Author: Don Hussey

What Business Analysis Managers Seek in Candidates

Hussey March18Now that a new year is under way, a frequent question in the business analysis community is what exactly managers of BA’s look for when hiring BA’s to join their organization. This was actually a question I myself asked when I was a BA, and then I asked even more often when I became a manager of BA’s. The following is a summary of what I personally looked for.

Knowledge

Business Analysis – Duh. You have to know about business analysis. You need to know how to elicit, analyze and validate requirements. You have to know how to model them and move them through requirements processes. You have to know how to manage them, trace them, etc. Basic, but this skill needs to be constantly improved. If you are just starting out as a Business Analyst, you need to be able to demonstrate some knowledge of analysis and solid strength in the other areas.

Technology – You need to have some decent level of understanding of the technology, but the amount will vary depending on your role. If you are working on hardware projects, you should have a good understanding of hardware, but you don’t need to be an engineer. If you are working on software projects, you should have a good understanding of development, but you don’t need to be a programmer. If you are working on process improvement… well you still need to have a good understanding of software. You don’t have to be a techie; you do need to know enough to know what systems can do. And how do you use all this knowledge? To craft solutions, right? No. It’s to help you speak the same language as technologists and to ask the right questions.

Domain – Common dogma within our field states that you can be a Business Analyst without domain knowledge. So you can take a BA with a Finance background, drop him into Pharma, and he will be successful. I suppose there must be instances where this is the case, but usually it’s the opposite. Working specifically within Wealth Management, I rarely hired BA’s with only Investment Banking experience, let alone someone without Finance experience. Why? Because when you lau