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Data Scientist


Contract typePermanent Full Time



Hastings Direct, Data Scientist

We are looking for a skilled Data Scientist to join our Data Science team within our Underwriting function. This is 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, our market advantage is driven through the cutting edge use of data that we use to optimise our customer pricing.


In addition, we drive innovation and R&D within the organisation to demonstrate our bespoke and scalable big data platform. Our aim is to continue being an elite data and analytics leader in the UK general insurance market.


If this sparks your interest please do keep reading, you could be just what we are looking for.


The Role

Data Science and analytics is the bedrock of our business, our Data Scientist will lead in the identification and creation of market leading data assets and predictive models which feed into our industry-leading data science & pricing activities.

Location is flexible, either based at our city office in Cannon Street, or our Bexhill Group Head office on the Sussex coast. 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 customers find us.


To achieve this you will need to:

  • Create intelligent, 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 effective and efficient when solving it. You will be the authority on the 80:20 rule, always balancing quality and expediency.
  • Be a true expert in predictive modelling, statistics & machine learning – ML’s not just a buzzword here, it’s what we live, breath and deliver daily.
  • 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 and sustainable processes. We like people who work hard, and we love people who work smart.
  • Adopt the standard methodologies from around you. We believe our data scientists can learn so much from other disciplines like agile working, software engineering and project management


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.


Required experience

  • Demonstrable experience as a data scientist in a commercial or industrial setting.
  • Advanced Degree in a relevant field (e.g. Physics / Engineering / Statistics – PhD a plus).
  • Experience working with big and messy real world data sources.
  • A proven track record of understanding business problems and developing solutions to solve them.
  • The ability to clearly evidence a history of applying descriptive and predictive analytics to drive measurable business value.
  • Experience mentoring junior data scientists and analysts and being a project lead or coach. 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).
  • The desire to learn & keep up with the latest methods to remain in the forefront of change.
  • 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.
  • You are a natural People Leader capable of growing, developing and supporting a team but you are also, an Inspiring Leader, who can set and drive 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 – applicants should be comfortable working within that setting and demonstrate an enthusiastic & motivated working style.
  • Great communicator – you should 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 until they are solved.



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

  • A competitive salary and an attractive benefits package which we can share upon shortlisting, please contact for more information
  • Broad exposure to senior management and ability to contribute to real change
  • 1-2 days working from home
  • Car allowance of £5,000
  • Up to 10% bonus earning potential
  • 27 days holiday
  • Private medical cover
  • Pension
  • Flexible benefits
  • Discounted Hastings Direct products



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.





Conquest House,
Collington Avenue,
TN39 3LW
About Bexhill-on-Sea

Glassdoor 3.6

The shifts in customer service teams are quite colleague friendly. There is free tea and coffee in the call centre, and a subsidised Costa Coffee and canteen. There are lots of incentives to earn more, and a decent social life.

It has a really positive environment with everyone who works there being very helpful. The managers really do go out of their way to assist you. There are a lot of benefits and rewards at Hastings Direct which if you are doing well are quite easy to achieve.

There is a well-rounded approach to the wellbeing of all colleagues, including an inclusive approach to wellbeing activities. Hastings Direct aims to roundly develop colleagues and set them up for future careers within the company.

There is a wonderful work environment, with a strong sense of team work which purveys throughout the business. And there is a sense of friendly competition which works to heighten this.

Indeed 3.6

As an employer, Hastings Direct offers a lot of company benefits to all employees which are fantastic and I feel this is quite unique. The company culture is inclusive and encourages everyone to participate in local causes.

All employees are well looked after, respected and recognised for the hard work we do for the company. It is a great experience to be working with such amazing team. It much easier for me to balance my work and personal life.

It’s a great place to work with amazing benefits, support and colleagues. Lots of hands on support. Amazing rewards for achieving targets and also plenty of time to get together as a team outside of work and bond with your colleagues.

The company culture, management structure and general atmosphere is really good. The share scheme and Hastings Direct rewards are also fantastic for staff.