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 Is There Increased Demand For Data Science Candidates?

No need to throw your hands up because we can help

There is undoubtedly an increase in the demand for data scientists so we thought we would take a look at the factors that are affecting the demand and also those factors impacting upon the lack of suitable candidates.

Not only have companies been using data science to handle their own data pre-Covid-19, but during the pandemic they have scaled up their data usage to measure the effects of the pandemic on their businesses in order to find solutions to newly-emerging problems.

The explosion within the sheer amount and complexity of data that each and every person produces thanks to our interactions with technology, has led to an urgent need for companies to mine, clean, sort and model that information in order to make sense of it in relation to their business.

The actual global value of data science has increased from around $4bn in 2019 to $64bn in 2021, which goes some way to demonstrate why everyone is requiring data scientists, and that is not counting other disciplines such as data analytics.

Before the pandemic, the role of data scientist was still very much in demand, being considered cool and displaying huge growth. The reason behind the heralding of data science to such a crazy height back then is possibly down to the fact that there is much overlap and misunderstanding between data science and the other newly emerging roles. When a hiring manager does not understand the differences between these seemingly similar roles, the job specs and hiring can draw in candidates who are then given more responsibilities, some of which are outside their skillset. A lot of the time the candidates just get on with it, tired of having to explain themselves and their role to management who are not listening. This can ultimately lead to projects falling behind because certain roles are stretching the data scientists or because there is just too much work to do in the allotted time. If ‘data scientist’ is considered a one-size-fits-all title, then of course when polls are done, it will seem that the only jobs in that realm are those of ‘data scientist’.

With the ramping up of data projects, the market for data scientist roles has bounced back from a lull during 2020 due to the pandemic and lockdowns affecting the economy. There was, even then, a demand for data scientists, even if the job boards didn’t reflect this, and there is even more of a demand now for those skilled individuals.

And there is no sign of a slowdown. Data is expected to be worth $103bn by 2027 and that is without taking into account those sectors connected to it either, which could lead to an increase of jobs of over 15 percent within the USA alone, probably mirrored globally.

With advances in technology, human beings’ data creation becomes more complex and increases constantly. As it improves, more businesses use and harness its uses. Something like the Cloud, which did not exist in its present form a decade ago, is becoming integral in how companies handle their computing, storage and data, and with this comes the need for more workers who can handle and control it.

A major factor in an even more increased demand is that firms are seeking to improve efficiency and use their data to grow their business beyond their traditional model. There has been an increase of data science courses in order to fill the skills gap, which is still a huge problem for companies filling the vacant or newly created roles.

Right now, the correctly qualified and experienced candidates are hard to find because they are already in roles where they are using those skills already. Only dedicated experts and partners know where to find them. It will take a while before the shortages can be corrected and until then, you either need to know where to look or you need to know someone who does.

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

What Is Behind Recent Recruitment Difficulties?

I spy with my little eye, we can’t recruit but why?

You will have heard about the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of job vacancies out there on the market. What you may not be so aware of are the difficulties in recruiting.

Post-lockdown positivity has led to a boom for jobseekers yet that boom may turn into a bust, as employers are finding it more and more difficult to track down candidates for the vacant job roles.

The UK and Ireland are currently experiencing the strongest growth in Europe.

After redundancies and job freezes last year, companies are looking to bounce back. Yet, of the 61% of companies that were recruiting in the 3rd quarter, 77% of them noted difficulties. There is enhanced customer demand but on the flipside, there are not enough employees to fill these roles.

The British Chamber of Commerce noticed that the number of businesses struggling with recruitment has been rising. The impact is huge and there is real fear that it will continue to rise for some time. The ManpowerGroup also noted an increase of 13% in hiring intention.

Half of those who took part in the BCC survey revealed that they had difficulty hiring skilled tech staff. We have highlighted this previously.

The service industry and manufacturing were hit hardest and both are on, or very near to, the highest number since the data started to be recorded. Consumer services are the least affected. Unskilled roles are affected too and it is this all-encompassing recruitment problem that makes it so unique, as it is touching every sector.

Companies experiencing this are shocked and frightened by this, not having experienced anything similar in recent memory. Full-time posts are most affected and within this fact, lies the most damaging trend. A lot of companies are raising the pay they offer but it makes no difference.

These shortages are having a serious impact on the economic recovery. The longer a vacancy goes unfilled, the less a firm can operate as it needs to.

