Register or Sign-In

Senior Data Scientist
View vacancy detailsbutton to expand vacancy details


Senior Data Scientist, Hastings Direct

We are looking for a Senior Data Scientist to join our Data Science and Data Engineering team, a rare and exciting opportunity for someone with a desire to take a leading role in shaping a team at the core of Hastings Direct’s success through the application of innovative methods working with big data to keep us ahead of the curve.


As a disruptive player in what is such a fast moving and challenging market, we believe our competitive advantage is driven through the cutting edge use of data that we use to optimise our customer pricing.


The team works across pricing, fraud, marketing and underwriting to produce bespoke models, customer insight and data products in order to effectively target prospects and aid in risk assessment. In addition, we drive innovation and R&D within the organisation to leverage our bespoke and scalable big data platform.

Our aim is to continue being the data and analytics leader in the UK general insurance market.

The Role

Reporting directly into our Head of Data Science, as Senior Data Scientist you will lead the identification and creation of market leading data assets and predictive models which feed into Hastings’ industry-leading data science and pricing activities. Our aim is to continue being best in class at growing the most detailed understanding of all our customers as fast as we can manage.

Location is flexible, either based at our city office in Cannon Street, or our Bexhill Group Head office down by the sea. Either way, some home working is an option and regular travel between offices is required.

Your remit will include the following:

  • Create our engine for identifying, analysing and monetising every possible data opportunity we can think of
  • Empower our team to understand and serve the millions of current and potential Hastings customers
  • Enable us to reach our prospective customers through every available channel and ensure we are the best and most competitive company no matter how our customer find us

 To achieve this you will need to:

  • Create smart, quality data driven solutions to a range of challenging business problems
  • Think big, think fast – our long term goals require turning an immense number of data opportunities into live predictive models – you are ready and able to take on this challenge
  • Own the problem and be smart and efficient in solving it – you will be a master of the 80:20 rule – always balancing quality and expediency
  • Be a true master at predictive modelling, statistics and machine learning – ML’s not just a buzzword here, it’s what we live, breath and deliver on a daily basis
  • Create the best data models and insights – what we know about our customer is dwarfed by what we don’t know – your job is to change this
  • Build quality, sustainable processes – we like people who work hard, we love people who work smart.
  • Adopt the best practices from around you – we believe our data scientists can learn so much from other disciplines like agile working, software engineering and project management
  • Always be learning, improving and innovating – our work never stops and we are always looking for the better solution 

About us 

Hastings Direct is a fast growing, agile, digitally focused general insurance provider of products and services to over 2.7 million customers in the UK. We've significantly grown our customer base over the last three years and we now employ over 3,400 colleagues

It's our attitude and the way we run our business that makes us different. We focus on getting it right for our colleagues, customers, company and community. It's a dynamic, flexible, fun and constantly changing environment. You'll enjoy the scope to make a real difference for our customers, influence our company, benefit the communities we work in and have some fun along the way.

Required experience 

  • 3+ years of experience as a data scientist in a commercial or industrial setting
  • Advanced Degree in a relevant field (e.g. Physics / Engineering / Statistics)
  • Experience working with big and messy real world data sources
  • A proven track record of understanding business problems and developing solutions to solve them
  • A demonstrable history of applying descriptive and predictive analytics to drive measurable business value
  • Experience leading junior data scientists and analysts as a line manager, project lead or mentor – our team is our most valuable asset and as a leader it’s up to you to make sure they thrive
  • Deep understanding of what's "under the hood" of different modelling and machine learning methods (e.g. from classical statistics and regression through to GBMs and XGBoost)
  • Strong data wrangling skills able to create complex but efficient ETL processes with tools like SQL, Hive, or Hadoop
  • Good coding skills (but we care more about a quality approach than a specific language)
  • Experienced with applying best practices in modelling and coding to create robust, reusable models
  • The desire to learn & keep up with the latest methods to stay ahead of the curve
  • Eager to work cross-functionally with data engineers, pricing analysts and software engineers
  • Experience with the following a plus: Python/R/Spark/Git/H2O/Linux/Hadoop

Personal attributes

  • As a growing business, your role can really help make an impact on both the development and delivery of this function – it will be exciting, busy, varied and challenging so a roll sleeves up, hands-on approach is an absolute must.
  • A People Leader capable of growing a team and getting the most out of them and a Thought Leader capable of setting the strategic direction for our company
  • Natural problem solver who loves building quality solutions to real problems
  • This is a dynamic, fast paced working environment – candidates should be comfortable working within that setting and demonstrate a proactive working style.
  • Great communicator – you need to be able understand complex problems and translate that into a workable solution
  • Great attention to detail – systematic approach to managing your workload.
  • Embraces opportunities to develop and learn – shows a great level of self-awareness and drive.
  • Ownership – wants to own the big problems and won’t stop till they are solved

Benefits for you 

Please find some of the great benefits we offer here at Hastings Direct; 

  • Competitive basic salary which we will share with you upon shortlisting, but do feel free to email the Recruitment team for more details in advance of your application –
  • Flexible working opportunities working 1-2 days a week from home
  • Up to 10% bonus earning potential
  •  £5k Car Allowance
  • 25 days holiday
  • Life assurance
  • Competitive pension
  • Flexible benefits – buy or sell holidays
  • Discounted Hastings Direct products
  • Discounted rail travel  

Hastings Group is an equal opportunities employer which means we treat people fairly. We welcome applications from all suitably skilled persons regardless of their gender, age, race, disability, ethnic background, religion/belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment or marital/family status. Please also note that we have a thorough referencing process, which includes credit and criminal record checks.

Existing users
New users
Please ensure your password is eight characters or over and includes an least one special character (for example £ # ! ? . , @ )
I have read and understood the terms and conditions of the site *
I have read and understood the data protection statement for this site *