science. When posting job content on data science and tech talent job boards, it’s important to write compelling job descriptions to take full advantage of this overlooked opportunity of content marketing.

Social Recruiting

Although it may be fleeting at times, social platforms can provide nice opportunities to engage data science and tech talent. Keeping in mind that we live in an era of social media saturation, it may be difficult for social recruiting strategies to be very sticky. Social sites are very strong when it comes to networking, but for lasting engagement, they can show some weaknesses simply due to mass saturation. Social sites can also be more limited when attempting to target niche audiences since they inherently aim for more mass market vs niche audience. Though if social recruiting is approached the right way, employers can reach a broader audience distribution, while attempting their desired targeting with tools that may be offered within advertising programs by each social site.

Interest Groups

Another recruiting strategy is to target curated interest-based destinations. That may come in the form of meetup groups, forums, events such as conferences and tradeshows, and tech and data science lifestyle shops. These interest groups offer a unique opportunity for employers to become aware of and engage solid talent in a more natural organic way.  These subtle introductions can evolve into genuine hiring opportunities over time, and you cultivate relationships with candidates in the tech, analytics, and data science fields.

ATS / Internal Resources

The ATS layer in the hiring process can be a valuable asset or a misunderstood obstacle, depending on your chosen software partner.  Analytics and metrics reveal extremely high job seeker bail-out during the application funnel. So be sure the user-experience is a good one, and your software partner has been thoughtful about its design and implementation to minimize bailout and enhance conversions.  If you’ve executed nicely on the marketing and branding side of your strategy, then the last thing you want is a bailout that’s caused by an ineffective ATS funnel. Once you have candidate data, ATS platforms can be a tremendous asset in filtering, organizing, and tracking candidates through the interview process.  ATS technology has gotten better in recent years though, so this will be an interesting time to stay informed of trends.

Ron Emery

Ron Emery

The President of icrunchdata, an award-winning platform for jobs and insights in technology and data where employers post jobs and universities advertise.