Never Let This AI Talent Walk Out the Door

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Feb 25, 2019 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights, hiring trends, IT, client

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming more and more useful for a variety of industries. There will likely be a large strategic push to grow AI presence in businesses across the board in the years to come. The biggest challenge will be hiring the right people to comprise these teams. It can be difficult to recruit such skilled tech candidates, especially when they are in high demand. In fact, Silicon Valley is a perfect example of a highly competitive AI market. Companies are willing to fight for the best minds in the field.

What Constitutes a Successful AI Team?

It is important for companies to choose members of their AI teams with great care. There are certain skill sets that each team member should fulfill. As the field grows, the requirements evolve, so there are different schools of thought on the matter. Here are some recommendations on which skill sets are essential and which not so much.

Mixed Backgrounds

Some department heads think it is important for each member of the team to come from a different background. You should have individuals who are entrenched in the latest technological advancements and others who have experience in the business world. Have some who know code like the back of their hand and others who are familiar with startup environments in the tech industry. It would not be a good idea to be too heavy in one background and light in another. A mix will give you the upper hand when it comes to building, designing, and introducing new products.

Not All Experts

Some think that you need to fill your team with a lot of experts in deep learning. This is a misconception. Your company can get away with having just a few deep learning experts, as long as you also have a great support staff to round out the team. There should be research engineers, product managers, and product engineers. The research engineers with a background in computer science or physics will be able to take the equations and work done by the AI experts and translate them into code at a quick pace. A product manager will be able to take this information and develop the product that should be built, and the product engineer will bring it to life.

Don’t Need a PhD

You do not have to have a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence in order to be successful in the field. As long as you know how to code and have a firm grasp of the concepts in math and statistics, you are far ahead of the pack. Since the skills involved in AI are constantly changing, you will need to be willing to learn continuously. If you are a curious person by nature, then you will never get bored of staying on top of the latest technological advancements. In addition, if you love to problem solve and do experiments in order to test your own theories, then you will fit right into an AI team, and you will find yourself at a big advantage.

Lifecycle and Risk Management

It is easy to assume that data science is what drives AI or that skills based in computer science and math are what Artificial Intelligence models are founded on. However, others maintain that AI models are based on automation and loads of data. Automation is key in the building and execution of an AI model. That said, a skill set focused on trust, safety, and stability will be a huge asset. These skills will include principles in the lifecycle and risk management of a model. Such candidates usually have a background in ethics, policy, and regulation.

Both Academics and Operations

As mentioned previously, an organization should not rely too heavily on one type of background. This is a sure fire way to only hear one perspective and leave behind missed opportunities. Likewise, recruiting someone who is strong in academics, as well as a strong operational tendency, is important. Those who fall back on their academic backgrounds tend to take longer during a project in an effort to reach perfection or disregard production requirements in the process. An individual who can balance both skill sets will be an asset.

How Does a Company Train Its Artificial Intelligence Team?

Although there has been an increase in interest in AI courses and machine learning classes, it is important for companies to understand that training does not end there. In fact, every industry has a different use for AI, which means the AI team will require ongoing training. With the rate at which interest in classes is rising, it is likely to continue growing exponentially. Organizations will need to think about how to instill a successful training procedure for incoming recruits. If there is no plan in place, a new hire is basically being set up for failure, which will not fare well in the team, as a whole. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate continuing education into your organization.

Online Courses

Some organizations develop online courses that are specific to their platforms. By giving your new team members an in-depth training course over a set period of time, they will be able to take what they have learned day to day and use it as they settle into their positions. It will be a great complement to the hands-on training they will receive in the beginning weeks.

Provide Latest Research Reports

Since the field is growing in research and new technology every day, you will want your teams to keep up with the latest advancements. It will not only provide new ways to integrate AI into your business, but it will give your team fresh perspectives on how they can do their jobs better. Consider making new research readily available, as well as allotting time to experiment with new findings.

Rotate AI Teams

Another way for your team to gain a new perspective on AI is by exposing them to other teams across the organization. By doing a rotation of sorts, your team members will be able to see firsthand the challenges that others face and how they are working to overcome them. This can be a vital teaching moment that can be used later, if necessary. Giving the AI team this experience will take them outside of their comfort zone and learn how to adapt to a variety of obstacles. It has the potential to open their minds to new possibilities.

Share Knowledge of Domain

It is important for your deep learning experts to know as much as possible about the domain they are working in at the time. By having your domain experts share their wide breadth of knowledge with your Artificial Intelligence team, it will be easier for them to wrap their heads around the objectives and end games for each project. They will begin to see how their work can be used for real-world applications, which will help in the planning and design phase.

Focus on Data Science

It is becoming apparent that there is a large interest in data science. In fact, those who are already data engineers and software engineers are considering becoming data scientists. The theory is that the need to focus on data exploration and cleansing is decreasing with more attention and emphasis put on deep learning.

Some training companies think that you do not need to have a background in data curation or statistics in order to be successful in Artificial Intelligence. This might have some truth to it in certain domains, however, others do require these backgrounds in order to be successful. For example, being able to understand data science concepts is incredibly important for the cybersecurity domain.

Teach Concepts

Those involved in AI, especially department managers and those leading teams, have to know AI concepts, such as what would be an applicable use of the technology and what would not be applicable use. For instance, AI might not be a great solution for problems that do not have much of a history. It is also crucial that leaders, specifically product designers, understand how to leverage AI. If they understand probability and statistics, they will be able to use these skills on new product designs that make sense for AI use.

Stay Current with Tech Advancements

As mentioned before, it is beneficial for AI teams to stay up-to-date on the most current technology advancements within their industry. Aside from providing your staff with the research, you could also offer to pay for continuing education. With the willingness to learn new tech, your team will stay on the cutting edge of emerging tech and stay ahead of the curve with your competition. There are online courses and training that offer AI-related certifications. These classes will keep workers on top of their game by increasing their knowledge in a variety of areas. Some of these specialties include machine learning, programming, and advanced math. Your company will become more valuable as your staff becomes more knowledgeable. It shows your organization that you believe they are assets worth pouring into and will create loyalty and grow morale. In addition, it will save you time and money in the long run by having to hire and train completely new team members.

One thing is for certain in this evolving business world. Artificial Intelligence is only becoming a bigger part of organizations across all industries, including the global markets. As more and more money is being put into research and recruiting the best candidates to fill out a company's AI team, it is difficult to stand by and not get on board. By implementing an AI team into our organization, you will be giving your competitors something to worry about. Always stay ahead of the curve. AI will get you there. To start your search for talent, click below!

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