Avast is one of the world’s largest security companies that relies on next-gen technologies to fight cyber attacks in real-time. Data scientists form an integral part of their team. The company provides a portfolio of self-service data technologies that are managed centrally but used by people across functions such as product management, e-commerce data scientists. The data ecosystem’s shared components, such as data catalog, master data management, and EDW, are also managed centrally.
In recent years, the company has increased its focus on growing data-literacy across Avast through special data-only events for all employees.
We got in touch with Jon Hill, Global Head of Talent Acquisition at Avast, to know more about the hiring process, skills required and more.
Hill said they look for experts who can utilise multiple technologies and platforms. The candidate should be well versed in different databases, modelling techniques and tools, predictive modelling, and data analytics. They should actively seek the best tools available to them, and if not, consult other members of the team for advice. “A team player is crucial when encountering problems and must have the people skills to blend into our existing data science team so they can overcome difficulties during problem-solving activities,” highlighted Hill.
Hill said the candidates must have strong foundational statistical skills and be good with theoretical fundamentals, probability questions, strong technical understanding, etc. “But above all, they must be able to articulate their work, approach, methods and tell the story through data,” he said.
An ideal data science candidate at Avast should take a curious approach towards interviewing business stakeholders to understand their problems fully. They must have the business acumen to support the findings and solutions through data. “The science part is the means to get in the room, but then we expect a polished, business-focused, data-driven solution,” he added.
In terms of education, a background in IT, computer science, Math, Physics or any data-related field works best for Avast. “We do not think that educational background and skills are exclusive of one another. Prior work experience in a related field or sector is always better,” said Hill.
Hill said data scientists who work at Avast have nearly unlimited opportunities to grow in both career and experience. “The projects they work on are truly world-class and ahead of the competition. They will not get bored!” he said.
Interested candidates can apply on their career pages or corporate websites. “We are also very active on social media platforms like LinkedIn, and our in-house team of recruiters is more than happy to speak with any interesting candidate,” shared Hill.
Avast is always on the market for candidates that suit their culture. The first step is the initial screening by the in-house team, who are experts in hiring technical minds. The selected candidates are referred to the hiring manager who interviews them based on their profile, experience, logical thinking and storytelling abilities.
A key step in the hiring process is an intensive panel discussion of the candidates with existing team members, where they are asked to analyse problems and present back their solutions. “This checks not only the box of technical, methodical and logical elements but also the team fit,” he added.
While recruiting for data science teams can be a challenge for most companies. Hill believes it is easier for Avast to hire talents in the data science field. “We are founded on breaking codes, finding answers to what was previously thought impossible questions, and this attracts these great minds to Avast,” shared Hill.