In my last article Hiring for Digital Analytics, where I discuss traits to look for when hiring candidates who are new to Digital Analytics, today I thought I’d share ways to evaluate if an analyst is ready for a more experienced position, such as a Sr. Analyst or leadership position.
Many candidates in the Digital Analytics community tout their years of experience, when in fact they have little digital analytics experience and application under their belt. It’s unfortunate but companies will often hire these individuals only to find out later that they’re not equipped for the position. Below are some ways to learn if candidates are ready to move up in a Digital Analytics position.
How to Evaluate the Skills of an Experienced Analyst
Hiring someone with the right amount of experience in Digital Analytics can sometimes be delicate. The hiring manager needs to know the amount of experience required for the position and have a keen eye for recognizing when someone is suitable for the job.
Only so much can be determined from an interview, which is why I would recommend giving analysts a case study to help effectively evaluate key skills for a more advanced position in analytics.
Case studies need to be specific to your organization, here are a few examples to get you started:
- Use a current problem within the organization that needs to be solved as it relates to Analytics
- If you’re an agency, create a fictitious company and a use either a current problem that you’re having which needs to be solved or make up a relevant one
- Ask the candidate to develop a measurement strategy based on goals and objectives for a fictitious company (or even your real one). This will help you understand what metrics the candidate views as important and how well they align the data with your company goals and business objectives.
Case studies will also help to effectively evaluate these following skills;
- Thought process
- Independent Thinker
- Knowledge of the industry
With tailored case studies, you can test an analyst’s thought process by seeing how well they understand the initial problem, their steps to solving the issue and their final results. Understanding how an individual approaches data is important and will give you an insight into how they typically solve problems.
During the presentation, the hiring manager can learn how the candidate develops the requirements to determine which metrics are best used for measuring the specific business goals or how they interpret the results from fictitious data in your case study. The purpose of this exercise is to see first-hand how they might work with clients, co-workers and your company to develop a proper measurement strategy.
Presenting the results from your case study helps you evaluate how effectively the candidate communicates. When communicating to stakeholders it’s equally important to discern insights as it is to convey the performance of measuring business objectives. This is where the presentation of a case study will also be useful in being able to evaluate how well the candidate communicates their results and how well they might motivate or excite stakeholders.
During the case study presentation assess the effectiveness of their presentation skills. How well-prepared are they? Do they speak with confidence? Do you understand what they’re saying and does it make sense? Is there a theme or story in their presentation and does it flow well? Having a case study presented to the hiring manager will help with making a decision as to whether or not they will fit the role.
Gauge their leadership abilities by the unique and original ideas that they present. One mistake I’ve seen during a presentation is someone regurgitating what has been posted in blogs or found online, but not actually showing how they applied that information or modified what they learned to support their need.
This is why it’s crucial to give candidates case studies. Gauging someone’s leadership abilities can also be ascertained by the content that they’re posting online themselves. Do they share with the analytics community ways that they’ve solved problems? Someone with experience in analytics who is writing content to help others in the industry is a great way to determine if they’re a right fit for a more advanced analytics position in your organization.
As we all know, Digital Media is always changing and advancing. It’s important for Digital Analysts to understand this and continuously evolve their own skills to accommodate. During their presentation, evaluate how well they’re considering new advancements in the industry. How forward thinking are their thoughts and ideas in the presentation? It’s important to stay ahead of the game and having a team member who stays abreast of the latest trends provides great value to an organization.
Finding someone with Digital Analytics experience can be a challenging journey that requires some upfront knowledge from the hiring manager. If you evaluate these skills by providing a case study to candidates, you’ll certainly find an appropriate Sr. Analyst or leader to manage your Digital Analytics department or team.
What are some methods that you’ve implemented in your hiring process to effectively vet Digital Analytics candidates?
I’d love to hear from you! Tweet me @NicoleRawski or comment below!