BBVA is replacing traditional interviews with 'datathons' to test the ability of potential young recruits as it bids to hire a total of 2000 advanced analysts by the end of 2021, 800 of which will be data scientists.
The programme, which is aimed at science and engineering undergraduate students, as well as graduate students pursuing a master’s degree in big data and/or artificial intelligence, attracted over 1000 applications, of which 60 wree shortlisted to take part in the day long ‘datathon’.
The candidates were required to perform a data analysis, defining an analytical model to solve a specific problem and connect all this to a practical business use case that can be extrapolated to the bank.
Ophélie Richard, head of the talent acquisition discipline at BBVA says the format allows recruiters to judge how candidates behave when taking on challenges that force them to “step out of their comfort zone” and work as part of a team
"The purpose of the ‘datathon’, is to identify candidates, capable of translating business questions into analytical problems, to come up with data-based solutions using programming and visualisation software,” she says. “Replacing traditional interviews with a datathon, we are able to make the whole process more appealing for candidates, while offering them a glimpse of the kind of work they would be doing BBVA."
Candidates with the highest scores will be offered the opportunity to join the bank, enrolling in the ‘Young Data Professionals’ programme, a global initiative that BBVA is already developing in Argentina, Mexico, Colombia and Peru, and that will soon be replicated in the US and Turkey.