What to look for in a data science recruiter

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data science recruiter




We are now living in an era driven by data. Companies are trying to figure out how to make things faster, cheaper, and more streamlined. And the best way to do this is through data science. So unsurprisingly, there has been a massive boom in the data science industry.


Where there is a boom in a job market, recruiters are soon to follow. As a result of the increase in the number of data science jobs, the number of data science recruiters has also increased. This is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand it means you have more choice over which data science recruiter you want to use. But on the other hand, it means there will be a lot of less-than-desirable data science recruiters out there.


It is true there are some horror stories about staffing agencies trying to make a “quick buck” off your career. However, if you do find a good recruitment agency they can save you a lot of time and effort. Even better, they can help you find your dream job.


But how can you tell if a data science recruiter is really worth his salt? To help you out, we have created a list of tips to help you spot the good the bad and the ugly of data science recruiters.


Do they understand data science?


It is all to easy for a recruitment agency to hire the first person to come through their door and ask them to call as many data scientists as possible, attempting to land them any old job relating to IT. What you really want is someone that understands data science. For example, do they know the difference between a data science and a business intelligence position?


The best companies will hire recruiters with a data science background to carry out the recruitment process or at least train their recruiters in basics of data science. It is perfectly fine to ask a recruiter what they know about data science if they call you. If they seem to know nothing, this should be a red flag. If they don’t know anything about the industry, how can they hope to match you with the jobs you want. If you are uneasy about asking the uncomfortable questions with your recruiter here’s a guide to help you communicate politely and effectively.


What jobs have they helped previous clients get?


Asking a recruiter about what jobs they’ve helped previous candidates get in the past is important for 2 reasons. The first is to see if they are really interested in you or just getting their next commission. If a data science recruiter can’t tell you about what jobs they’ve helped to land in the past it is a good indication that they do not have long lasting relationships with their candidates. They most likely place a candidate in a job and move on to the next candidate like a conveyor belt. According to the Huffington Post;


A bad recruiter is motivated only by the commission they are getting today and does not bother with the long game…recruiting is a relationship business.”


The second reason it is important to ask your recruiter about the previous roles they have placed candidates in, is to check that they are of equivalent experience level to you. This rule is more applicable to veterans within data science. If you’ve worked in the business for years and are operating on a more senior level, you are going to want to make sure the recruiter is trusted with handling more senior level jobs. If the recruiter is trying to advertise jobs that are a step down from your current position it is only going to waste their time and yours.


What are they going to do for you?


This question is vital. You don’t want a recruiter to do the bare minimum and get you to do all the hard work. Each job seeker is different and they will expect different things from their recruiter. But be specific with them. If you want them to negotiate your salary, ask them if they provide that service. If you would like them to prepare you for interview, tell them up front this is what you expect from them.


The key is communication on both sides. If you both enter into a relationship with agreed upon terms, then it is less likely that there will be an upset later on. If you’re not sure what kind of demands you can make of your recruiter here is list of common demands people ask of their recruiter.


Do you get along with them?


This point may seem obvious but it is important to highlight. If your interactions with your recruiter are filled with anger and frustration then there is no way that this is going to develop into a prosperous business relationship. It is essential to build a rapport with your recruiter, this will ensure that you will always have someone to fight your case when it comes to landing you the jobs you want.


Building a relationship with your recruiter might take the form of regular communication via phone or email. Or it might even involve a visit in person every now and again. If your contact with them isn’t enjoyable, it’s unlikely that they are the best person to represent you or your career. If you are looking for some advice on how to build a good relationship with your recruiter Linkedin has written a helpful article.