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My Hudson Story - Tim Clark

My Hudson Story - Tim Clark

Tim joined the Hudson Technology, Digital and Change team in 2015. With more than six years’ experience in technology recruitment, Tim is eager to help organisations unlock the potential of data...

Hudson: So where has all this talk of data science come from in the last few years?

Tim: Well I think for a while data science was a bit of a buzzword. Harvard Business Review called it the "sexiest job of the 21st century", and so a lot of organisations were rushing to become data-driven. All of a sudden, there was all this data knocking around but no one to make use of it. 

But since that huge spike in interest, we’ve seen organisations approach data in a more thoughtful way. People now know there are so many benefits of knowing what data can do for you.

H: Why is that?

T: People are asking themselves the right questions now: what do we really want to get out of it? Do we have enough data of our own to work with? What exactly do we want data to do for us? Employers are able to identify not just when they do need data science, but also when they don't need it.

H: But doesn’t this only apply to large online businesses and tech startups?

T: Absolutely not. More traditional sectors are looking to unlock the potential of data to better understand their business, their customers and to predict future outcomes or trends. For example, we spoke to one law firm whose nirvana is to eventually be able to use data to predict the outcome of a case. I'm not sure how achievable that is, but it's interesting to see how ambitious people want to be with it!

H: What about the candidate? What does it take to be a data scientist?

T: As you might imagine, the typical profile tends to be someone from a bright academic background – you might be talking Masters or PHD level from mathematical or scientific subjects. A lot of clients want them to be equipped with that statistical approach and a development focus, but then at the same time they often also want them to interact, engage and present to the business. But ultimately I’d say it depends on what kind of data scientist or analyst an organisation wants. 

You could have a standalone data science function that doesn't engage much with the rest of the business. Alternatively, you have embedded data science functions as well. They're more integrated and work much more closely with the rest of the business.

H: What’s the feedback been like so far on your approach to recruiting in data?

T: Feedback so far has been good. Data scientists love talking about the work they have done, and how their work has impacted a business. So if you show an interest in their work it helps us to distinguish ourselves. And likewise, employers appreciate a much more consultative approach, rather than just trying to fill jobs. You have to remember, a lot of organisations are looking for guidance on what to do with their data, and guidance on what their competitors are doing!

H: What tools do we have to help people in this approach?

T: Well firstly we have Pulse, our psychometric tool. That in itself is something that uses objective data to help inform an employer’s decision on people – not just hiring but also retaining and developing people. If you look at our Business Attitudes Questionnaire (BAQ) for example, it assesses 25 different dimensions of personality. It helps us understand how a person will behave in the workplace. I think more than 60,000 professionals have taken the BAQ now. 

We also have partnerships with companies who train aspiring data scientists and companies who consult in this space. This allows us to share introductions for both candidates as well as customers who need specialist advice or recruitment services.

H: So what are the plans for the future?

T: We obviously want to expand our specialist data science team. A logical step would be to have specialist consultants for startups, and then other consultants for banking and traditional sectors, too. But we also have plans to increase our visibility in the market. Like I say, that consultative approach, and your ability to start a real conversation with people in that space, is key to your success. 

Ultimately, data science isn’t just a buzzword anymore. Employers now understand that it’s fast becoming a necessity in the new world of work. As W. Edwards Deming once put it: “In god we trust, all others must bring data”

Get in contact with Tim

Tim Clark
Managing Consultant
Technology, Change & Digital Transformation, Hudson
Tel: +44 207 187 6184
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