Guide to Entry-Level Hiring
After reviewing thousands of open business analyst roles, we’ve identified the most common responsibilities outlined in business analyst job descriptions:
While these are specific responsibilities or requirements, what’s missing are the skills required to successfully execute them, which is especially important for entry-level hires who don’t have the professional track record and where GPA or major doesn’t demonstrate them. To help, we’ve worked with human capital leaders and marketing executives to map the underlying skills to the typical responsibilities below:
|Monitor project progress by tracking activity; resolving problems; publishing progress reports; recommending actions||Grit/drive||Problem solving|
|Define project requirements by identifying project milestones, phases and elements; forming project team; establishing project budget||Team player||Empathy|
|Prepare technical reports by collecting, analyzing and summarizing information and trends||Analytical mindset||Organization|
|Plan and coordinate the development of primary and secondary market research studies in support of strategic planning and specific marketing initiatives, as required and presents findings of studies to client committees||Creativity||Research|
|Understand and communicate various financial analyses of company initiatives||Communication||Presentation|
Many of these skills can’t be measured from a GPA, aren’t captured on a college student or recent grad’s resume, and can’t be assessed through an interview process, especially those Core Skills that often make the difference. In reality, the only way to evaluate these skills is when you see these candidates in action. Micro-Internships are a perfect, easy, low-risk and low investment way for employers to see candidates demonstrate these skills first hand.
Building upon this, we have crafted and tested a handful of Micro-Internships that not only provide hiring manager with immediate value, but also will help you uncover these skills:
We would like you to analyze a set of customer service data (provided by us) qualitatively and quantitatively. Identify trends, positive and/or negative, patterns, outliers, etc., and use tables, graphs, etc. to tell us the “story” of the data and highlight the key takeaways.
We would like you to research ten key competitive products in a specific market and outline the social media efforts associated with each, including key messaging, features highlighted, pre-announcements, etc. In addition to the outbound efforts driven by the company, please capture the insights (positive and negative) provided by customers and highlight any key trends.
We would like you to develop a brief case study on a recent success we have had with a client that we can use for potential partnership purposes. We will provide information on the recent success, and would you to draft a one-pager that highlights the customer’s problem, alternatives considered and why they chose to work with us and the positive impact of their decision.
In order to help you pick the best candidate, you can also ask a question or two to screen the applicants - while not required, this is a great way to quickly learn about the candidates so you can select the best career launcher for your project. Here are the following we would recommend:
While there may not be any “right” answer, these types of questions allow a Career Launcher to stand out by conveying an insightful perspective or passion for the role.
Assessing The Career Launcher
As highlighted above, these assignments are a great way for you to assess if a Career Launcher has the Core Skills that are required to be successful in this role. To help, we included a things to look for in what the Career Launcher provides.
Download the full assessment here.
The benefits are invaluable. As a result of the Micro-internship you will get:
Of course this is not just limited to business analyst roles. You can see some additional examples tied to other roles or departments here.