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How To Hire a Data Scientist

Complete with job descriptions, skill profiles, and interview templates. Use this Data Scientist hiring guide to help you make the right decisions, fast.

Data Scientist Recruitment Guide

What does a Data Scientist do?

Data Scientists use modelling, data science, mathematics, computer science and analytics to solve organizational problems to help make decisions. They help businesses make decisions from data including growth, how to optimize current offerings, uncovering issues, and product development.

Day to day tasks of a Data Scientist

Skills assessment

Data Scientist definition

A data scientist is a highly trained individual. Data scientists are required to interpret a lot of complex data. To do this, they employ techniques like machine learning, algorithms, and various types of modelling to identify patterns in the data. Once they have identified patterns in both structured and unstructured data sets, they are required to action such data in ways that help the business.

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Data Scientist Hiring Process

Step 1: Understand the role
Step 2: Source Applicants
Step 3: Skills Assessment
Step 4: Interview
Step 5: Hire

Build the Ideal Candidate Profile​

To find the best person for the role, you need to understand what the role involves. You can complete this with the hiring manager to define the role, its contribution, and the skills needed.

Write A Job Description Based On Skills

Once you understand the requirements for the role, you’ll need to understand the skills for success. You can then write an effective job description to promote your role.

Selecting The Ideal Candidate

See which applicants have the right skills for the role. Send all your applicants a Vervoe skills assessment from the expert library, or customize one for your organization.

Interview Top Performers

Your skills assessment results will identify top performers. Focus your time on interviewing those that have met or exceeded your requirements. Assessment results will also help guide which skill areas to focus on in the interview.

Making An Offer

Once you assess your candidates against these skills, you’re ready to offer the top performer(s). You should base your offer on the value that the candidate would bring to your team and your business as a whole. It is also important to ensure your compensation and benefits packages are competitive in the industry and help you attract and retain the top talent.
Build the ideal candidate profile

Skills needed for a Data Scientist

Data scientists must be great communicators with a high level of programming expertise. They must have strong skills in manipulating and interpreting data. Data scientists need to be proactive and good learners so they’re able to stay on top of evolving technologies.

Pro Tip

Ensure you clearly outline the responsibilities, area of business and industry for the data scientist role you’re recruiting for. This will increase the chances you find candidates that take interest into the problems that your organisation faces and through their passion you will achieve a high level of results which benefit the company for its long term performance.


How to write a Data Scientist job description

Once you’ve determined the skills required for the role, you can write the job description to advertise for your position. Here’s what to include in your Data Scientist job description:

Job Title: What position are you hiring for?

Summary: What makes your company unique? What would it be like to work for you?

Responsibilities: An overview of the role’s day-to-day activities, and how the position contributes to the organization

Requirements: Skills a candidate must have to perform the job successfully

Benefits: Details of compensation, benefits, and any perks on offer

Pro Tip

In building your candidate profile, remember you’ve already identified what skills are needed to succeed in the role. Here’s where to list your “must-have” skills and maybe a couple of “nice-to-have” skills. For example, a Data Scientist must have a fundamental understanding of business so they’re able to craft their work around the direction an organisation wants to go as they can help facilitate this.

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Sample skill tests for a Data Scientist

Create a free account today to access the full assessment and more from our library

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Question 1

Machine Learning

Question Type: Multiple Choice

As a part of your machine learning project, you need to transform the data in such a way that the mean will be located at zero. Which approach would you select?

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Question 2


Question Type: Code

You were asked to perform some operations using numpy before going through the machine learning model. One of them is to get the product of two vectors. Assuming the two vectors are v and w below, How will you do that? Please find the unknown line.

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Question 3


Question Type: Audio

You are working with a colleague on a project. They want to hand-pick certain customers who have achieved great results with the product to research validity for future funding. In a short audio recording, outline what selection bias is and how it could impact the results of the research.


How to interview a Data Scientist

Once your Vervoe skills assessment has surfaced the most qualified people for your open role, you can focus on interviewing these candidates. The interview should focus on any skills that require development that were highlighted from the skills assessment.

Now you know that candidates can do the job, the interview becomes more of a relationship building exercise where you can get to know the candidate on a more personal level, understand their motivations, and how they would fit in with the team.

Making An Offer

How much does it cost to hire a Data Scientist?

In the USA Data scientists are remunerated an extremely high rate compared to some other professions, it is reported by Payscale that the median base salary is $96,00, whereas on the salary is reported as $93,786 and Glassdoor USA has the average base salary at high $115,116 per year.

Data Scientist Salary United States

Data Scientist salaries in the United States range from $67,000 – $135,000 (USD). Data scientist salaries in the U.S vary a lot depending on the industry and the nature of the work they’re conducting.

Data Scientist Salary United Kingdom

Data scientist salaries in the United Kingdom range from £21,000 – £49,000 (GBP). Data scientist salaries in the UK vary largely based on the skills on the seniority of the position, location and industry of the company.

Data Scientist Salary Australia

Data scientist salaries in Australia range from $79,000 – $147,000 (AUD). Data scientists salaries usually depend on the data they’re analyzing which boils down to the industry and scale of the data that needs to be manipulated.