February 28, 2020 – Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to change the way we live; it is quickly redefining how employees do their jobs (especially in the recruitment industry) and how consumers make decisions. In 2016, 38 percent of businesses implemented AI. That number has only grown; the use of AI nearly doubled by 2017. And, in 2019, 71 percent of surveyed companies announced plans of adopting AI tech. This groundbreaking form of technology isn’t leaving anytime soon, and the demand for talent in the industry is booming.
A new report by IQTalent Partners says that because the field is relatively new, recruiting AI talent can be tricky. While the tech-savvy applicant pool is growing, it’s still fairly limited — which makes it cumbersome to reach qualified candidates with real experience.
“It’s also crucial to keep in mind that several companies recently hopped on the AI train, making the competition for finding highly-qualified candidates fierce,” said Chris Murdock, co-founder and chief sourcing officer of IQTalent Partners.
So, how can you attract skilled AI gurus to your company? IQTalent Partners offers these five secrets will turn you into a tech talent magnet in no time.
1. Be Unique
AI experts don’t want to work at just any company; they know they’re in high demand and have plenty of roles to choose from. “They’re highly selective and look for what the employer has to offer in terms of its company culture, benefits, and career development,” said Mr. Murdock. “To attract the best talent out there, you need to stand out from the crowd of hungry AI-adopting companies and offer something no one else can.”
Chris Murdock is a veteran of the recruiting and talent acquisition industry with 20 years of experience spanning across multiple industries. He founded IQTalent Partners in 2009 and now leads search execution and client relationships for the 150- person firm. Prior to establishing IQTalent, Mr. Murdock worked with Yahoo!’s internal executive recruiting team, gaining in-depth experience across the technology recruiting sphere. He began his career working for Heidrick & Struggles and TMP Worldwide.
“Most importantly, remain transparent — from the job description to the final interview, and beyond,” he said. “Candidates should know what to expect from your company in terms of the recruiting process.”
2. Go Beyond The Brains
A traditional recruitment process is based on skill-sets and previous experience. “The bad news is that isn’t enough for recruiting for AI and tech roles,” said Mr. Murdock. “Of course, you’re in search of candidates that have AI knowledge down to the nitty-gritty details, but they also need to make sense for your company.”
IQTalent Partners said to ask yourself: Does the candidate represent our mission? Will they fit into our culture? Will they be willing to abide by our company processes? How will they behave in certain situations?
Being a tech genius is great — but if they can’t bring more to the table, it’s not going to work out. To determine if the candidate is a fit, IQTalent Partners said to use online assessment tools like DISC that measure beyond a candidate’s skills and look at personality, behavior and motivators.
3. Overuse of Buzzwords is a No-Brainer
You likely see the latest tech-related buzzwords thrown around in your pile of resumes. “Don’t let them fool you,” Mr. Murdock said. “Many candidates throw these terms on their resume because of the assumption that ‘the machine’ will see it (especially if it’s repeated throughout) and give them a chance at the job — even if they aren’t qualified.”
Today, technology is front and center of most business change. It can drive efficiency, growth, improved customer service, and an untold number of other elements that lead to success. Now, more than ever, businesses require leaders who understand technology and its possibilities in order to spearhead change.
“To be successful, leaders themselves have to be transformational,” says Colin Baker, a partner at London-based executive search firm Wilton & Bain, and head of the firm’s global technology officers’ practice. “They have to want to change something; they have to want to create positive change within an organization.” These leaders, according to Mr. Baker, are in short supply and heavy demand.
If you notice a buzzword or two in a candidate’s resume, check their role descriptions, Mr. Murdock said. “If they provide thorough examples of how they used the term and make statements that indicate a clear understanding of the role, chances are they’re a qualified fit. Also, be sure to scan their resume for diverse experience across industries and job functions. While you want the candidate to be outstanding at what they do, a variety of experience shows they have additional knowledge to bring to the table and will be able to problem-solve under different perspectives.”
4. Stand by Your Fellow AI Influencers
They’re knowledgeable, powerful and willing to help you find your best. “Reaching out to top business influencers in your industry and asking them to promote your open roles will drastically expand your reach to an audience of tech talent,” said Mr. Murdock. “Focusing on building relationships with influencers is the ultimate power move. If you haven’t already started looking for the go-to influencers of your playing field, now is the time to start.”
IQTalent Partners offers some of the best places to find influencers worth your attention: Industry-leading podcasts; LinkedIn; Twitter; Instagram; and top-rated blogs.
5. Avoid Sending Generic Messages via LinkedIn and Email
“Out of the five secrets, this is hands-down the most important when it comes to recruiting AI talent,” Mr. Murdock said. “The old-school, generic copy-and-paste messages aren’t going to help you reach a qualified talent pool. Again, AI professionals with a significant amount of expertise know their worth — and most likely will not be willing to respond to something that is clearly sent in mass.”
Add personalization — highlight specific components of their LinkedIn profile or resume that impress you. “You already know their work history and general skill sets, so ask about their interests beyond their career,” Mr. Murdock said. “Again, you want to verify that the candidate’s personality and behaviors match the tone of your company. Putting in the extra time to send these messages not only improves the candidate experience and makes your company shine, but it tells you what else you need to know about them before moving on in the recruitment process.”
IQTalent Partners said that by paying attention to the signs, making the most of your resources, and building relationships with the right players in your field, you’ll find the hunt for recruiting AI talent more navigable and will deliver AI expertise that will spearhead your company’s next growth spurt.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media