How to hire artificial intelligence talent

Artificial intelligence has grown at a rapid pace in the last few years, but the production of AI talent hasn’t kept up with it. According to the World Economic Forum, the tech industry will create 133 million AI and machine learning jobs by 2022. So, competition for top AI talent will only increase in the next few years.

Hiring AI talent can be tricky, and most positions require highly technical backgrounds and knowledge. Plus, sometimes offering a high salary and competitive benefits isn’t enough. So, companies have to use all the resources available at their disposal to attract the right professionals. These are some of the things to do in order to hire AI talent. 

Define the Role

The first step when hiring for any position is to define precisely the profile you are looking for. Outline what the responsibilities the role will have and which qualifications are needed. In artificial intelligence, a detailed description of the job is essential because there are different areas of expertise, and each requires different soft and hard skill sets. 

AI talent can specialize in machine learning, deep learning, data science, research, and more. Each of these specialties has different requirements not only in skills but in years of experience as well. The important part is to ensure you describe the job opening correctly to avoid losing time with unqualified candidates. 

Key Skills

Attracting candidates with the right skills goes hand-in-hand with describing the role correctly. Technical skills depend on the position and the persons in charge of hiring have to know this to be able to retain the right professional. However, some tech requirements are standard for all AI talent, like mathematical, statistical and analytical skills. 

In other words, depending on the role, AI talent has to have experience with probability, calculus, algebra, language processing, mechanics, data structures and more. In the case of soft skills, the most required are problem-solving, critical thinking, patience, adaptative aptitude and teamwork. 

Sometimes professionals that have a significant technical background but lack experience working in teams aren’t the best option. Choose the candidate with the right technical education for the AI position, but also one who can also work with others and keep pace with the evolving industry. 

Partner with Universities and Bootcamps

Artificial intelligence technology requires a deep understanding of mathematical and scientific knowledge. So a good option is to create partnerships with local universities with strong AI departments. That way, you will have access to new top AI graduates and the possibility to develop projects with professionals with many years of research experience. 

University projects usually have a team of professionals and students behind them. Making your company known to undergrad and postgraduate students will increase the chances of them accepting jobs from you in the future. 

Coding bootcamps are also a great source of talent in the tech industry. In the case of artificial intelligence, many schools offer data science and machine learning bootcamps. And most of these courses require previous experience in software engineering or computer science. 

This means bootcamp graduates have extensive knowledge of AI. So, by partnering with bootcamps, you will be able to snatch the top graduates. 

Offer Attractive Projects

Because artificial intelligence is a highly-technical niche, professionals in this area are already well paid with competitive benefits. So, trying to entice them with benefits and an excellent salary won’t necessarily mean success. The best option is to complement the job position with interesting and exciting projects. 

People who go into AI generally do it because they believe they can make a difference with their work. That’s why you need to attract them with the possibility of working on unique projects that will further their careers. 

Fast Hiring Process

The tech industry is highly dynamic, and because of a constant change and a shortage of professionals, many people change jobs all the time. Keep in mind when trying to hire AI talent that you aren’t the only company out there. Your company is probably competing with many others that may have better opportunities. 

That’s why you should try to make the hiring process as short as possible. Long hiring processes cost more and while your company is doing interviews and background checks, the candidate may accept another job opportunity.

Retrain Current Employees

The option of retraining current employees for the position you want to fill is one of the best options available. Sometimes hiring a software engineer, for example, can be easier than attracting AI professionals. So, you could retrain your software engineer with a university course or coding bootcamp in a short time. 

The benefits of this strategy are that a current employee is already in tune with the company’s goals, culture and environment. Also, you already know how this person works and how their performance will probably be in a new position. And if their current job is tech-related, they will probably already have many of the soft skills needed for AI talent.

Use AI Recruitment

Lastly, the industry already has many AI recruitment tools that help optimize the hiring process. These solutions can do things like screening CVs to show only the candidates with the right skills or analyzing productivity levels from previous employers of the candidates. 

Also, they can improve the process by eliminating human bias from the equation. And it can make it possible to reach passive candidates. These are professionals that aren’t actively looking for a new job, but you could make attractive proposals to attract them. In the future, recruitment solutions could go as far as doing all the processes up to the in-person interview.