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The Care and Feeding of Data Scientists by Katie Malone, Michelangelo D'Agostino

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Chapter 2. How to Win Friends and Recruit Data Scientists

You’ve spent time thinking about the type(s) of data scientists who are best for your particular organization and how you want to structure your team. Now how do you go out and find them, get on their radar, and recruit them to join you on your team’s journey?

When you’re trying to find data scientists to hire, the first piece of the puzzle is knowing where they congregate so that you can put your company’s message in front of them. Data scientists tend to cluster, and they love to learn, so invest in community outreach in data-centric venues: go to meetups, speak on panels at local colleges and universities, and give talks at conferences. With demand for data science talent at an all-time high, prospects are (justifiably) picky about where they want to work, so you have to show them why your organization deserves their attention. Because data scientists love to learn and they want to work at places where they’ll be able to continue learning as they work (see Chapter 4), think of yourself as a community data science educator rather than as a recruiter or a salesperson. This means that your meetup conversations, panels, and talks must first and foremost center around teaching the data scientists around you something new—whether it’s something technical, methodological, organizational, or business related.

We’ve personally made use of two strategies that aren’t for every organization but are extremely effective if you have ...

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