«Deloitte» in Ukraine (next – «Deloitte») – is an audit and consulting company, that has been included in the “Fortune 500" list for the 20th time and keeps its position in The Big Four. Furthermore, the company provides financial and legal services, actively develops its IT department, which elaborates innovative solutions for «Deloitte» clients. There are more than 500 employees work in Ukraine. «Deloitte» is known for its mission “make the impact that meters", which is not only reflected in values but also works in practice.
For the last few years the recruiting agency «ITExpert» helps the «Deloitte» company to find technical specialists. This year we became a partner of Data Science Hackathon 2020. We talked with thе insiders of the company about goals and aspects of Hackathon organization in Data Science sphere, as well as about interesting HR-cases of the company, and we are ready to share their secrets with you.
Thanks for cooperation and answers:
– Anton Kuzmenko – Leader of the Digital Solution Lab (Deloitte Software Development and Solution Division).
– Maria Yovsa – People Partner of the Digital Solution Lab.
– Anton Bazdyrev – Data Science Developer of the Digital Solution Lab, NLP/Text Mining specialist.
Data Science Hackathon: experience №1
In 2018 «Deloitte» company has already hosted Data Science Hackathon. The event was held offline in Kaggle InClass format. Participants received the support from mentors, who provided technical consultations. As a result, almost the entire team, that had taken the third place among the winners, became employed by «Deloitte».
“I started working in the «Deloitte» company after the last Hackathon. Nowadays, my key tasks are to develop the NLP-products. The current hackathon, as the previous one, will be dedicated to the NLP-domain. Registering for Hackathon, my colleagues and I were just starting to understand this sphere and had vague ideas how everything works. Nevertheless, we were able to show a good result. The main thing is to believe in yourself and in your skills.”
Data Science Hackathon 2020
April 4-5, 2020 will host the second Data Science Hackathon from «Deloitte». The hackathon is oriented to specialists at different levels: from last-year students to middle-developers. The interest is in the fact that the organizers changed the format of the hackathon: now it will be held online.
“Compared to the previous hackathon, we have already worked on the drawbacks. This year the hackathon takes place online, as we monitored current events and were proactive and for our participants' safety. Now a much larger number of people will be able to take part in the hackathon, the event will be larger. Moreover, this approach corresponds to the trend of the IT development market."
«Deloitte» will give young talents the opportunity to declare about themselves and realize their potential while solving an adapted business case. This will allow participants to give a taste of themselves as much as possible, without wasting time on data preprocessing, markup and other routine work.
“This year's hackathon will be much more complicated and exciting in terms of setting the task and the data, that will be given. There will be much more data, and the task itself will be closer to reality, but with reasonable limits. We try to give the most realistic, albeit simplistic, tasks, so that the participants devote more time to “pleasantness".”
This year the goal of the hackathon is not only to attract talented people: «Deloitte» also uses it to achieve MarHR- and internal HR-goals, create a brand on the innovative IT-solutions market, and develop an IT division.
“We want to change our attitude towards «Deloitte» and show that it is not only an audit or consulting company. We have a strong and clear business improvement strategy. We are ready to help our customers with big data processing and analytics so that they remain competitive. We develop our IT division in order to achieve this goal. So we keep up with the requirements stated by major players in consulting and audit.”
The hackathon will be held at the Kaggle site in InClass format. Participants will have to set the value of the target variable – acceptance or rejection of the company for any of the reasons. Training and test samples, more detailed explanations for all the data and a metric for assessing the quality of predictions will be provided.
“We are conducting a hackathon at the Kaggle InClass platform, as it is a more attractive format for datascientists. So we will avoid unnecessary subjectivity and bureaucracy. In addition, in two days it is hard to write something worthwhile from scratch, so participants will have more opportunities to prove themselves. Everything is completely transparent and there are no ways to cheat or take advantage of other solutions.”
Since the hackathon this year is much more complicated than last time, the company will offer a variety of assistance and technical support to participants.
“It's not the task, that requires you to make it solved with “box solution". Realizing this fact, we will provide several variants of basic solutions (baselines) for the participants. Furthermore, we will providе support, answer the questions, and help with the ideas. So everyone will be able to learn more in Data Science.”
After solving the case, the participants will receive invitations to the afterparty, where the prizes and awards from hackathon’s partners will be waiting for them, also they'll receive the opportunity of active networking, of course, if quarantine is lifted and the pandemic situation improves. They will also be invited for an interview at the Ukrainian representative office of the global «Deloitte» company.
