You Need Clarity In Your Data Plan

At the centre of your plan must be clarity

The concepts of Data Science, AI and Cloud have gone from buzz words to becoming fundamental components of how businesses now operate. Data now sits at the core of operations and the Covid pandemic has significantly sped this up.

Transforming data into insight has revolutionised business. The people involved in creating the team need a foundational understanding of the key components and ideas behind data science and big data analytics.

The urgency to apply Data, AI and Machine Learning principles to improve, for example, efficiency of remote working means that many companies may not fully understand what they are trying to achieve. It’s one thing to say, “We need to implement AI, because it will make us more efficient and our competitors are doing it” but what are the specific objectives and how do you get that result?

The speed at which the data is required to pass through the system differs from project to project but largely large data projects require faster processing to make sure the data is sorted in a timely manner. The data will also likely be entering the process from different directions and sources and must be cleaned, sorted and ordered in order for it to make sense compared to the data already in the system and for insights to be found.

For a big data process to run smoothly, these days it is common for it to utilise a streaming system which will work in a close to real time capacity. Data pipelines must be solid and strong to cope with so much data passing through.

Big data is really no different than any other kind of dataset apart from the size and speed of the data being processed, plus the fact that the data will likely require new solutions to challenges it presents. Forming insights from huge amounts of data is the end goal and the key is usually finding innovative ways of making this possible.

The storage and processing of largescale amounts of data is what will define a big data system. This is, more often than not, happening on more than one server, which is where Cloud computing comes in, which brings with it other challenges such as security and allocation. Tasks must be broke up into smaller parts in a variety of ways in order to make the most of the resources needed.

What is the data and where is it coming from? Text, images, logs? APIs, Servers, sensors, social media? There are so many directions that your data can come from and it must be configured somehow, eventually, into one process. The perfect scenario is for the data to be transformed so that it is organised and formatted at the point of entry but that is not always possible and the work must be done at the backend by talent data scientists.

Quality is the watchword when it comes to data, and the system must be able to sort and separate good data from bad, making sure the processing power of the servers, be they physically on the premises or Cloud-based, is best used and not wasted on fool’s errands. Using resources to clean the data first can save time and money in the long run. At all stages it must be ascertained whether the data is providing real value.

When you are clear about what you are looking to get out of data, it becomes apparent which type of individual you need to hire to achieve those goals. Companies will have specific needs relating to the type of data specialist they need and for which job.

The major problem at this stage is that, if the goal is not clear, candidates will try and probably fail at interview as they attempt to mould their skill set to the generalist job requirements set out on the job spec. Dedicated recruitment partners will guide you through this minefield.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

Why Choosing Just One Recruiter Helps You Build Better Teams

If you want to build a great team, you must become part of a team with a recruiter

Preferred Supplier Lists (PSLs) have been around for decades and they are still considered the gold standard of recruiting practices. The problem is that PSLs, as well as contingency recruitment, is that using different recruiters takes you to edge of CV spamming.

To build world-leading teams requires building a recruitment partnership that works for your business. A dedicated recruitment partner can not only help you hire in the short-term, but can address larger hiring plans.

So what are the benefits of a single recruiter getting under the bonnet of your business?

1. Exclusivity

It’s a simple fact that if you are a generalist, contingency recruiter working as a gun-for-hire for lots of different companies, who also have multiple recruiters working their roles, you will seek to justify the time and effort you put into finding a candidate by offering said candidate to multiple employers. Then, the game becomes one of who will pay more for that candidate. It happens and it makes no sense to pretend that it doesn’t. What you get from a recruitment partner is exclusivity, as they are dedicated to finding that perfect candidate for your role. They have a contract so their time is not wasted and your time is not wasted interviewing candidates who are being touted elsewhere.

2. The Full Service

You will not find partners running away due to a loss of interest the way regular recruiters can, because they are fully committed to your cause. Taking time to contact and persuade passive prospects is part of the agreement because the job is not finished until the prime candidate is found for the role. This means they will screen the candidates better, rather than handing you ‘almost rights’. Screening takes time for recruiters but saves time in the interview stages, saving time in the long-run.

3. Cost Effective

Making payments for their recruitment upfront is something that companies are not used to and because of this that they reject, out-of-hand, the possibility of a dedicated specialist recruitment partner. What if we told you that it isn’t any more expensive than generalist recruiters. It just means that the payment doesn’t come at the end, it is usually broken up into 3 parts and paid when each stage is successful. Contingency recruiters still have their place but if you need to fill that position quickly, or have a large team to build out of specialist talent, then the focus you get from a recruitment partner is second to none.

