Data is the new kid on the recruitment block that every company in the Middle East is curious about. Unfamiliar, yet attractive and riddled with assumptions. 

The rapidly growing sector has created enough buzz for companies to desire shiny new departments for data but, do they know what they want this newly formed data capability to achieve? 

The important question for a business is how data can solve real-time business problems. The answer to this will be unique to each business and hence, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. 

Challenges hiring for data

Recruiting talent for a data department should be aligned not only to the company’s business goals, but first to help facilitate their data agenda. Today, most businesses in the Middle East tend to build their data capability out of ‘FOMO’ – maybe a rival is investing heavily towards their own data agenda or perhaps, out of compulsion, either to keep pace with the wider adoption of data in the region or even, led by the government. 

Any business that is looking to invest in or build their capability, should do so with serious forethought and planning. Do they have the right technology or infrastructure in place? Have they looked at building their Data Governance frameworks or has the quality of data been assessed? Do we want to hire a Data Scientist and expect them to define the data quality rules? But of course, data quality is that smart kid that everyone needs but no one seems to befriend.

On another note, intellectual honesty amongst Data Leaders is essential here. Running a true assessment of where the business is with their data readiness currently sets a stronger and more accurate foundation of what they need to be doing next, whether it’s towards technology or people.  

In an instance like this, retaining talent becomes a big challenge in an already candidate-short market like the Middle East. Data professionals may not be willing to invest time and effort in a business that isn’t ready for them. Good talent will be poached by companies with a healthier and more mature data culture. 

The honesty when designing the job description reveals much about the company’s data attitude while setting the tone for the rest of the hiring process. 

Roles in demand

Data Engineering Professionals

This is no surprise. Organisations that have looked to adopt data in any manner over recent times have now started to understand the right people investment they need to make before they can even think of hiring “more attractive” professionals like Data Scientists. Investing in Data Engineers helps build a more scalable infrastructure to support all Data needs.

Data Scientists

With the means to extract meaning from data and the direct impact towards solving real time business problems, Data Scientists are likely to remain within the top three in-demand roles within the field of Data. Question is, have organizations in the region taken the right steps to really extract the right value from these professionals? 

Senior Leadership Roles across all Data Categories

The Data Leader is the strategic bridge between ambitious organisational goals, traditional technology, and new age science. Does Data still sit under a CTO or a CFO? Data Leaders are crucial to direct the business towards truly implementing a data-driven culture; a dedicated leader that understands the outcome of the Data and has the courage to build what is needed to get there.  

Finding the right fit 

This is where the importance of hiring the data challenger talent comes in, the brave trailblazers who have the courage and forethought to steer companies into fresh seas using not just their ninja-like data skills but infusing a data-led mindset into every part of work. 

Michael Page's Data Recruitment Practice 

As organisations have evolved in alignment with the agenda of their Data talent, so has our Data Recruitment practice. Furthermore, through partnering with organisations in the region and the experience recruiting talent for them over the years, we possess deep business and technical expertise in truly understanding the nuances and complex requisitions within the sector. 

Recruiting has never been just about finding 'the' candidate that fits the bill. We have come to understand that the investment a business makes, and the risks associated with a Data hire, where the ROI/cost might be borne for longer than other hires (from a technology or readiness perspective as well). 

On the flip side, good investments speak for themselves - we also appreciate the level of impact and the significant value that a Data hire can bring to the business and all the challenges that come with it. 

Thus, we aim to support the movement by connecting high-caliber Data professionals locally or globally to top businesses in the region across Data Governance and Management, Engineering, Data Science and the wider Analytics remit. 

Now, our track record speaks of numerous successful recruitment engagements across start-ups, SMEs, MNCs and Government entities - as a recruitment partner, we are playing a critical and strategic role in supporting with their Data talent agenda. 
 

Get in touch

If you are an employer and would like to talk to us about your current recruitment needs, or learn about the salary benchmarks and skills in demand, then please fill in the form below, and one of our consultants will call you back.

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