Is your company looking to create artificial intelligence services, software, or hardware? Chances are you’ll have a hard time attracting the talent to do so.
First, because AI is a relatively small developments space; and, second, because you’ll be competing with major tech companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, who have the deep pockets to snap up any potential talent to keep them from their competitors.
But, who says big tech are the only ones who can invest in AI? What are some ways you can get people to work for you in the rapidly growing AI space?
Craft your work to be meaningful and exciting.
When an expert AI or machine learning developer is looking for work, as soon as she hears the word “Google” or “Amazon,” her excitement level goes up. Your company’s name might not generate the giddy feeling that comes with the opportunity to work for an internationally recognized, billion-dollar tech firm. But, what you are creating is likely just as meaningful as anything the tech giants are putting out. However, you have to work overtime to sell how exciting and consequential your AI project is.
Erika Morphy, writing in CMS Wire, said: “People want to work for an organization that is having a positive impact on the world and they want to work in a place where they can reach their potential… Meaningful and exciting work can be more important than working for one of the biggest names in the industry.”
On top of that, potential hires like to know that their work can and will impact people’s lives in meaningful ways. If you’re crafting something that’s more than a game or novelty, you’ll have a leg-up on your giant competition. Jason Ansel, director of engineering at GoDaddy, said, “Working on projects that impact tens of millions of people gives AI engineers a sense of pride in their position as well as access to the amount of data required to use the most cutting-edge techniques.”
Craft a competitive salary.
As much as a great mission attracts great talent, it’s arguable that a great salary attracts even more. The tech giants obviously have deeper pockets and can price you out on anyone you would like to hire. So, putting up a competitive salary and great benefits may actually be a bit of a sacrifice for your company. The key thing is to know the cost of living in the area where your hire will be living (whether they work from your office or from their home), and be sure that any salary you offer covers any expenses they will be footing.
Competitive salaries are a must because there aren’t a lot of AI developers out there. Element AI, an independent lab, told The New York Times that there are only about 10,000 people in the entire world who have the education and skills to handle serious AI research and development.
Craft an environment of freedom and exploration.
AI is a relatively new field and has relatively few people working in the space. It’s greatest breakthroughs and developments are still in the future. Any person working in AI development deserves to have the freedom to explore new opportunities and jump down rabbit holes as they present themselves, and they also deserve to have a management team that fully supports them in their endeavors. While you may have a clear vision of where you want AI development to go, once you get a developer on board, he or she may uncover new opportunities that can lead to unexpected, even revolutionary, innovation down the road.