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Handbook

Our guides for employers and candidates on how to navigate the entry-level job market.

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Handbook
Contents

Analysis & Research Roles

How to hire a graduate for a role in Analysis & Research

Candidate profile:

A sharp and interested individual who can demonstrate a logical and analytical thought process and who above all possesses a willingness to learn quickly on the job. They should be a proactive problem solver who is happy and able to take their initiative – not wait around for instructions.

A degree which requires mathematical thinking can be beneficial, but not essential.

Top skills:

  1. Attention to detail: it is particularly important to avoid errors when doing this kind of role
  2. Written & verbal communication: candidates should be able to write informative reports that communicate their findings
  3. Numerical: working with numbers will be a large element of this job
  4. Presentation: analysts are often asked to do presentations on their findings, meaning this skill is key
  5. Team work: being able to work with others as part of a team is essential to this role

Non-office experience:

  • Any hobbies or extracurricular activities that show that the candidate is curious, enthusiastic, and passionate. This is particularly key when looking at a prospective candidate’s ability to work in a team. Really niche interests are good to look out for as they often indicate that the person has a desire to learn and go that extra mile. Hobbies that show an individual’s self-motivation and self-discipline may be more beneficial.

Office experience:

  • Any sort of un-related experience is usually best for this kind of role. We find that for an analytics or research role, starting with a clean slate is most beneficial for training purposes since roles within this sector are usually very company specific.

Green flag

  • Computer skills – particularly proficiency in Excel and Powerpoint. Since this can be taught fairly quickly it’s not essential, but a bonus.
  • A candidate that has good evaluative skills and is able to pick apart and assess different methods and approaches.

Red flag

  • No extracurriculars or hobbies to show that they are curious to learn and are self-motivated.
  • An individual who gets bored or frustrated easily

Pre-interview:

  • It can be a good idea to set a task similar to one that the candidate would have to fulfil on the job. An example of this could be creating and updating profiles, perhaps for a company in a different industry. This will enable you to test their raw skills and to judge their potential.

At interview:

  • Since some aspects of an Analysis and Research role can be a little monotonous at times (data entry), it might be worth emphasising the constraints of the position and asking whether the candidate would be ok with that to ensure you are hiring the right person for the role. By emphasising the constraints of the position, you can suss out whether they might think they are too good for it.
  • Similarly to the pre-interview assessment, it’s a good idea to ask business questions that require no knowledge of the industry or company.
    • e.g. How do you think we make money? Do you think we work on a one-off basis, on commission or subscription? Why?
    • There isn’t really a correct answer as graduate candidates shouldn’t really be expected to have extensive knowledge of the industry – you just want to see how their brain works and how they explain their point of view.
    • The best candidate should be able to provide insight into how they reached their answer – level out both sides and see different points of view.

Employee expectations

At entry-level, a starting salary for a junior research analyst can be around £20,000-£25,000, moving up to an average salary of £30,000. Employees may expect promotion from entry-level to be a fast process depending on the qualifications and wide range of experience they have gained, compounded by their area of specialisation.

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