How To Hire The Best AI & Machine Learning Engineers

How To Hire The Best AI & Machine Learning Engineers

According to a study done in 2019 by an Austin-based employment and job listing website, one of the rising job titles as of late is Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) Engineers. More and more companies are looking to add one of these specialists into their teams as a way to take their ventures and enterprises to the next level. The demand is rising so it can also be said that more and more hiring teams are on the search for one.

A few years back, these professionals were hard to come by. It’s still a bit of a challenge nowadays but things have improved thanks to data science degrees made available for degree holders. Since there are no bachelor’s degrees for this profession then, it can be tricky to get into the said line of work. Experience and organic skills are necessary but since both can be hard to quantify for hiring managers, the hiring process proves to be a challenge.

How Do I Hire An AI and Machine Learning Engineer?

The newness of the position makes it a challenging spot to fill as well. Recruiters and hiring managers simply do not have the experience in this area so it can be an additional hurdle for some. 

All of these point to the fact that there’s a significant need for the best tips and tricks in hiring AI and ML engineers. If you’re one of the recruiters or hiring managers who are struggling to find the perfect fit for your company, this guide is for you.

As a hiring manager or recruiter, the first thing that you need to do in order to fill an open spot is to learn exactly are the requirements for the position you’re trying to manage. If you don’t understand what the job opening is, the less likely you’ll find a good match for it. For this, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Who Are AI And Machine Learning Engineers

If you’re not familiar with what an AI and ML engineer is, you should make sure to get to know the position before trying anything. Informing yourself about the basics would help you understand the necessity for the position and how to go about looking for the right talents for the spot.

For those who are unfamiliar with this job title yet, an AI and ML engineer is someone who can build artificial intelligence models that use machine learning algorithms which can then collate and generate data for drawing business insights. Their products can help in crucial decision-making processes that can affect various aspects and areas of a business. 

They’re necessary for business growth as they will help you make sense of all of the data and analytics reports you’ve accumulated from various areas of your operations. By getting great AI and ML engineers onboard, the processes within your organization can be further improved based on data.

It’s crucial to note that while the position can be reminiscent of software development spots, they’re not the same thing. Some experts don’t even recommend taking cues from the techniques you already have in hiring software developers when searching for AI and ML engineers as they may be counterintuitive. The skills required for these two positions are very different so it’s important not to lump them together.

Keep in mind that machine learning professionals do a lot of exploratory work. They experiment a lot so they can’t stick to rigid deadlines. Their projects also typically require a lot of continued support and further refinement. As a result, they don’t move from one finished project to another as most of their projects are continuous.

What to Look For When Hiring AI and Machine Learning Engineers

So what should you keep an eye out for when looking for AI and ML engineering candidates? Look at this quick list:

  • Someone with a mathematics and statistics background. Machine learning models usually require a lot of advanced maths so this could be a good place to get started in your search. Mathematics and statistics will also be greatly involved in understanding algorithms, tweaking ML programs’ performance, and interpretation the results.
  • Rapid learning skills are also a must if an AI and ML engineer will get great results. As mentioned above, a lot of experimentation will be done in this line of work so they have to be quick when it comes to thinking on their feet and retaining the information they’ve gleaned during the process.
  • Curiosity is another important trait an AI and ML engineer should have. This promises that they’ll have the interest to explore possible solutions that can help solve your organization’s problems. It will also push them to continue to learn and come up with new approaches and strategies to improve things.
  • Creativity is another trait to look for in an AI and ML engineer. They should be capable of coming up with new ideas that can help improve the situation and conditions in your enterprise.
  • Perseverance should also be something an AI and ML engineer should have. Again, with all of the experimentation and long-haul projects they’ll face, they should have the patience and determination to stick it through until they get the best results possible.

Recruiting Strategies For Hiring The Best AI & Machine Learning Engineers

Now that you have an idea of what to look for in an AI and ML engineer, the next thing you will need to know about is the recruiting strategies that might come in handy for you. As the search for talents can be tricky, it would help you a lot if the recruitment process is simpler. Keep these in mind and you might just get great results.

How to Attract Young Talent

  • Use specialized AI job boards. This will help you target your search more effectively and automatically avoid underqualified candidates.
  • Initiate university sponsorships so you can source untapped talents that are still in school. This will give you good access to lots of young people with great potential and your company can help them as well, in turn. It’s a win-win for both parties so it’s definitely worth exploring.
  • Organize competitions to draw a lot of young talent. Hackathons are great ways to get talents to come to you without too much pressure of vying for a position in your company. From the participants, you can then keep an eye out for some folks who will stand out and do well.

How to Attract Experienced Talent

  • Use specialized AI job boards. There’s a greater likelihood that you’ll find experienced talents there.
  • Hire experienced AI talent recruiters. These folks know what to do and look for when it comes to these tech professionals so you can outsource the major task to them instead.
  • Host or attend industry-specific conferences and gatherings to network and meet potential candidates. 
  • Ask for referrals from your existing AI and ML team. There’s a good chance that your team members have their own networks as well so you can try to tap that instead.

Retrain In-house Software Engineers

Another way to find good AI and ML engineers is by training your own. Give some of your software engineers the opportunity to learn this craft and you’ll get to explore their potentials. To ensure that they won’t go elsewhere after training, you might be able to set a bond or agreement that will make them stick around after the training period.

What to Offer

In order to successfully win over any talent that you want to get on board, it’s crucial that you offer the right things to them. You can’t count on them to make the switch if what you have on the table is less attractive than what they have right now.

A good pay and benefits package will be the first thing you need to craft. Do your research with the going rates and packages and make sure to match that. Aside from these, you can also draw them in with high-quality data, a diverse and interesting range of problems, as well as an amazing company culture. For many professionals in this area, high pay is already expected so you should beef up the offer more to get them to consider your company.

How to Retain Existing AI Talents

If you already have great AI and ML engineers in your team, the next thing you need to worry about is poachers. Keeping them would be ideal so you don’t have to keep looking for and recruiting replacements.

It wouldn’t be impossible for other companies and recruiters to set their sights on the pros in your team, especially if they are making great strides for your business. So what can you do to keep the talents you already have?

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