With demand for AI talent and skills at an all time high, it’s becoming more imperative for businesses to attract and retain professionals with specialist AI expertise. By understanding the unique needs of AI talent and developing an effective employee value proposition that caters to it, companies will be able to build long-term AI advantage.


    Boston Consulting Group emphasises the importance of this in their research piece, ‘How to attract, develop, and retain AI talent’ stating, “to be an industry leader in five years, companies need a clear and compelling AI talent strategy…Although demand for AI talent is at an all-time high, supply is extremely limited” (Boston Consulting Group: How to attract, develop and retain AI talent).



    Create a skills acquisition strategy

    Instead of focusing on the roles you need to fill, evaluate the skill gaps in your organisation and what expertise you need, to grow the business. Many employers don’t pay enough attention to ‘holistic’ skillsets they need to deliver on their growth plans. Sourcing a machine learning specialist or AI architect is not enough to drive AI strategies forward. Businesses need a range of skills from data architects, software engineers, governance leads and project managers to deliver on their AI transformation.


    Understand what AI employees are looking for

    Data and growth strategies are particularly important for professionals working in the AI space. Research shows that many are keen to understand whether a company is thinking about future innovation and product advancement. As well as being given the opportunity to work on interesting and exciting projects and technologies. As with most employees, it’s also incredibly important for employers to showcase how their culture aligns to the values of their workforce and presents opportunities for career development.


    Target hidden talent

    When looking for specialist tech talent, a lot of companies tend to search in traditional places such as, established software companies. Tapping into hidden talent pools, communities and markets will provide employers with a wide range of diverse talent. If businesses do decide to compete with larger tech companies, they need to communicate clear differentiators that will set them apart from their competition.


    Digitise your recruitment process

    When sourcing specialised tech talent, it’s helpful to use systems during the recruitment process that will optimise your search and elevate your brand. Leveraging digital technology will not only help to extend your reach and implement
    efficiencies, it will also demonstrate to your tech talent pool that you are innovative and have the right tech tools. During the interview stage, use communication tools and platforms that your talent pool will be familiar with, such as video
    interviewing tools and specific automation sequences.


    Think about the employee experience, not just the hiring process

    How can employers improve the interview experience for potential recruits? Many businesses think they need to streamline the recruiting process and although this may impact operational efficiency, it doesn’t always lead to a better experience for the interviewee. Consider ways to make the experience different to other businesses, such as introducing prospective employees to relevant teams and inviting them to team / company events. Many technologists like to meet other tech experts and team fit can have a big impact on whether someone chooses to join or not.

  • According to a global McKinsey survey of senior leaders, 87% said they aren’t equipped to address the technology skills gap and “61 percent of HR professionals believe hiring developers will be their biggest challenge in the years ahead” (McKinsey Digital: Tech talent tectonics). With demand outstripping supply, if employers don’t reassess their talent attraction strategies, companies will struggle to succeed in the digital world.