Is Your Team Hiring for Data Literacy?

Jobs are changing thanks to the advancement of digital technologies that put data and computer literacy at the center of the universe for almost every employer. This makes data competency increasingly important as jobs shift to incorporate automation, data capture, and utilization of that data to make business decisions. This is part of what’s been called the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” an apt phrase that highlights the importance of hiring for data literacy for all companies. Data literacy is a particularly important skill for anyone in IT. This blow will help your hiring team understand the ins and outs of hiring candidates with the skills to help you compete in this brave new world.

Why Hire for Data Literacy?

Data literacy means the employee has the skills to extract actionable insight from the data we capture. There are dozens of tools available to help IT teams slice and dice data; you are looking for the worker that can use one or more types of software to make sense of the information you capture. Future employees, and not just necessarily IT workers, will need to be able to isolate the data they need, examine it, and formulate ideas for how and where to use it. 

The kinds of data literacy skills you’re looking for include:

  • The ability to evaluate the relevance of the data for the tasks you’re applying it to.
  • Critical thinking skills related to how to use the data.
  • Skills in visualizing and understanding the data.
  • The ability to understand when data is being misused or misapplied.
  • Strong communication skills and a passion for data.

The goal for most mid-level and enterprise organizations is to make their data actionable. You’re looking for employees that enjoy the thought of making data-driven decisions every day to improve your company. But how can you find these employees with IT talent is already so hard to come by?

How to Find Data Savvy Employees

Upskilling your current workforce to prepare them for the realities of tomorrow’s data driven environments is the first step. Reskilling these workers will give you a little more breathing space to prepare for step two, which is finding that needle-in-the-haystack data-savvy IT employee. To find these candidates, focus on three primary areas:

  • Look for candidates with strong analytical skills. You can incorporate assessments that screen for these human characteristics.
  • Verify their current technical experience. We know there is controversy related to testing, but really, there is simply no other way to be sure of the competency of any technology-related new hire. You can also create position-specific tech related questions during the interview process that will help you find the right fit.
  • Also assess the candidate’s ability to communicate in writing and in person. How does the candidate share insight gleaned from the data in a way that non-technical end-users can absorb it? Look for the exceptional IT candidate with interpersonal people skills that are as strong as their technical acumen.

Talk with the team at The Custom Group of Companies. We’ve been hiring data-smart candidates for year and have strong, reliable networks to help support your hiring goals. Call on us!

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