What to Know When Hiring Your Next Business Analyst

by Modis on October 18, 2015

If you’re looking to hire a Business Analyst, you’re likely searching for someone with a healthy mix of technical, quantitative and storytelling skills. You’ve also probably found that this “unicorn” is tough to find: most likely, you’ve come across candidates with strong technical skills but lacking the bigger picture—or you might have found candidates who are strong communicators but weak technologists. Either way, using new and creative techniques for finding the perfect hire is crucial. But we’re here to help. Here’s what you need to know when hiring your next Business Analyst:

The Landscape

The best way to get started with your search is to understand the market—get a sense for the number of candidates out there, their locations and their experience levels. LinkedIn recently analyzed its 347M+ members and uncovered the following:

  • There are 34.4K business analysts on LinkedIn
  • Of these, only 3.8K are recent grads who joined the workforce within the last year
  • 7% are managers or above
  • 14% changed jobs over the last year
  • The top 5 metro areas housing the most BA professionals are Washington, D.C., New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Dallas/Fort Worth

LinkedIn also found varying levels of competition across markets with New York and San Francisco being high competition and Washington D.C. and Dallas/Forth Worth being low competition for employers to hire these types of professionals. 

The Path Forward

If your city is lacking this type of talent, you may consider targeting candidates from out of state. You might even consider hiring remote team members and building out a geo-dispersed workforce. Based on the data above, here are some ideas to help you find that perfect hire:

  • Double-down on your market. Especially in hubs like New York and San Francisco, it’s important to be visible. Host events, meet-ups and workshops for candidates. Become a staple in your local economy so that candidates gravitate to you. There are only a few thousand Business Analysts in every major market, so it’s theoretically possible to develop a personal rapport with every single one of them.
  • Look for non-traditional candidates. Hire career changers. There are plenty of talented and intelligent professionals who are looking to explore new opportunities. Look for strong, big-picture thinkers—for instance, in sales or business development roles—and offer technical training. Programs like General Assembly, Codecademy and Treehouse are already in place to help professionals learn. Training costs will range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per professional—outweighing any opportunity costs of leaving roles unfilled.
  • Know what your candidates care about. If you’re looking to hire, you need to make sure that the right incentives are in place. According to LinkedIn’s analysis, 81% of those Business Analysts who were surveyed care about receiving excellent compensation. They also indicated they were interested in making an impact, advancing in their roles and taking on challenging work. By knowing what your candidates care about, you’ll be in a strong position to build your employer brand and create job descriptions that are tailored to your job seeker market.

The Final Offer Letter

When you’ve finally found that perfect candidate, you need to make sure that you extend your best possible offer. Our 2016 Salary Guide can help you make the most informed decision. According to our data, a ‘competitive offer’ can range anywhere from $50,000 to $120,000+ depending on experience level, location and industry. The bottom line is that each candidate is different and the salary you bring to the table needs to reflect the value that your next hire can add.

Don’t miss the mark with a lowball offer. Use our Salary Guide to give your company the competitive edge as a great place to work!

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