In this new year, it is important to remember that we can only move forward if we are willing to think differently, question and even reject the old ways of doing things. Change is a hard challenge but if the past two years have taught us anything, it is that things left to chance will not get you to the point you need to be at quickly enough.
The need to separate past, present and future is paramount if a company has any ambition for the future. As the old L.P. Hartley quote goes: the past is a foreign country, they do things differently there. When you look at how you used to do business or you used to do recruitment maybe five, ten, twenty years ago, you wouldn’t recognise the organisation.
Things move on, sometimes on purpose, sometimes accidentally and sometimes forced by external pressure, but always necessarily. If your company is striving to be in control of its destiny, everything it should be doing should be on purpose, or at least in anticipation of market forces.
Whilst it is not always possible to tell what shape your team will be in the future based on where it is in the present, strategy is key. It has been known for some organisations to hire double the amount of workers within a role, under the misbegotten expectation that the role’s workload will double in the near future.
This is usually based on the misunderstanding of what is required and how these data teams work. This can be based on panic from management who wish to make sure they have enough support and not wishing to show their lack of knowledge of that specific field. It can also happen due to a misguided idea that resources will be saved if there is a double hire during interviewing. Either way, it usually isn’t necessary and necessitates a need for deeper understanding of teams. Resources may be better spent on an external expert or a specialist recruitment consultant used to building data teams.
Starting a team small makes it more manoeuvrable.With ever-shifting priorities, more agile teams are required within businesses, especially start-ups. The hiring should also be agile. Scaling-up, one expert team member at a time, is the way to go for smaller teams.
However you feel about data teams, or whatever your beliefs, one thing is crystal clear: the old ways don’t work for data teams. The idea, which can be prevalent amongst management, that a one-size-fits-all multi-disciplinarian in data science will solve all your problems, is wrong.
Firstly, someone like that who is a genius is as rare as hen’s teeth and, thus, totally in-demand and earning the big bucks. Secondly, if they are not a genius, they are a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none.
Doing the opposite and just hiring a large team can result in an unwieldy process. The natural instinct to cover all bases is understandable but can waste time and money, and create bigger problems further on down the road. There can be no more burying of heads in the sand.
The prime plan should involve a younger, diverse and, most importantly to start off with, small team. The team’s skills should all complement each other and there can always be external help brought in. Skill development should be baked into the plan as these young prospects will be looking to stay with a company that values them, and the company will reap the value in the long term.
Information on their oft skills and passion should be sought after during their interviews and it all boils down to slotting them into the team you are building. There are experts out there who are adept at building data teams and if you need help, just ask for it.
Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.