Investment can help but things like apprenticeships take time to come to fruition, time that these companies don’t have. Some have criticised the government for this, and while they can certainly take some of the blame, they also can’t fix it quickly, with any initiatives they may put forth also taking time to come to fruition.

Rising rents, rising energy prices and pressure to increase wages that have stagnated, are all contributing to problems for companies. If the pressure continues unabated, those companies may fold in the near future.

So what is behind this. The main theory is that Brexit, which made migrant workers return to their home countries, or at least to go to another EU country where they still had a right to work, has contributed significantly. This has also led to a skills shortage. The UK skills shortage is also the largest in Europe.

Additionally, Covid-19 has had a two-fold impact, with an estimated 160,000 deaths, many of whom were of working age, and the self-isolation/pingdemic disrupting employees’ ability to go to work or commit to work. This has led businesses to increase wages but to no avail. Haulage firms have increased their pay by 20%, for example, just to get things moving.

Those businesses who had prepared for a shortage when Brexit came in have then been blindsided by the Covid-19-related perfect storm. It is going to be a tough winter and fingers crossed that visa problems can be solved, there are no more lockdowns, firms continue to employ specialist recruitment partners and we all have a very merry Christmas.

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

Why Is Everyone Resigning?

When your best employees are packing their boxes, you need to take action

One of the most interesting trends affecting recruitment recently has been the large wave of resignations so we thought it would be a good time to highlight and discuss this trend.

With resignation rates spiking, and the trend not looking to slow down any time soon, companies are having to deal with recruiting problems from multiple sources. Not only are there resignations, but candidates are harder to find, seeing as the power balance has swung back to the candidates and away from the employers, a fact a lot of businesses are still failing to get to grips with.

Voluntary turnover, especially in industries like tech, means replacements must be sourced from somewhere, somehow. This could indicate that they are being poached but in a field such as Cloud computing, experts are thin on the ground and can only be sourced by recruiters who know what they are looking for.

Plans for returning to the office, which are always up-in-the-air, have not yet happened fully to the degree that some businesses need. Working from home seems to be returning and looks like it will not go away any time soon. Burn out was a key reason for high turnover in the past 18 months but now it is about choice.

The brightest and best are leaving companies at a staggering rate, leaving those companies desperately scrabbling for replacements that match the calibre of ones who have just exited, and this impacts profits. Yes, there is always going to be turnover, but as turnover accelerates, instability within an organisation ensues.

A workforce empowered can make demands in a market that is bouncing back, so those who do not agree with the company’s ethos and no longer feel, or never have felt, valued will vote with their feet and walk. As we have said before, millennials and gen Z are looking for respect, meaningful work and good communication. Job satisfaction matters but why is it so difficult for businesses to comprehend this fact?

Research shows that trust is at the forefront of the new employee experience and if an organisation cannot prove itself trustworthy, then seasoned employees will leave and new ones will not join. WFH has exacerbated an already strained relationship, with communication breaking down and the company’s belief system being tested and found wanting on some occasions.

Employees who have recently considered their own mortality recently have now decided that life is too short to work in a job that makes them miserable. Management who demand unrealistic workloads from their workers or who undermine their employees’ authority on issues of which they are the expert can grind away good will. To avoid this, managers must empathise with their employees.

The expectation that, if an employee is working from home, that they are available whenever they are needed, which leads to a workday with no clearly-defined end-point, will inevitably lead to burn out and resentment. With no workmates around to chat to and vent about the problem, it festers.

Productivity is also under the microscope these days, as the past definition and measurements do not hold muster with the newer generations. What is generally lacking is a result based culture with clearly defined outcome measurements and a standardised assessment framework, rather than a haphazard system based around how many hours have been worked.

By appreciating the old and new pressures their employees were under, managers can stem the flow of workers exiting the business and by building career development into each role, they can give some hope to those who are under their care.

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

How Has Covid-19 Impacted Recruitment?

The impact of Covid-19 has been felt throughout the recruitment sphere

Recruitment is all about finding the best candidates, no matter what the circumstances are, but with the Covid-19 Pandemic, certain elements have changed, causing ripple effects throughout the industry, and as we know, things that affect the recruitment business then affect all the other businesses that require recruitment.

Some changes are positive and some are negative. Hopefully the positives will stay and the negatives will leave, but we shall see. Having your finger on the pulse of recruitment should stand you in good stead for the future.

Virtual working and virtual hiring look set to stick around a while longer. As much as it makes the process of hiring feel unreal and in some ways diluted, many companies are carrying on, and, with no real end in sight for Covid-19, the HR/safety concern is understandable. Of course, this way of doing things is also driving jobs to the market for people to handle the tech responsibilities so that is keeping recruiters busy.