4. Resource Prioritisation

The work done by the recruitment partner in pre-interviewing the candidates cuts down on the workload of the hiring manager and leaves them free to concentrate on other matters.

5. Confidentiality

If, for whatever reason, you wish to keep your recruitment needs under wraps, then a recruiter who has signed an agreement to work exclusively with your company, is far more likely to keep your secrets. If you are interested in candidates who work for your competitors, it is also the good idea to work with someone who appears to be a third party.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

Which Bad Habits Do Recruiters Need To Break?

Habits won’t just fix themselves

There are very few entry requirements for the recruitment industry. Some think of this as a good thing and some think of it as a bad thing but it is a reality and it probably won’t change. With that easy entry come bad habits which can be picked up along the way from rookie to established recruiter.

It feels like the right time to point out that there are good recruiters and bad recruiters and ones who fall in between. Some of us take pride in our work and do not view it as a get-rich-quick scheme, taking time to find the perfect candidates for the roles and caring about whether it is really the right fit for the job.

Like many people who are looking for good rewards without having to work for it, the fact that there is no qualification for recruitment means that the learning happens on the job. Luckily the worst of the recruiters rarely last, but the industry itself can lend itself to a prioritising of resources over customer satisfaction.

Here are some of the bad habits that the industry need to deal with:

1. Pointless information

Granted, some information is required in order to clarify whether the candidate is appropriate and for background checks, but often, recruiters are demanding personal information that is just not needed, and certainly not needed at that stage. This could mean reems of information on past employers or school grades. A lot of the time there is also repetition of info, which is usually easily available on the candidate’s resume.Timewasting

2. Timewasting

The job market is going pretty crazy right now and time is of the essence. Offers are flying around and organisations looking to fill vacancies cannot wait around. Recruiters also need to speed up their processes or they will end up empty-handed when it comes to sending prospects over to their clients. The leisurely pace will no longer cut it. Specialist candidates receiving multiple offers will no longer bother to wait around to hear what you have to say. If you don’t have your act together, they are gone, and the process must be started all over again.

3. Interview overkill

A recruiter should be able to ascertain whether the candidate is suitable from a phone chat, a look at their CV and maybe a video interview. To do more, at that stage, is overkill and it can help breed resentment from the candidate. The company with the job role may interview multiple times, and while a dedicated recruitment partner should be steering them away from interview overkill, generalist recruiters will not do much about that fact. They can, however, control what they do and how they obtain the information from the potential employee.

4. Disrespect

It is not pleasant to be on the receiving end of the disrespect when it comes to the job market. The reason behind it is obvious: resources. There is only so much time, because there are so many jobs to fill, and the recruiter needs to prioritise the candidate that has the best chance of securing the position or all their work was for free. This, however, is no excuse for ‘ghosting’ candidates, not communicating if the candidate is still in the running, using texts to break bad news or not being there when the meeting is supposed to start. If you don’t respect your candidates, why should they respect you?

What can be done? Specialist recruitment partners are much less likely to engage in this behaviour as they have segmented payment agreements and do not lack the resources, but generalist recruiters must do better, or they won’t be around much longer.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

The Candidate Gold Rush

All that glitters may not be gold

The biggest recent change within recruitment is the change within the job market, switching from being employer-driven to candidate-driven. Such a shift creates an imbalance, where in-demand hires can demand more and get it, constantly moving around and leaving gaps that need to be filled from an increasingly reduced pool of possible employees.

This creates a Gold Rush for candidates, especially ones who are in niche sectors, such as data science, AI, etc. We have a situation now where even junior candidates are changing jobs, roles and companies every 6 months, matched with large upgrades in their salaries as they do it.

This is having a strong impact which, in turn, is leading to short term thinking. Short term planning in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing, but it must exist in relation to long term planning and should never be driven by desperation.

What we do not want is collective insanity where businesses are just throwing money around with wild abandon as that is really unsustainable. Reaching the limit has to happen sooner or later and when that happens there will be one hell of a hangover. In our previous post, we pointed to a need to restrategise in terms of company image and interview policy.

All of this upheaval puts recruitment under the microscope and that may not be a bad thing. For one thing, recruitment is changing as the world is changing, but many companies have been too busy to understand or recognise.

