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  • Writer's pictureChelsea Wilkinson

You're hired!

Last week, DataDiligence hired its first two employees; a huge milestone for a 10-month start-up. And though recruiting is very much my old stomping ground, this time it was different.


🌍 A whole new world: I was hiring for a totally new skillset to my former private equity life – and yes, data scientists are different! So, with Adam Votava as my not-so-secret weapon, we put together a rigorous process combining regular interviews, a technical test and case study presentation. Interestingly, in creating and implementing this process, we learnt as much about our own needs as we did about our candidates’ expertise.

🍼 My baby: I’m a co-founder; this is ‘my’ businesses. It turns out that first hires feel very personal.

🧑🏾‍🤝‍🧑🏼 Culture matters: When you are doubling your capacity, you also run the risk of diluting your culture by 50%. Or said another way, culture is (arguably) more important for SMEs because a single hire can dramatically impact your team. So consciously look for people that will nurture your ethos.

📄 Put professional structures in early: Spend money and time drafting tight employment contracts and staff handbooks – especially as an SME. Thanks to a friend referral, I used a great firm, with lots of experience supporting small businesses (thanks Haddletons!)

🖇 LinkedIn recruiting works: Albeit a little overwhelming, we received quality CVs from every continent. Building on this, virtual recruiting was also new to me; it works too. But make sure you have enough, varied conversations as you do miss many of the non-verbal cues that traditional interviews offer.

🌟 Who to choose? Funnily enough, we’ve ended up hiring two physicists. Two! It turns out that the fields of astrophysics and space science lend themselves to the very traits we were seeking: a love of complex problem solving; a highly inquisitive mind; and data fluency (both big and small). In our instance, we also hope that this shared love of space and astronomy will form the basis of a supportive professional relationship between our new recruits, which is the final lesson in our recruitment process. Think hard about the fit and complementary traits between new recruits, especially when hiring in pairs (which I particularly like to do, as they form a natural support/buddy in the early days).

All of which brings me to say a sincere thanks to all the candidates who applied and shared their enthusiasm and insights. We encourage them all to continue to reach for the stars.

And – of course – to our (prospective) clients, we have some of our very own superstars joining in October. We can’t wait to help you solve your business problems with data!



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