Data Recruitment – How to Attract Top Talent

Letitia Oglesby
June, 2023

In a much broader data talent pool, there are a number of small niche specialisms which can make finding top talent feel like a daunting task. As this area is constantly growing in Insight, we’re sharing a few easy steps you can take to maximise effective data recruitment in your organisation.


Step1: Reverse Your Attraction Strategy

Before searching for any new talent, the first port of call is to reverse the process of your attraction strategy. Instead of focusing on what you are looking for, focus on being what your ideal candidate is looking for. Ask yourself, what is a data analyst looking for and what makes them tick? More importantly, how can we embed this into the job requirements for this role?

Understanding what your ideal candidate is looking for, not only in benefits but actually on a day to day basis and integrating this into your job description is a great way to increase your chances of finding that successful hire. Data science is niche in nature and there is a finite pool of professionals in this space. By taking the time to get on their level first and understanding what they are looking for, you will not only start on the right path to attracting the best data talent, but you are already one step ahead of reducing attrition down the line.


Step 2: Go Beyond a Competitive Offering

As with most roles, but especially so in such a niche market, your overall offering significantly impacts a candidates decision making process. Everyone claims to offer a ‘competitive’ salary, but how can you go beyond this in your description?

Start with employee brand to attract data professionals. This will have a lot more impact on hiring success than a competitive salary offering.

Also consider the language you use in job adverts and whether this reflects the business. At a recent meeting with LinkedIn, they stated that adverts that mentioned the following three things:

  • Wellbeing
  • Flexibility 
  • Culture

Get 46% more job views than other adverts.

Get 49% more applications than other adverts!

Then, think about what else you have to offer. Is it the technologies you use or plan to implement? Is it the company culture that makes everyone else happy? Figure out why are those aspects important and align it to the way you pitch your offering.


Step 3: Never Lose Sight of the Big Picture

What does your data science vision look like? What opportunities does this provide for growth? Does this opportunity provide a real challenge and something for data professionals to get excited about when considering your company? If not, take time again to re-evaluate. If you aren’t excited about what can be accomplished in the role, how is anyone outside of the company supposed to be?

Find something exciting and emphasise it. If you’re struggling to add an exciting twist, start to think about the right tools. As with any line of work, there is a correlation between the tools employees use and the quality of output. Set your candidates up for success rather than expecting them to do more with less. Get them excited about the software and opportunities for success you can offer them.


Step 4: Go Fishing!

Well, not literally. Remember, we are also talking about how you ‘reach’ the best data talent. That isn’t always easy. Sometimes, broadening your approach and searching into more diverse talent can increase your chances of success. For example, consider exploring neurodiverse talent or other relative groups. As a matter of fact, according to Gartner, 3% to 5% of IT workforces actually come from this background, so it’s important to consider how your offering also appeals to more diverse areas of the talent pool such as this.

Some examples of organisations in data and tech that have focused on recruiting the neurodiverse with amazing results are:

Microsoft – Neurodiversity hiring Program.

SAP – Autism at Work Program.

IBM – Neurodiversity Program. 


Step 5: Focus on Candidate Growth

Finally, focus on growth and retention by keeping your data professionals engaged with role specific technical and soft skills training, specific to them. Both the candidate and your organisation benefit from providing a training program, and candidates are actively looking for environments that support them in their own development.

This is especially the case in an industry such as this which is constantly breaking boundaries and innovating. Trust and transparency are a key part of attracting data-driven professionals who have a keen eye for detail and integrity in their work, and this messaging should resonate with the culture in your company. Providing personal development around skills such as storytelling and cross function collaboration will vastly improve the commercial value of this area within your business.


Step 6: Look Within

Your ability to attract new talent will directly correlate with how your current team feel in their work. A positive and happy work environment and culture is imperative to foster consistent growth and clear vision. If your current team is happy with the company culture and management, it will naturally emulate through the job description and interview process, and you can leverage this to attract likeminded individuals.


For more information on how we can support you recruiting top talent in Data, get in touch with us at, send us an enquiry here.


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