Lynn Hodak, Corporate Recruiter at Capgemini, has hired more than 10 Metis data science bootcamp graduates for roles within artificial intelligence and analytics! We chatted with Lynn about why Capgemini looks for Data Scientists who have both technical skills and customer-facing skills, what the data scientist interview process looks like, and how well her hires from Metis are performing on the job so far. Plus find out why Lynn plans to hire more data science bootcamp graduates!
Tell us about Capgemini and your role there.
I'm the Corporate Recruiter for Artificial Intelligence and Analytics. Capgemini is a global consulting firm that's been in business for over 50 years. We have more than 200,000 employees working across 40 countries. We deal with technology across all industries: energy, utilities, entertainment, manufacturing, packaged goods, automotive, etc. We have a broad base of industries and a focused technology group.
How did you first get connected with Metis as a place to hire data scientists?
One of our leaders at Capgemini had heard of Metis and that it was a respected program. We looked into the program and I attend some of the graduates' presentations. We interviewed quite a few people over a period of time and found the candidates to be viable individuals to join our firm.
What roles do you hire Metis graduates for and where?
I hire people for Data Science, artificial intelligence, and analytics. We've hired at least 10 people from Metis in the past two years. That's quite a few people when you consider we are a small team that is still growing. We hire all over! Mainly, Chicago, New York, and California.
Why does Capgemini need data scientists?
Data Science is the field of work that we do. We're a growing organization and artificial intelligence is the way of the future. People have figured out that with things like self-driving cars, understanding how people make decisions is incredibly important. Figuring out what the demographics are for each market, and what kind of information we can extrapolate is a big part of what we do. We use large statistical models to determine and make decisions.
Before you started hiring from Metis, how did you usually hire Data Scientists?
We do a lot of networking. Employer referrals are the highest level of how we find people, we've found that's the best way. Our next biggest source for hiring is LinkedIn.
What do you look for in a candidate who is a data science bootcamp graduate?
The people that we hire need to have some type of work experience along with education experience in order for them to join our organization. The Metis graduates whom we have hired have all had some type of previous work experience. We want candidates to have a couple of years of experience before joining us in analytics whether that’s in data science, consulting, or in an industry that we provide technology for.
Then, we look for people who have customer-facing skills. Communication skills are incredibly important. We also want to make sure that they can do presentations well. Part of our hiring process includes an exercise that they must present to our team. Through that, we look at their technical skills, communication skills, and their ability to present. We do that through a video interview at the end. Sometimes we've let them present their Metis final project for that exercise.
Have you worked with any other data science bootcamps other than Metis?
Yes, we have. But we don't have as strong a relationship with anyone else as we do with Metis, to be honest. We do have employees who are teachers at General Assembly, so we will occasionally recruit from there.
When you first started hiring graduates from data science bootcamps did you have to convince yourself or anyone else in the company that this was a good decision?
At first, we hired one person and then sort of held tight to see how that person did in the workplace. We wanted to see the validity of the program and how it translated from academic to hands-on. That first hire did extremely well. After that, we hired a couple of people in New York, one person in Chicago, and quite a few people in California. It was about trying to see how the individuals would fare once they started. We could see what level they were coming in at, and how their skills would come to fruition.
Do you have a standard interview process for new data scientists and how do the Metis graduates do in that process?
First, they do a technical online test, then the presentation we mentioned before, and, lastly, a one-on-one interview with the principal or vice-president of our group.
During the hiring process, we give the candidates three or four exercises to choose from. One Metis candidate who came in chose to do one of the exercises for which he didn't know all of the technology, so he had to learn the technology in order to do the exercise he chose. We thought that a candidate who is going to put in the effort to learn new technology in order to be a part of our group was super cool. We hired him. That extra effort is well respected by our team. Not only did he learn it, but he learned it correctly and applied it appropriately.
Are your hires from Metis using the same tools that they learned during the data science bootcamp?
We use Python and R. Metis focuses mostly on Python. If they don't know R, a lot of people will learn it on their own because it's open source. There is so much you have to learn when you’re coming into a new position at any company. It's not that they don't know it or can't do it. Anybody coming into our organization is going to have to learn more technology. We look for people who have the ability to learn.
Do you have any on-boarding or mentorship programs in place for new hires?
Not for new hires particularly. We do have a peer leader who is there to help them on the job. There is a skills development program that we just created that goes into more depth with everybody. We are working on releasing it by the end of the year. We will put our Metis graduates through that as well some other groups within the company.
We have a huge library of e-learning, so we encourage teams, especially if they're not on a project, to take time and work through some of those learning resources. We also send people to workshops throughout the year. Education is incredibly important, not just to do the job, but to have growth, and we strongly support that.
How are your Metis hires doing so far on the job?
One of our notable Metis hires just finished a project with a client out in Virginia and we got rave reviews about her. She did phenomenally. Now she's in New York. She's outstanding and she's done quite well. They're all doing great jobs, I have no complaints. They're professional and doing great work.
Is there anything specific that stands out about these Metis bootcamp graduates compared to other data science hires?
We find that they're eager to do well and to achieve. The Metis program is an intense program and I think that the graduates want to see some results from all of their work. They're ready to dig in and get working. That earnestness is actually refreshing.
What does the relationship look like between Capgemini and Metis?
They invite us to their Career Day presentations. I've gone to two out of the four presentation days they've invited us to. I also request their resumé portfolios because we’ve definitely hired people from looking at those. They don’t charge us any fees for the resumé portfolio or hiring connections.
Do you think you will hire data science bootcamp grads from Metis in the future?
Absolutely. Actually, we have final interviews with two Metis grads this week! We have had such success with the people that we have hired from Metis so far. They're eager and they're talented individuals who do good work. We haven't had any issues whatsoever and we're happy with their performances.
What's your advice for other employers who are thinking about hiring Data Science Bootcamp graduates?
Remember that every company has different requirements. Some candidates don't want to have consulting as a part of their career. They might just want a corporate environment where they're only working in one place. I personally think that it's incredible to have varied experiences and that's why consulting is perfect for me. But our company won't fit every person and every person won't fit us. Every person has to find the right fit for them!
Is there anything else you want to add?
I want to give a shout out to Ashley Purdy and Andrew Savage, Career Advisors at Metis. Ashely does a wonderful job communicating. She’s been flexible and accommodating with my requests. I worked with Andrew in the California office and he was helpful in getting us information for people to hire from California to Seattle. They’ve been great relationships to have.
I had the opportunity to meet the President of Metis, Jason Moss, as well. He was helpful in helping us determine how we could work with Metis to do some team training as well with their Corporate Training division. The whole team is professional, accommodating, and astute.