Learn how to really sell your BA skills by focusing on what the Hiring Managers really prioritize.
In this video, I want to give you some insight into how the employer and hiring manager is thinking when they’re hiring a freelance analyst versus hiring somebody on a permanent basis.
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Freelance vs. Permanent Full-Time BA’s
I’ve talked in previous videos about the differences between becoming a freelance business analyst and becoming a permanent full-time employee as a business analyst.
In this video, what I want to do is I want to give you some insight into how the employer thinks about this – How – the hiring manager is thinking when they’re hiring a freelance analyst vs. when they’re hiring somebody on a permanent basis.
So, their priorities are quite different when it comes to hiring people on a contract basis versus when they’re trying to hire somebody to stay for the long run.
It’s important for you to understand this because when you’re going into an interview you must have a good idea of how your hiring manager or how the employer is thinking about the situation you’re in.
If you walk into an interview that’s for a business analyst that’s on a permanent basis they’re going to be thinking one way.
But if you walk into an interview where they’re looking to hire you just on a contract basis they’re going to be thinking slightly differently.
3 Factors that Hiring Managers Prioritize
The three factors that I’m going to talk about are:
- Skill Set.
- Work Ethic.
The order in which they prioritize these changes depends on whether they’re looking for somebody on contract versus whether they’re looking for somebody on a permanent basis.
OK, so let’s talk first about the permanent (full-time) employee.
By and large most business analysts out there are permanent employees of companies. There is a trend toward people becoming a lot more freelance.
If you scan the marketplace for job applications today or you see what job openings there are, most of those job openings are for permanent employees. There is a shift towards more contract. But I’ll talk about that in another video.
So let’s talk about how the employer is thinking, how the hiring manager is thinking when they are hiring somebody on a permanent basis.
Hiring Manager priorities might not necessarily be what you might expect.
I think a lot of people might expect the employer to be thinking of skill set as the top priority regardless of the situation.
For most permanent employee hires, that’s not the case.
The top priority that most hiring managers have is compatibility.
I’ll explain to you why that is…
1 | Compatibility
Hiring managers look for compatibility first, in most cases – then they look for skill set – and then they look for work ethic.
The reason why they do that is that the skill set problem is a relatively easy problem for them to solve.
So, if they find somebody who they know is going to be very compatible with the team that they have right now and with the organization at large – they’re most likely going to lean towards hiring that type of a person than if they had a candidate where the person has a lot of skill set, but, it’s going to be very difficult to get the person with high skill set to work with the folks inside their company. Right.
So, when they’re hiring somebody on a full-time permanent basis or any kind of permanent basis, compatibility is typically the first priority because of the skills-set problem.
The skill set problem is something that they can solve by, you know, spending a couple of thousand dollars and getting a person trained if they know that the person is staying for the long run.
The compatibility problem is a much more difficult problem to solve because it’s very difficult for a hiring manager to get people to like each other and to work with each other.
It’s much easier for them to hire somebody who they know is going to fit in very well inside their organization – and is going to be able to work at the same pace and work in a congenial way with the other employees – but they might just need some sharpening of the skills.
Most hiring managers would rather hire that person.
Work ethic is very high on the list. It’s still part of the top three priorities but work ethic is also very important.
So those are the priorities that management has when they’re hiring somebody on a permanent basis when they’re hiring somebody on a contract basis.
2 | Skill Set
Those priorities shift a little bit because the compatibility isn’t as big of an issue than what they’re normally hiring for when they’re looking for contract workers or for consultants.
They’re looking for skills first.
They’re usually looking to make sure that you can come in a very short period of time, do the work, and you might not necessarily jive very well with the organizational culture or with a lot of the other employees there.
But that’s not really a huge issue for them because they know you’re I’m sticking around right.
And so the priority shifts a little bit.
Normally when they’re hiring consultants — they’re looking for skill first – probably for work ethic second — and compatibility third. Right.
Things kind of get flipped on their head when they’re hiring you as a consultant or a contractor versus if they’re trying to hire you on a permanent basis.
So the prioritization of the hiring managers factors, the things that they’re looking for, is very important for you to understand when you walk into the interview.
Business Analyst Interview Scenario:
–|You walk in — you’re being interviewed, for let says a permanent position.
–|You walk in and you focus exclusively on your skills.
–|You might have a lot of skills that you’ve accumulated over the last, you know, 5, 10, 15 years, however long you’ve been working.
If you’re focusing strictly on your skills — but they’re trying to gauge whether you’re going to fit into their team and whether you’re actually going to be able to deal with the personalities that their stakeholders have — you’re unlikely to shine as much as you would like to in that interview. Right.
Because what they’re looking for is to see whether you’re going to fit in. And then they’re looking for skills and you’re focusing a lot of the conversation around skills.
Business Analyst Interview Tips:
Understand that difference when you walk into that interview.
Try to gauge a little bit to see whether what those priorities are.
It’s very likely that they’re going to be looking for fit before they look for skills,
even though those questions in the actual interview might come later on in the process, they might see whether you have the skills and engage your fit right.
So, the sequence in which they ask you the questions might not necessarily lead to that but there are other things that can be a give away that tell this employer is looking for fit rather than skill set.
3 | Work Ethic
Let me talk a little bit about work ethic. OK.
Work ethic is something that I think a lot of people don’t think about when they’re walking into an interview. Right.
The importance of work ethic for an employer makes the difference between whether a job gets done or whether a job doesn’t get done given the pressures that exist.
So, people who have a very weak work ethic will tend to give up trying to solve a problem very early.
Right. So if they see a challenge in front of them and they say ‘hey, you know what it looks like it’s too big of a problem I’m just going to kind of move on to something else’.
The work ethic issue here is something that needs to be considered very strongly.
Again, it is part of the top three priorities that employers have.
But when you’re thinking about work, I think you have to kind of gauge yourself based on — how hard you work, How much effort you put in, How quickly do you give up right before you try to solve a problem.
And so, when you’re thinking about your work ethic it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the ability to solve the problem on your own.
It means that you do not give up on a problem very easily. Right.
You know giving up has to be your last option when it comes to work ethic as opposed to being one of your first options.
–|You’ve been hired in a full-time capacity and you’re working across a couple of different projects or you’re maintaining a couple of different solutions.
–|You’re doing enhancement work on a number of different solutions.
If you don’t have a strong work ethic you’re going to shy away from difficult problems and you’re going to tend to work a lot more on the problems that you know how to solve.
Employers don’t really like that because they want to see you be able to solve the problems that are of the highest priority and in an organization where the prioritization is a little bit loose.
So, it’s up to the analysts to try to figure out where they should be doing their work. Work ethic becomes really really important because now they’re leaving it to the elders to decide what problems to solve before the other ones.
And if you have somebody who doesn’t have a strong of a work ethic they’re going to tend to neglect the work that actually needs to get done because it’s too challenging right.
So I’ll talk about how you can develop a much stronger work ethic in a different video.
But it is one of the top three things that employers look for and they’ll have certain tests in an interview to try to test your work ethic. Even though it’s a very difficult thing to test for.
So I’ll leave the video there but understand that hiring manager priorities shift — if you’re trying to get hired for a permanent employee versus if you’re being hired for a freelancer.
And I will see you in the next video.