We recently caught up with Harold Zeishner, Business Development Manager at Experis, a Manpower Group staffing agency specializing in IT, finance and engineering. He’s also the founder of Triangle Area Analytics Group (TAAG), a local, professional association focused on business analytics. Harold helped fill us in on what’s been happening in the data and analytics job market lately, both in the Raleigh/Durham area and beyond.
Q: You founded TAAG in 2010 and more than 30 companies are now involved. How did the group come about, and what is its function?
A: I kept hearing from employer clients that there’s huge growth potential in data, analytics, and data-driven solutions, and there was a definite desire to get together and talk about it. And now, just a few years later, everyone is committed to analytics, but many companies are struggling to define it and find talent. Talking to others facing those same hurdles is really helpful. Networking, learning, discussion and a powerful community have all formed through TAAG.
Q: In your role at Experis, you help match employers with skilled workers. The job market can be difficult to navigate—what advice can you give to students and job seekers?
A: Go to as many events as possible in your industry of interest. Form relationships in the professional community through technical meet-up groups, university events and conferences like Data4Decisions. And remember that companies are looking not just for technical skills, but also for people who can communicate, both within the company and with clients and outside organizations. Beyond technical skills, the ability to communicate and maintain relationships is paramount.
Q: What are employers looking for these days?
A: In Raleigh, many companies are looking for a very similar type of employee: one who’s educated and technically savvy and who’s able to solve problems and work in a collaborative environment. There’s an emphasis on work-life-balance here, and mature companies really understand and promote that culture.
In the fields of technology and analytics/big data, many companies are looking for “right out of school” talent, and with three main universities here, a lot of companies are building their workforce that way. At the same time, some of the skills that companies are looking for are increasingly more specific, and because Raleigh is such a great area to live, we’re able to attract talented people who will relocate here to fill that need.
Demand is greater than supply—no doubt. One big reason for Data4Decisions is to match employers with talented people who have hard-to-find skills. There’s definitely a steady demand from Raleigh-based companies like Cisco, Quintiles, RTI and many others.
Q: Raleigh’s job market is strong and growing—what’s the reason behind that strength?
A: There’s a diversity in the types of industries here—technology, manufacturing, finance, healthcare, pharmaceuticals. And all of these companies use data, analytics and data-driven solutions in some form or another. When people think of Charlotte, they think banks—with Raleigh, it’s a great market for many different industries, and many different types of jobs are available.
Q: What’s different about Raleigh compared to other cities?
A: Raleigh offers so many opportunities for professional and personal growth, and people here have a lot of pride in our city. I’m drawn to Raleigh for a number of reasons—if I had to summarize, it’s the amazing quality of life. Raleigh is a great place to live and raise a family, it has an excellent climate with a mild four seasons, and the mountains and beach are within easy driving distance. It has a top-notch university presence, and it’s a vibrant and growing region rather than a city that’s already established. You’ll see for yourself if you come to Data4Decisions!
For more information about the Data4Decisions Conference and Expo, click here.