While this is driven by Covid-19 safety, many companies have still not gotten to grips with how to hire this way and especially not how to present the organisation as well as it possibly can be presented. Rushed interviews, distracted interviewers and technical glitches all contribute to a bad impression. Remote hiring is no joke and may well be the new normal so everyone should be taking it seriously.

Inclusivity and diversity has always been an important topic in need of serious thought and action but the pandemic has shone a light on just what companies have been doing to make this a reality. Which the changes brought, there is no better time than now for an organisation to reassess its core principles. The new generations are looking to businesses to demonstrate that they care, and they are willing to vote with their feet if they feel the effort is lacking. This requires leadership and if they do not see that leadership, worker retention plummets.

Mental wellbeing needs to be supported, especially when workers are communicating their isolation during Covid-19. This is another conversation that has been a long time coming and now that it is being had, businesses are seeing how they have been lacking. After the pandemic is over, the offer of counselling and therapy, as well as the positive aspects of flexible working, should continue.

Businesses are waking up to the fact that overworked and overstressed employees, close to burnout, are not the most productive and that their depressed feelings can impact the rest of the team. If a recruiter cannot allay any concerns regarding these workplace processes, then you will lose that candidate.

As we have learned from the past few years, anything can happen so plans should be put in place for many eventualities. Being adaptable is paramount these days and when you encounter new responsibilities or even new job descriptions emerging during difficult times, one should be ready.

In addition, learning and training has been pushed to the fore, as job roles are reassessed and worker retention is prioritised. Those who already consistently learn and update their skillset are already ahead of the game. Recruiters are looking for that pro-active approach now more than ever.

With reassessment has come the realisation in some companies that they really required part-time employees in some roles, or temporary recruit for a select period of time. This kind of flexibility has created some new roles and done away with others. That kind of working works for some employees and does not work for others. Recruiters need to be upfront about what is really on offer so that the candidate can make up their mind quickly whether it is for them or not.

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

The Fight For Talent

A little dramatic, sure, but the fight for talent is a serious one

There is no such thing as an easy hire, no matter what you’ve heard or what you believe. There are easier hires, depending on the area you are hiring in, but if you are doing it correctly, it shouldn’t necessarily be easy.

Putting out a job ad and expecting an avalanche of applications used to be the way it was done and companies have been lulled into a false sense of security by the economy being the way it is now, thinking there is a lot of qualified talent floating around waiting to be chosen. This is not the case, and the way through this problem is organisation and realism.

Strategy is required no matter who you are hiring but especially if you are hiring for specialist roles. The quality candidates who were on the open market have been hired during this extended Covid-19 pandemic so the rest of the talent out there is passively looking to leave their current roles.

As lockdown eases, the competition for these great prospects will start to really heat up and those companies who have not caught on yet will be left behind.

Talent may be delaying any moves due to the instability in the economy, not wanting to jump to something which is a riskier prospect.

One of the reasons that companies are finding it hard to find the talent they want is due to loyalty. If the employee has been treated well during the pandemic, they feel they owe something to the company for sticking with them or accommodating their work situation. Another company coming in needs to offer them the same kind of environment where they are a name and not a number.

A lot of the time, the internal recruiting systems that businesses employ are not refined enough to deal with the demands of the job market as it is now. The process is usually outdated, way too long and drawn out, and does not take into account that time is of the essence when your competitors are snapping at your heels.

As more and more vacant job roles come on the market, the disparity between supply and demand will become more and more apparent.

As is usually the case, a lack of supply leads to budgets rising as competition grows to obtain the sparse, prime candidates. If the companies hiring have knowledge about what their candidates are looking for, they will know that oftentimes the prospects are not only looking for money, but are looking for job satisfaction or career progression too. Either way, competitors will be upping their game and probably engaging specialist recruitment experts in order to locate all of the hidden gem candidates they can.

If you do not have the pipelines needed to supply you with candidates, then you need to find someone who does. Specialist recruitment partners are the obvious choice and are becoming a more common part of the recruitment landscape due to the fact that they have knowledge, focused attention and candidate pipelines.

The major problem is that managers are not on the ground when it comes to recruitment and don’t see the state of it and the emerging trends, daily. They shouldn’t have to, of course, but that expertise is needed in the hunt for these hidden candidates or the fight for the best ones will be lost before it has even started.

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