Virtual and augmented reality, advanced robotics and self-driving cars are technologies that exemplify the digital transformation of our world. However, none of these advancements would be possible without data and, more importantly, how we build, interpret and understand data.
To stay ahead of the competition, organisations need to continually invest in these progressive technologies. Data analysis methodology is becoming more sophisticated and the volume of data being collected is rapidly increasing. In turn, this means that the number and variety of roles in data science are also growing significantly, creating high demand for Data Scientists and Engineers. In this post, we’re sharing insights on why these specialist candidates are in such high demand, UK-wide hiring data for this talent pool, and how to attract these professionals into your organisation.
The steady growth in data science roles
Over the last few years there has been a measurable increase in data science investment within organisations, and Refinitiv has reported that the COVID-19 pandemic will accelerate this investment even further, with 40% of firms expecting to increase machine learning.
Through organisations recognising the value of data analytics and increased investment in this area, the number of jobs available has also spiked. Since 2012, there has been a 650% increase in data science jobs and while demand for Data Scientists remains high, supply is low and, according to IBM, this trend is set to continue. Data collected between 2019 and 2021 shows that there are now fewer candidates available per job than in prior years, indicating the difficulty employers may face in attracting the talent they need.
Looking specifically at the UK market, the majority of employers recruiting this specialist talent pool are in England (91%), while 8% are in Scotland and 2% in Wales. Unsurprisingly, London accounts for 55% of the job openings, followed by other cities which are home to large-scale IT, healthcare or manufacturing companies, such as Cambridge, Edinburgh and Manchester. Reviewing the share of job opportunities on a regional level, 5% are in the North West and South West, respectively, 6% are in the South East, 8% in Scotland and 12% in Eastern England.
The context behind the surge in demand for talent
One reason for the shortage of Data Scientists is because more companies are realising the value of big data in making informed business decisions. To that end, Refinitiv reported that between 2018 and 2020, there was a 260% growth in the number of data science teams per firm. We’ve also seen a trend whereby smaller businesses across the country build specific data functions to stay ahead of their competitors, while a number of our clients have changed their strategic approach to be data-led, so that they can engage with their customer base in a much more targeted way.
The value of adding Data Scientists to your team
Using algorithms and machine learning, Data Scientists can extract valuable insights from data, enabling them to make informed decisions and predictions that have a significant impact for organisations, touching everything from business strategy to customer engagement.
A recent survey from TechRepublic supports the importance of data science, reasoning why more organisations are increasing their investment in this area; they reported that using data analytics can create significant competitive advantages, allowing organisations to maximise opportunities and mitigate potential risks. In fact, the report participants attributed data science and analytics as a major contributor to their business success, with 79% confirming that their company used analytics.
Candidates’ job preferences
Generally speaking, most candidates are attracted to work for a company where they can collaborate with a wider data team. Plus, they want to understand how their position fits into that wider team and the overall organisation, and clearly see the impact of their work. Recent data indicates that a large number of job seekers would be willing to relocate for the right role, demonstrating that company fit is a key consideration for candidates in this market.
How companies can attract Data Scientists to their workforce
Organisations need to have a clear roadmap for their data science capability, along with clearly defined roles within a data science team, otherwise candidates may not understand the purpose of their role or the scope of their remit. Encouraging inventive approaches to work, recognising achievement and offering flexibility will go a long way. Reward plays a big part too. The Dice Tech Salary 2021 Report shows that in the US, between 2019 and 2020, Data Scientists experienced a 12.8% salary increase– one of the biggest within the tech market, while Data Engineers’ salaries increased by 4.7%. We expect to see a similar trend in the UK, given that there is high demand and low supply for this talent pool, so both pay and the wider benefits package need to be carefully considered.
If you need support recruiting Data Scientists, we’re here to help. Experis is the global leader in professional IT resourcing and solutions, operating in more than 50 countries worldwide. Thanks to our expert industry knowledge, history of success and strong relationships with organisations large and small, we’re perfectly placed to match specialist IT professionals into permanent and contract assignments. To learn how we can help you attract the right talent in this competitive market, please contact Matthew Costello today.