“The format with using Kaggle is purely online, but hackathons are not only about how to solve the task, but it is also about communication with people and getting new acquaintances, that is why we will conduct an offline afterparty for all teams, where you can chat with everyone in a relaxed atmosphere, congratulate the winners, discuss the trends in ML/DS.”
HR strategy of the IT-direction in «Deloitte»
We discussed in detail with «Deloitte» insiders the features of their HR strategy. There are a lot of goodies in this company: insurance, compensation for English courses, discounts on gym classes, Deloitte Local & Cafe and much more. However, this is not what «Deloitte» is primarily proud of. The secret of the company is in values and building relationships with the employee.
“For all teammates, sharing our values is a must. It is really similar to DNA. We build trusting relationships in a positive atmosphere with mature personalities, this is the reason why we are in BIG4. It is very important for us that people want to work on complex projects, like to challenge themselves, and also be team players. We always welcome consultations and assistance to specialists from their colleagues at a higher level.”
The team of the «Deloitte» IT division has both cool Senior specialists and architects, as well as younger developers of the Middle and Junior levels. The company does not limit itself, it is opened to talented people, regardless of their position, but is also ready to train employees. So, for example, mentoring is actively developing now.
“We want to consistently give challenges to beginners. If everything turns out on its own – it's great, we will give more complex tasks. Otherwise, a person will always get help, advice, and leading to a more optimal solution, so that it will make an educational sense. It is important that the mentor doesn't solve the beginner's problem, but rather helps him with the solution."
«Deloitte» was able to assemble a team of people who believe in the importance of their work and can develop together. Therefore, it is not strange that there is always a positive atmosphere in the company and there is an opportunity for open communication.
“The secret is that in «Deloitte» you are in a team of like-minded people. Together we study, have fun, argue and find solutions. It is the atmosphere, where I want to work! You will always find the opportunity to discuss interesting topics, even if they are not related to your stack or direction, you can always challenge each other, argue and find the truth.”
In the value system of «Deloitte» lies not only an endless desire to give and respond to challenges but also flexibility in the use of technologies. The company's specialists always offer their own ideas for improvement projects and they know that their opinion makes a big difference.
“Since we create projects from scratch, we are not hostages of existing approaches, we don't face Data Science's legacy problems, consequently, we can choose technologies that we like and that will be effective. Of course, I don't mean “new for the new,” but if the new is appropriate – welcome. We are always in development and it’s great, it attracts”
In addition, specialists of different levels can offer their ideas for the development of other areas. For example, Anton Bazdyrev took part in the development of the task for Data Science Hackathon 2020.
“Everything, including the hackathon, ideas of working and new guys are supported. There are benefits, and such approach is really helpful for business development. This is the case, when people have the opportunity to realize their ideas, and innovation and initiative are encouraged. Even in the formation of the task for the hackathon, there was no authoritarian approach. First, the guys checked my idea – it did not fit. We agreed with the Anton’s idea (approx. ed. Bazdyrev).”
An important point in the work of the IT division is an understanding of the client’s business and his “pain”. For this, developers are even being consulted by individual specialists.
“We have a lot of data and business opportunities, a lot of mentor experts on the board. If it’s not clear how a business component works, we have consultants who are actively involved in product development. So we understand how this business works and what problems it has.”
«Deloitte» annually organizes many educational activities in various fields. We found out an information about the plans related to the IT academy for Machine Learning and Data Science specialists. The company pursues not only the goal of hunting undisclosed talents but also the development of mentoring among company employees.
“Now we plan to prepare courses for perspective and enthusiastic machine learning and software development specialists. The most successful students will receive employment opportunities at «Deloitte». Wait for information on our page.”
“We want to provide training opportunities for new and perspective guys, in order to develop mentor skill among current specialists. It is important for us to share knowledge and shape perspective people. We prepare materials and courses. Some parts of the practical tasks, that will be carried out, are real cases with anonymous information.”
«Deloitte» aims at a flexible approach to each employee. It gives the specialists complex but interesting tasks, that they want to solve. This is the main point of motivation, they advise our readers to adopt.
“Find an interesting company with an interesting job for the candidates. Our task is the same – we find interesting tasks for the guys. As a result, we see a large number of motivated specialists in the company.”
Instead of conclusion
The «Deloitte» company is a vivid example of an HR-approach, where the values are reflected not only on the website and cash bonuses fade into the background. They listen to their employees, whose ideas are realized, as an example – the choice of the ideas for Data Science Hackathon 2020. The flexibility and innovativeness of the company are also reflected in the choice of technologies for projects, in the approach to organizing events, and in following the current trends of the IT market. When such resources are given for development, people really want to “make an impact that matters" 🙂