Firstly, recruiters should at this point be examining how they have been running things. The standardised way of recruitment is, once an assignment is won from a company, to spam candidates found on job boards with emails and once they respond, send multiple resumes to the company and hope and pray. If one particular mission is too time-consuming, the recruiter will naturally focus in on others that are less time-consuming, or if it is too niche, they switch to those that are less difficult to find candidates for. Recruitment where no money is made until the recruiter finds that ‘magic ticket’ is a rather unsustainable business model if we are being perfectly honest. It is somewhat of a miracle that it has lasted this long.

Secondly, organisations should be reassessing their relationships with, and understanding of, recruitment. There is a saying that repeating the same actions and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity, and that old saying just might be true.

The perception of recruiters is that they are only out to make a fast buck. There are bad apples in every industry and recruitment is no different. The reality is closer to those working within it and working hard. Those who are working hard and have left behind the ‘spray and pray’ model are creating  proper consultancies where they can leverage their experience and expertise to help companies they have a real relationship with.

As the candidate market heats up, offers are going to be lost. That is a fact of life. But because of exclusivity between organisation and recruitment partner, they can keep up the momentum, which is important during this gold rush. They can learn from that specific situation to improve refine the search. Development is usually either arrested by clients having multiple agencies working on a role, so short term failure caused them to switch focus in hopes of getting the result, or by the agency running away from the challenge because there is nothing keeping them there other than a verbal agreement. If a dedicated recruitment partner has the mandate is to build a team, the lessons they learned from the challenge leads to better results over and over again.

Those who are ready to face the future with a realistic and calm outlook, will be the ones who have a bright future ahead of them.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

Losing The Candidate At The Last Hurdle

Why are you tripping yourself up?

With companies reporting candidate offer acceptance rates of between 75% and 50%, with signs that those numbers could even dip lower, it is clear that a kind of gold rush is happening, especially within something like data science.

While 75% is just about acceptable, companies must get real about the reality out there in job land. The truth is that rivals are swooping in on prime candidates or counter offers from the candidate’s current company are causing them to change their minds about moving on. No sooner has a great potential hire come onto the market, they retreat and disappear from the market again.

There are 4 factors that are affecting who secures the candidate right now:

  1. Who interviews the fastest

We have said on countless occasions that a company must keep its hiring strategy honed and up-to-date. So many companies just do what everyone else is doing, or simply fall into what they are doing, without much thought. Do you really need all the stages or are they there because you are afraid you won’t look professional enough if you don’t have them? We have encountered businesses who have one stage of interview and we have encountered ones with 12 stages. Which do you think everyone involved was pleased about?

The old saying that the early bird catches the worm is especially true when it comes to hiring, and during these crazy times, the bird must get up even earlier.

  • Who makes the hiring decision fastest

Another saying you may be familiar with is ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth’. Within your strategy are there a core of decision-makers who have interacted purposefully with the candidates, or is it a committee made of a variety of people with opinions, from the receptionist to the CEO? Of course, we are exaggerating for effect there, but streamlining the process means that you can make that decision happen much quicker. Things have changed and candidates are being snapped up left, right and centre. You cannot afford to wait around.

As a lot of the best candidates are being poached from existing jobs, when you delay, you give their current firm time to produce a counter-offer, turning the candidates head and removing them from your job role. The more you delay, the more you lose out.

  • Who offers most money

It goes without saying that money talks, but out there on the job market, skilled and rarefied talent is having money thrown at it by desperate companies who don’t know what else to do. We won’t lie and tell you that people don’t care about money anymore, because they do, especially in times when futures feel somewhat uncertain. The fact that most companies have not corrected points 1 and 2 before rolling into point 3 tells you that there isn’t a whole lot of strategy going on.

Yes, you should be offering what the market deems appropriate for the candidate you want, and if that goes up because of competition, then so be it, but there are more cost effective things that can help you lock down a hire and make sure they choose you. This can include partnering with a specialist recruiter who can find more hidden gem candidates so desperation is no longer a deciding factor. They can help you restrategise your hiring practices too.

  • Who can convince the candidate that their company is superior/a better fit

Specialist recruitment partners can play a great part in convincing a prospect that your company is a good fit for them. They have the experience and can seem objective to candidates, while always working for what is best for the company. In addition to that, organisations should also be assessing how they come across during candidate interactions like email correspondence, their website and video interviews, as anything off-putting that candidates see there, will make convincing them all the more difficult.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.