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Big Data Flexes Its Recruiting Muscle

Big Data Flexes Its Recruiting Muscle

Soon, recruiters will no longer be hiring by hunch, but by data crunch. Big Data is making major changes in recruiting, hiring and performance management. And while Big Data brings efficiencies, some recruiters will have concerns about parting ways with human intuition. Big Data is here to stay.

In fact, according to Georgia CxO Forum member Andy Sohn, Senior VP, Technology Architecture, Strategy and Innovation, Bank of America, “While Big Data is an overused and nebulous term, similar to “Cloud,” the fact is that data volumes and varieties available to business are growing dramatically and companies will have to leverage that data to be competitive. For years businesses have sought ways to target at the customer level and at point of decision, and some of the new Big Data technologies help meet that goal.”

As Sohn further shared, “…although new and voluminous sources of data (think social networks) can be analyzed far more easily, the trick is how to keep improving these technologies and mining the data for specific business values while properly managing the regulatory and social issues surrounding that data.” And for many companies, the challenge is discovering the talent with the proper skill sets to execute the Big Data technologies. In fact, McKinsey & Co. predicts that by 2018 the U.S. could face a shortage of more than 1.5 million specialists needed to capture, store, manage and analyze big data.

Earlier this fall, the Wall Street Journal (“Meet the New Boss: Big Data”) reported on several Fortune 500 companies’ forays into Big Data, chief among them, Xerox, who turned to Big Data to find that a single personality trait proved a key factor in their call center employee churn rate.

Still skeptical about whether Big Data will be a real force in recruiting? Online investment publication seekingalpha.com reported Big Data passed the investment litmus test this year when Warren Buffett committed $10 billion to the trend, bucking his own tradition of avoiding early-stage tech investments.

Hiring Big Data Talent Is No Small Deal

Thompson Technologies has also taken a closer look at how the trend is affecting the needs of our clients. We understand the financial impact big data-related initiatives can have on services, software and hardware objectives.  In fact, in order to support the competitive objectives of our clients, we hold ourselves accountable for identifying resources for them that can leverage the power of data.  Titles such as Data Architects, Data Engineers, Cloud Specialists – highly skilled experts that can look at information in new ways that will force companies to answer questions they’ve never been asked before….and drive new revenue streams.

Many companies we work with are sizing up how quickly they can prepare to harness the many advantages of Big Data through in-house development and training versus outside recruiting of IT professionals who possess the necessary skills and characteristics of a successful Big Data expert. This could possibly include the search for new leadership―such as data scientists―who have the ability to analyze data, particularly the kind of unstructured data typical with Big Data.  And for some clients, a reasonable entry point means fast-tracking with tools such as Hadoop that make it easy for non-specialists to manage Big Data.

So what roles, skills and background are needed to fill these Big Data shoes?

Big Data skills candidates need:

As with any new technology, many candidates are looking to get in to the space, but there is a shortage of people who can meet the demands of the market right now. First, to be considered for these jobs, candidates need to demonstrate an understanding of infrastructure/data warehousing or come from an open source/NoSQL, development background.

  • Experience including data engineering, data analysis, business analytics and natural language processing are important. The roles move up the chain to data architect and, potentially heading up a Big Data initiative, the data scientist.
  • Skills sought for Big Data roles include math, statistics, data analysis, business analytics and even natural language processing. In addition, proficiency in ETL, Hadoop and data modeling.
  • The personality traits you’re looking for include a unique combination of curiosity and creativity to analyze unstructured data in multiple dimensions and manipulate it in new ways, coupled with the all-important communication skills to talk to both IT and business leaders about requirements.

Key roles critical to Big Data

We at Thompson are aggressively looking for these niche consultants that can architect Big Data environments. In addition Thompson is building a network of consultants who can implement the Big Data infrastructure, with titles or experience in their background such as:

  • Data scientist
  • Data architect
  • Data mining
  • Data warehousing
  • Data analyzeranalysis
  • Data engineer
  • Data visualizer
  • ETL
  • Hadoop
  • Predictive modeling
  • Statistical modeling
  • Structured and unstructured databases

“The Big Data capability will become a requirement for companies to be competitive. Soon it won’t be cutting edge, it will just be a necessary capability of an organization. If your competitor can know the customer better or more effectively influence him before, or at the point of decision, your company will be at a disadvantage,” shared Sohn.

Have Big Data questions? Contact the experts at Thompson Technologies today: 770.794.8380 or info@thompsontechnologies.com.

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