Big data and the burgeoning need for A-list talent to make it work for your company is one of the most intense challenges hiring managers currently face– beginning “yesterday” and continuing through the next several years.
The Big Data Picture
The reality of today’s big data talent marketplace is that supply and demand are in a state of critical mismatch. Projections indicate that employers will add close to 118,000 analytics jobs by 2015. Of these, 39,000 will be in the United States, followed by India, China and Brazil. In a recent survey of 258 North American businesses, 72 percent said they would increase spending in this area – as analytics moves from a secondary role in many companies to the core of many key strategies, decisions and processes.
The U.S. is expected to create 44 percent of all new jobs for analytics experts, but the country has only 23 percent of the supply, leading to a potential shortfall of about 32,000 qualified workers.
What’s the answer to bridging this gap and securing talent to compete and win in a global marketplace?
Your Battlefield Strategy
It’s time to take the bull by the horns when it comes to big data staffing. This means thinking just a little differently about your strategies.
- Educate your existing workforce. Identify current employees for development into big data leaders. Send them to conferences and training programs and slot them into webinars to learn more – and gauge their response.
- Maximize your current analytics team. Many companies tend to silo the work of their analytics experts into limited areas, such as research and development. To effectively harness the value of big data, consider reassigning them to work on operational challenges such as supply chain optimization, logistics, purchasing or pricing.
- Make analytics jobs more attractive. Big data professionals frequently complain that they spend too much time on simple analyses and report generation, versus building and refining analytical models. Employers can counteract this by allocating tasks in ways that constantly challenge their talent.
- Lead your talent down an attractive career path. Sometimes, in order to advance, analysts are slotted into management positions that they don’t really want. A better strategy is to create senior analytics positions where professionals feel a sense of growth, minus the pressure to advance in areas they perceive as limiting.
- Include big data talent in your campus recruitment efforts. A number of colleges and universities have established degree programs in analytics. They include North Carolina State, Northwestern, DePaul, Oklahoma State, and the Universities of Ottawa, Connecticut and Alabama. Also on the list: Texas A&M and Texas Tech, Carnegie Mellon, and these California state universities: Long Beach, Berkeley and Cal Polytechnic.
- While you’re on campus, raise awareness: It’s estimated that only about 10 percent of qualified college graduates will accept analytics jobs, often because they simply don’t know about them. If employers could increase this figure to 20 percent, there would be an additional 94,000 big data professionals in the U.S.
Securing analytics talent to lead your organization to competitive victory is exciting, albeit daunting. Working with a specialized recruitment firm whose experts know big data inside and out can be a key part of your success. Call Select Group, Inc., for more ideas on making it happen!