How to Assess & Hire a Business Analyst?
Published on November 4th, 2022
Your business is growing and you are in dire need of a business analyst to solve all your problems. But you’re a newbie to this sector and have zero clue about business analysts.
How to hire a business analyst?
How to assess a business analyst?
Skills of Business Analyst?
These are some questions that might be popping into your brain right now. Well to your ease we have crafted a guideline on how to hire and assess a business analyst for your reference.
What is a business analyst?
A business analyst is someone who assists an organization to improve its processes and systems. Through extensive research and analysis, they give answers to business problems and help in incorporating those ideas into businesses and clients.
A business analyst understands the business issue and breaks it down into manageable pieces for the whole team to understand. They are able to simply steer the team through the solution and the anticipated outcome by sharing useful information.
Types of Business Analysts
Business analysts come in handy in different sectors of an organization. The five types of business analysts are
1. Business Process Analyst
A business process analyst examines workflow and determines the best way to address any challenge or barrier for the company. They collaborate with the business teams and IT department to gather data, analyze it, and create a report that will be presented to the stakeholders.
2. IT Business Analyst:
IT Business Analysts are in charge of enhancing the quality of IT Products and services, and analyzing data that will be used to make informed business decisions and find technological solutions to business needs.
3. System Analyst:
A system analyst's primary responsibility is to evaluate how well the software, hardware, and broader IT systems meet a company's or client's needs. A system analyst creates the specifications for a new system and puts them into practice to track performance.
4. Usability or UX Analyst:
A UX analyst works on the user experience or interface design of websites and software applications. UX analysts are analysts who focus on user experience requirements and develop actual UI designs, mockups, or prototypes. They make decisions on how the interface will function and how the user will interact with it.
5. Data Analyst:
A data analyst interprets data to analyze the results of a specific business problem that needs to be solved. They are also involved in implementing databases, data collection tools, and data analytics strategies.
Why hire a business analyst?
The corporate environment today is becoming more and more complex. You can't effectively manage your work alone as a businessman, whether you're in traditional or digital marketing. It won't be possible to manage everything on your own because you might always forget something.
In this area, business analysts have recently emerged to play a crucial role in the sector. Business analysts have performed impressive and laudable work for business owners and corporations. They support companies in managing projects, interacting with customers, and successfully using affordable technology.
According to McKinsey, up to 40% of companies do not add anything valuable to their business, wasting their valuable resources. All because they did not spend on hiring a business analyst.
Skills to look in a Business Analyst
Hiring is a tedious task for HR professionals and hiring a business analyst is no better. It becomes difficult to define the exact skill requirement for the job description because they work in so many sectors.
Anyhow, we have listed a set of skills that a hiring manager should look for when hiring a business analyst.
1. Communication Skills
An effective communication skill goes a long way for a business analyst for they have to interact with the stakeholders and organize several client meetings. They have to solve business problems by deeply analyzing them through open-ended questions.
They should be active listeners and communicate effectively to convey the correct and required information to the appropriate level.
2. Critical thinking
Critical thinking is another important skill to look for in a business analyst because they tend to look at the problem from beginning to end and evaluate multiple options before the team arrives at a solution.
3. Visual modeling skills
A business analyst should have the ability to create visual models like data flow diagrams, business domain models, activity diagrams, organization charts, and featured road maps.
This skill comes to use during business meetings and presentations.
4. Analytical skills
Analytical skills are a MUST for a business analyst as the whole idea of identifying the problem and finding its solution revolves around the skill. They should have the ability to perform solution assessments and validation and knowledge of SWOT analysis is a plus.
5. Relationship building skill
Relationship building skill is important when it comes to interacting with the stakeholders, understanding their ideas for the business, and conveying the same to the team members.
6. Documentation skill
Documentation is one of the most crucial tasks for a business analyst. A business analyst must provide detailed, organized, and succinct documentation during the course of the project to effectively interact with stakeholders.
Attributes of a great business analyst
What makes a good business analyst a great business analyst? Their attributes, right? Check out the list of top attributes to look for when hiring a business analyst:
- Project Management Skills: Although business analysts shouldn’t be project managers, they still need to possess project management skills to some extent. This means that they should know the importance of timing, and be able to grasp opportunities when they arise.
- Detail-oriented: A business analyst should be detail-oriented with respect to collecting information. They should have the ability to ask a ton of questions to collect data and analyze it.
- Steady-natured: It takes a lot of patience and a steady start to become a skilled business analyst. The likelihood of getting stressed out when there is so much happening at once is significant, but here is where a business analyst's actual expertise lies—being able to handle all of these situations simultaneously with ease and happiness.
They should have the ability to switch their priorities and make decisions back and forth being on their toes.
- Multidisciplinary knowledge: Instead of specializing in one area, a skilled business analyst should have expertise from many different fields and domains. Because a business analyst who has multidisciplinary expertise is better equipped to handle any issue at any time.
Business analysts who have experience working in a variety of industries develop a talent for gathering information and tend to build stronger relationships with stakeholders.
