7 Key Attributes to Look For When Hiring a Top-Rated Data Scientist

Employer Mar 23, 2023

The best Data Scientists excel not just at making sense of vast amounts of messy, unstructured data, but also at deriving true business value and forward-looking insights from the data to solve potential problems and spot emerging trends.

Thanks to the unflagging evolution of mobile and digital technology where we’re constantly sharing information on our usage patterns and daily lifestyles, there is a virtual gold mine waiting to be unearthed in the data. A gold mine of untapped business insights to boost revenue by creating better products and solutions.

Key Attributes to Look For When Hiring a Top-Rated Data Scientist

A top-rated Data Scientist possesses a unique combination of computing and mathematical skills as well as curiosity and business acumen to uncover creative solutions and insights from the data. If you’re looking to hire a first-class Data Scientist to help your business grow, here are 7 key attributes and skills to include in your recruitment criteria.

#1 Critical Thinking

Being able to objectively evaluate a problem or situation from multiple perspectives allows a Data Scientist to filter out critical insights from the irrelevant in order to find creative solutions or unconventional approaches to problem-solving.

They will need to balance experience and intuition against objective, critical thinking to stay open and curious to discovering new possibilities and fresh ideas.

Critical Thinking

#2 Coding

To succeed as a Data Scientist, the individual will ideally possess programming skills that comprise computational aspects (working with huge volumes of real-time data, cloud computing, unstructured data, and statistical aspects) as well as statistical models (regression, optimization, clustering, decision trees, random forests). They should also be able to code in languages such as Python, R, SQL, C++ or Java.


#3 Mathematics

Mathematical proficiency is one of the core skills required to excel as a Data Scientist. An important part of the job involves developing complex financial or operational statistical models to advance or transform key business strategies. This requires deep expertise in mathematics and statistics and the ability to wrangle vast amounts of data to optimise decision-making processes.


#4 Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Demis Hassabis, CEO of DeepMind, a Google-owned AI company, defines artificial intelligence as "the science of making machines smart."

Demis Hassabis, CEO of Google DeepMind

Having the knowledge and skills to operate AI platforms—whether using machine learning algorithms (which makes predictions based on patterns identified from large sets of structured and unstructured data) or deep learning algorithms (advanced machine learning using deep artificial neural networks modelled after the human brain)—will allow a Data Scientist to automate certain data science tasks such as providing support and training for amateur data users or formulating low-risk predictions (as opposed to health or finance predictions that will have disastrous consequences if they’re erroneous).

Additionally, harnessing the incredible scale and speed of AI to unify customer data across different platforms and to discover hidden insights and patterns in large datasets will greatly enhance a Data Scientist’s efficiency and ability to extract valuable information, translating to increased revenue and productivity for the business.

#5 Communication

Data Scientists assume a multipurpose role that combines a mathematician, computer scientist, and trend-spotter, straddling the business, technology, and data worlds. By definition, this requires them to have strong communication skills to translate statistics into actionable insights as well as to convey the technical information as easily understandable business intelligence to different stakeholders within the organisation.

To excel at the job, ​​Data Scientists need to be able to articulate to business managers how an algorithm arrived at a prediction, as well as the many challenges surrounding data quality, privacy, and confidentiality, to gain their trust and support.

In addition to the above, a good Data Scientist should also be business-savvy and inquisitive enough to conduct thorough interviews with organisation stakeholders so as to fully understand business priorities and to identify which data is most relevant for growth.

#6 Problem-Solving & Business Intuition

Despite the multi-faceted role a Data Scientist assumes, he or she is first and foremost, an experienced problem-solver. This means having the ability to look at the situation from multiple viewpoints in order to understand what the problem is, before identifying the tools needed to solve the problem and achieve the desired results.

Natural business intuition is also an important attribute that enables the Data Scientist to spot opportunities in the data and to implement innovative business models that disrupt the market and keep the organisation one step ahead of competitors.

A Proactive Headhunting Approach to Help You Hire Top-Rated Data Scientists

Seekers Malaysia specialises in a proactive, results-driven approach that focuses on reaching passive candidates (i.e. those not active on job portals) to quickly and efficiently identify and locate top-rated Data Scientists for businesses and organisations.

By combining technology with a well-connected human network of freelance recruiters, Seekers uses an effective crowdsourcing process to reach the “passive” 95% of job seekers—individuals who are not actively looking for jobs or not using recruitment sites.

This tried-and-tested method allows Seekers to leverage its constantly growing database of over 22,000 freelance recruiters to help employers urgently in need of hiring top-performing Data Scientists.

On top of that, Seekers also provides an all-inclusive headhunting service through a dedicated team of Career Consultants, Corporate Care, and Recruiter Management professionals to ensure that every aspect of your recruitment needs is fully taken care of.

If you’re looking to hire exceptional Data Scientists for your business or organisation, talk to us and we’ll get started on the talent search for you. Alternatively, you might like to learn more about our headhunting services.

We look forward to helping you find the right professional talents for your organisation.

Performance-Based Headhunting Service for Specialist Talents

Seekers Malaysia is a results-driven, performance-based headhunting service that provides career consultancy, corporate support, and recruitment management services to help employers find and hire specialist talents across different digital and technological fields of expertise.

Our unique approach of combining technology with an extensive database of over 22,000 freelance recruiters allows us to quickly and efficiently identify and locate highly skilled and experienced professional talents best suited for your business goals and needs.

Learn more about our headhunting services or contact us to discuss your recruitment needs. We look forward to helping you find the right talents to drive your organisation’s growth.

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