Requirements to Retaining AI Talent

The best and brightest — that’s what we all want when it comes to the talent we employ, but for companies in the artificial intelligence space, it’s even harder given the significant talent gap we face. The demand for AI expertise is continuing to skyrocket, bolstered by the success of companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon, and of course, the available talent pool has yet to catch up. So, what can companies do to remain competitive in attracting top talent as the demand for talent continues to increase?

Understand your competition, its offerings and your differentiators

There are less than 10,000 people globally with the necessary skills to tackle the most-pressing artificial intelligence research, so it can be difficult to compete with industry tech-giants. Knowing what your competition offers in its employee benefits package is the first place to start. Use that knowledge to better understand industry expectations and identify new areas where you can compete and stand out.

That research will allow you to determine your differentiators and where you can set yourself apart as an employer of choice. The salary you offer is a big component for candidates, but it’s certainly not the only component that matters. The vast majority of emerging AI talent values a workplace that provides creative problem-solving opportunities as much as financial incentives. These individuals prioritize environments where their ideas are heard, where their learning can prosper and where vertical lines of growth are visible—those are areas that major tech companies can’t always guarantee to deliver.

Provide intellectually challenging opportunities

The AI talent in today’s market is filled with curious minds and lifelong learners. Your best chance at capturing their interest and attention is to offer opportunities for research on groundbreaking, innovative products and solutions they can actively contribute to and improve upon. Give your AI talent open access to large, clean datasets and computational resources, so they have the ability to test, create, develop and iterate independently. Reinforce that the scientific method, experimentation, and problem solving are priorities for your organization. Finding the right combination between collaboration and freedom for independent thinking is the key to bringing new ideas and innovative solutions to the table. It also shows intelligent workers they are valued.

Hiring strong AI talent is a manageable hurdle, but you cannot afford to stop there. Your focus must remain on retaining the AI talent you employ in a competitive landscape. Give yourself a pulse check with these three questions:

  1. How competitive are my compensation packages relative to alternatives?
  2. What’s the balance between collaborative projects and independent research?
  3. Is my AI talent boxed into specific tasks, or are they given the freedom to explore outside a single project?

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