Top 3 Tips for Hiring a Tech Data Taxonomist
Updated: Apr 28, 2019
The age-old left brain vs. right brain concept — or creativity vs. logic — is something that, in taxonomy specifically, is never simply cut and dry.
As a potential employer interviewing someone for a taxonomy position, you should make it a point to figure out your subject’s reasoning and deduction skills, as well as their ability to think outside the box.
For those going into an interview situation (from the potential employee perspective) come prepared to demonstrate your dynamic thinking abilities.
No Right or Wrong Answers
While certain responses are definitely more favorable than others regarding how one’s brain works categorically, the art of abstract thinking and the brain’s natural gravitation towards specific behaviors are quite telling.
Vettanna’s resident taxonomy expert, co-owner John Flaa, says that when he interviews potential new hires, he makes it a point to ask them a series of generic questions, just to see how they think. He’s not so interested in the specific answers, more so in their ability to use intuition, logic and to think on their feet.
Questions like “If you walked into a room with 100 different items in it, how would you organize said items?” Someone might organize them alphabetically, by size, use, color, etc. There are no real right or wrong answers to these type questions, but they definitely can give insight into how someone’s brain intuitively organizes, deduces and solves problems.
Mad Research Skillz
A great taxonomist not only needs to have good decision-making skills and a way with words, but they also have to be an on point researcher.
Creativity and ingenuity in a research capacity is an integral piece of any taxonomist’s skill set. Taxonomists need to be able to become instant experts on any given subject that comes across their desk — so making sure your new hire has those chops is key.
Ask for examples of challenging, research-based work; prompt them with questions like “what steps would you take if you needed to learn as much as possible about men’s Italian leather shoes in 20 minutes?” A good researcher can see in their mind’s eye a structured approach to pipelining information and separating the relevant from the irrelevant.
In a Nutshell
When considering any new hire for a taxonomy position, the key elements you ought to look for are someone who is a:
Wordsmith and researcher
Decisive, detail oriented, organized and logical
Creative in their thought process and brings ingenious solutions to the table.
The left brain vs. right brain relationship is certainly an important factor when it comes to taxonomy, so identifying that in a potential employee is your best bet for making a smart, effective hire.