illustration of how to create a smooth hiring experience for data scientists

No matter if it’s a candidate’s market or an employer’s market, the competition to find specialized talent is tougher than ever. Even with economic setbacks, the demand for top talent such as data scientists far outweighs available candidates. Because of this, data scientists can be more selective about the companies they consider for employment opportunities, which is why ensuring an exceptional candidate experience from start to finish is crucial for hiring data scientists in this competitive talent market.

The data science community is small, and with technology making it easier to connect, share, and communicate, one experience can have a ripple effect throughout the community. If a candidate decides not to interview, withdraws from the interview process, or accepts an offer elsewhere, their interactions with your company can make or break your ability to persuade other candidates to join your organization.  Companies can’t afford to lose hard-to-find talent because of a bad candidate experience.

If you want to ensure your candidate experience is top-notch, here are five things to consider.

1. Eliminate bias in the interview process.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are essential to today’s workforce, and the companies actively making strides to improve DEI are the ones that stand out.

A simple way to eliminate bias in your hiring process for data scientists (and other roles) is ensuring your job descriptions and recruitment marketing content uses inclusive language. Tools like Textio helps you see where you need to improve and ATS’s like Greenhouse have DEI alerts and guidance built into Scorecard development and job creation

You also want to do your due diligence by revising your interview questions and coaching those interviewing candidates. Additionally, candidates want to see a diverse panel of interviewers, so carefully consider your panel and include a range of people, including women, people of color, people with disabilities, and more. Having a mix of people will not only create a good interview experience, but their unique perspectives help your company avoid any blind spots when making a hiring decision.

2. Create a quick and seamless process.

According to First Round Review, strong candidates in a competitive field like data science often receive three or more offers. That’s why you can’t afford to drag your feet during the interview process.

If a candidate is interviewing with you, that likely means they’re actively looking for work and are speaking to other companies too. Revisit your interviewing process to get rid of tedious steps, unnecessary interviews, pointless questions and tests, and slow response times. Do what you can to get interviewer feedback and decisions ASAP so there aren’t weeks between interviews and final decisions. 

By moving through the process quicker, you’ll reduce the chance of losing talent to other companies.

3. Provide informative communications.

Candidates don’t want to make uninformed decisions, which is why more companies are investing in employer branding. Employer branding activities focus on creating a solid employee value proposition and craft content to give a behind-the-scenes look into a company so candidates can envision themselves working there. This helps candidates understand if the environment and opportunity are aligned with their personal values and helps you engage the right people easier, all while improving employee retention.

Recruiters should partner with the employer branding team to gather informative and thoughtful communications, such as videos, blog content, collateral, and more. This allows candidates to understand more about the company culture, the team they’ll work on, the interesting challenges they’ll solve, how someone can succeed in this role and more.

4. Follow through on expectations.

Communication and follow-through are key to building trust with talent. Remember, interviews are a two-way street. This is the opportunity for your company to showcase how well they take care of employees by showing job applicants how well they are cared for during the interview process.

One way to do this is by being transparent and making interviews more conversational. Show targeted interest in them as a person and demonstrate that you’ve thoroughly read their resume. Ask deep questions and illustrate how you value their expertise.

Between interviews, have your recruiters share more information (e.g., the employer branding content), be overly communicative with updates, check in to see if the candidates have any questions, and get them answers as soon as possible.

Although we try our best to create a perfect interview process, hiccups happen. By being forthright, giving detailed updates, and following through on the expectations you’ve communicated, more candidates will be accepting if things don’t go as seamlessly as expected. 

5. Be constructive and specific in your feedback.

Unfortunately, there are only so many positions available at your company. If you have candidates in the interview loop who won’t receive an offer, provide useful feedback so they’ll end the experience on a positive note.

Inform rejected candidates as soon as possible rather than dragging it out. Ditch those impersonal rejection emails and get specific. Ideally, have the recruiters or hiring managers call the candidate to let them know they aren’t moving forward and provide thoughtful feedback. Even if it’s as simple as letting them know there was a stronger candidate in the pipeline, this approach goes a long way in creating a positive experience for rejected candidates.

It’s a highly competitive market when it comes to hiring data scientists. By putting the effort into creating an impactful candidate experience, you can build credibility and trust with the data science community, helping you hire easier in the long run.

Interested in a data science role at Feedzai? We’re hiring! Check out our open positions today.