Roles of Business Analyst
Business analysts enable the enterprise to articulate its needs, the rationale for change, and to design and describe solutions that deliver value. Business analysis can be performed in a project or across the enterprise. It is used to understand the current state, define the future state, and determine the activities required for the transition.
A business analyst is a role where one can contribute to an organization’s strategy, its offerings, its revenue, and its margin. It offers a great opportunity to interact with many stakeholders, develop innovative solutions, and improve existing solutions. Business analysts work as a bridge between business stakeholders and technology architects.
Business analysts help guide businesses in improving processes, products, services, and software through data analysis. These agile workers straddle the line between IT and the business to help bridge the gap and improve efficiency.
How to Hire Business Analysts?
Now that you know the basic skills and attributes to look for in a business analyst, comes the question of the hour – How to hire a business analyst?
1. Reinvent your hiring process
It is dire for a business analyst to possess excellent tech and soft skills to bridge the gap between a business and its data.
We are not asking you to throw away your traditional hiring methods entirely, but a LinkedIn trend found that 63% of companies fail to assess their candidate’s soft skills.
Integrating your hiring process with pre-employment assessment platforms will give you a base to judge your applicant thoroughly and hire the best fit for your organization.
2. Look For Articulation
You don’t have to know how to hire Business Analysts fluent in more than three languages. Though, you do need to find someone who is articulate and can take complex processes and easily translate for the ordinary user.
Give them a scenario involving articulating essential data, and you’ll be able to evaluate their ability to produce and decipher crucial data to determine the direction of your business and its products.
3. Resist Your Tech Bias
Unlike many other positions you may be seeking to fill, candidates for your company’s Business Analyst role may not have an extensive background working in the Tech industry.
Learning how to hire Business Analysts means creating ways to allow candidates’ experience and expertise to prove they have the tools necessary to drive insights and enhance your company’s efficiency, regardless of their industry background.
How to Assess Business analysts?
Job skills and general aptitudes that are useful for a successful business analyst can be assessed using the below assessments:
- Abstract reasoning: The aptitude for spotting patterns and using trends to make decisions is an important facet of business analysis. With this test, recruiters are able to see how a candidate uses unfamiliar information to form a general rule and make reasoned decisions.
- Logical reasoning: Using logical reasoning to make deductions demonstrates excellent analytical thinking, which is important for a business analyst role.
- Numerical reasoning: Applying basic math skills to solve problems is what this assessment is testing, and this is useful in a business analyst role where using percentages, ratios, and simple operations are part of the analyses.
- Verbal reasoning: Extracting useful information from dense paragraphs of text needs quick reading, good understanding of formal and business language, and an eye for important details. The verbal reasoning assessment is used to test candidates on their ability to read and analyze text.
- Project Management: In this assessment, candidates are presented with questions that are based on fictional yet realistic workplace situations. In each scenario, there are several possible courses of action that can be taken to solve the presented problem. This assessment is about different aspects of project management and tests candidates on their ability to lead, work in a team, and complete actions within given deadlines.
- Problem Solving: To assess a candidate on their problem-solving, critical thinking, and judgment skills, this assessment is presented as a series of work-based scenarios. Each scenario has several possible outcomes, and the candidate needs to choose the one that is most like the way they would solve the problem if they had to deal with it at work.
Role-specific skills are important, but they aren't everything. It's also beneficial to test for relevant cognitive abilities. If the role advertised deals with clients who speak another language, then you should be using language tests, too. And if you want to understand more about how candidates think, behave and motivate themselves, then you can use personality and culture tests.
Tools Used By Business Analyst
Apart from the assessments, it can be a plus if the candidate has hands-on experience with some tools such as:
- Modern Requirements: This tool has been recognised as a leading business analytics tool because it provides a collaborative definition and analysis. Requirements are defined both through text and visually. Smart Docs, Trace Analysis, and other elicitation tools are supported by Modern Requirements.
- Blueprint: Blueprint is another important software tool used by enterprises to build better applications. This tool allows us to align business strategy with IT execution.
- MS Visio: A modeling tool used by Business Analysts to effectively capture and present stakeholders’ ideas in the form of business functions and user interactions.
- SWOT: This is one of the most common and widely used techniques by organizations in order to evaluate a business.
- Trello: A collaboration tool that helps communicate between various teams and in sharing information in a secure manner, Trello allows admins to analyze business data.
These are some examples of tools that are used commonly by business analysts. Depending on the organization, the tools can differ and you assess your candidate on the basis of those tools too.
In today's continuously changing digital world, data is increasing rapidly and can be helpful to provide customer excellence. Hiring a business analyst can be a difficult task, but if the steps are conducted excellently, then a strong candidate can be hired found and hired.
The customer-centric approach of the Business Analyst can help you in assessing accountability, team collaboration, and communication skills.
What is your approach to hiring a business analyst? Do comment and tell
Radhika Sarraf is a content specialist and a woman of many passions who currently works at HireQuotient, a leading recruitment SaaS company. She is a versatile writer with experience in creating compelling articles, blogs, social media posts, and marketing collaterals.
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