Hunting for an expert in SAS Institute applications to fill a post in an organization should be easy: By one estimate there are millions of people who use the business analytics software around the world.
Not so, says Arthur Tabachneck, the president of the Toronto area SAS Society . Which is why he’s created analystfinder.com, to help companies in any country find those with SAS skills who want to be found.
For a sliding fee, the site will send companies a list of names of people who meet the qualifications they’re looking for and who want to be contacted. (For example, US$300 for to the top 20 names that match criteria wanted.)
Ironically, the site, which launches today but will take some time to stock, is a bit of a make-work project for Tabachneck, who retired three years ago from his post as director of data management for the Insurance Bureau of Canada. His wife asked him to find something to bring in a little income, he laughs in an interview.
But the idea came when he was asked to join a recruiting firm. “I didn’t want to be a headhunter,” he said. Then he started thinking.
“No one in the SAS world had ever created a database of SAS professionals. There’s four million or more of us in the world. And when headhunters or companies try to find those experts they’re stuck using sources like Linkedin or where ever people are posting jobs these days.
“They never really get to attract the top people in the world because they’re all working, and they don’t want their employers to know they’re seeking another job. However. if the right offer came they’d jump at it.”
When he was at the Insurance Bureau there were problems finding those with SAS expertise, he recalled, unless they had let the community know they were looking for work.
Anyone who has used SAS can apply to be in the database, listing their experience, qualifications, salary requirements and a contact email. Companies looking to hire can list must-have qualifications wanted, and rank their importance of certain variables.
The Web site will select names that are close to the qualifications desired by a potential employer and email them, asking if they want to be considered want to be considered for a job. If the answer is no, that ends it. The current employee never finds out.
Even students who have taken SAS-sponsored university courses are eligible. “Companies would jump at the opportunity, I would think, to get somebody who’s fresh out of school, has some training in SAS and can do the kind of analytics they need. Right now they don’t have a way to find them.”
As on any public job site, a person can lie — or exaggerate — their expertise. That should be exposed in a job interview. Tabachneck said if he is told there’s a “bogus” person, the name will be removed from the database.
He doesn’t know how many SAS professionals are in Canada, but he guesses there’s several hundred thousand with various levels of expertise. There are user groups in every major Canadian city.
It could take some time for the service to be open for corporate job hunters. Tabachneck isn’t sure when he’ll allow the first paying customer. Ideally, he’d like the database first to have a least 10,000 names. Another possibility is having a map on the Web site with the number of people in the database by country, and letting organizations tell him if there are enough names.