There are times when a company must hire a business analyst. When searching from an outside source there are certain things an employer should determine when hiring the perfect business analyst. Some of these suggestions are common sense. Other items listed may be overlooked in the desperation to find a qualified business analyst.
The first question one should always ask is "What do you know about our company?". This is a key question in the interview process. You will want someone who is familiar with what your company does. He or she should know what products you manufacture or services you provide. Being familiar with your industry makes it easier for you and the business analyst to understand each other. He or she will know exactly what you are expecting without much training.
When hiring a business analyst another question to ask is "How much experience do you have with this type of project?". You will want someone who has been there before. You want to know the business analyst you are hiring will be able to handle the pressure needed to get the job done.
Hiring a business analyst means knowing the type of person you are interviewing. This is not an easy task. First impressions may not always be right. You are looking for someone who is creative. He or she will be able to think on their feet. Find out what their main short term goals are. Someone who says they hope to be starting their own consultant group is probably one who is not planning to stay long. You will want to have someone who can start the project and see it through to completion. There are times this may take several years.
Another attribute to look for when hiring a business analyst is team player capabilities. Someone who confesses to being a loner may not work well with others. He or she may bring an attitude to the table you just do not want. Watch for indications of self assurance but not self absorption. Hiring a business analyst means finding someone who is friendly and easy going. One who is not shy or submissive. You are not looking for a yes man. You are looking for someone to tell you if a solution will work or if it will fail.
When hiring a business analyst ask for worse case and best case scenarios from past experience. Listen carefully to the response. Did they make reference to who was to blame for any failures or shortcomings? Someone who puts the blame on everyone else is someone you do not want in your organization. There is usually enough of that going around for everyone. Someone who is able to stand and say they made a mistake or did not do everything to avoid the failure is an honest person people will trust. This is someone others will respect. It will be easier to introduce a new player into the team if others can trust them.
The best thing to do when hiring a business analyst is to first determine what attributes you are looking for. List qualifications second. Third is the experience. This will be a guideline for hiring the perfect business analyst to do the job.