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How to Hire AI Developers: the Basic Guide

This guide will be helpful for recruiters and tech leaders looking for top candidates for AI job openings.

The artificial intelligence (AI) development market is booming, and it's not just because of the rise of chatbots and virtual assistants. AI developers are also in high demand because they help businesses optimize their processes, create smarter software, and develop innovative products.

If you're looking to hire an AI developer for your team or company but aren't sure where to begin, read on! In this guide we'll cover everything from the job market to salary expectations so that you can find the best AI candidates for your organization.

Our talent delivery team at Intersog believes that the best way to find the right candidate is to start with the project and its staffing needs. We recommend that you define what kind of AI skills and expertise you’re looking for and why it’s important for your business in order to narrow down the candidates.

AI Developer Job Market

The AI developer job market is booming, and it's no surprise. A recent report from McKinsey & Company estimates that AI could add $13 trillion to the global economy by 2030. This refers to around 1.1 million new developer jobs related to AI software development. As more businesses adopt artificial intelligence technologies for their operations, there will be increased demand for developers who can build and maintain these systems.

The number of jobs for software developers has grown significantly over the past few years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, demand for software development professionals has risen 78% since 2014—and this trend is expected to continue into 2025 as well.

However, if you're looking to hire an AI developer specifically, then it's important to understand how they differ from other applicants in terms of skillset requirements before posting any job listings or making offers. We'll talk about AI developer skills below.

In order to best attract quality talent at competitive rates while ensuring your organization remains compliant with industry regulations (e.g., GDPR), this guide covers everything you need know about hiring an individual contributor (freelancer) or a team member (employee) who specializes in working with artificial intelligence platforms like TensorFlow or PyTorch.

Demand for AI Developers

Demand for AI workers in the United States is growing fast, with a shortfall of around 300,000 people expected by 2024. Current trends indicate that there is an increased interest in applications like machine learning, deep learning and computer vision. This is expected to cause a demand rise of 1.3 percent each year through 2022, and will be in line with the average annual wage growth at 2.6 percent per year over the same period, according to the Center for Economic Analysis.

To help curb the shortage of developers, governments and universities are coming up with new ways to make AI more accessible. For example, a new online course about neural networks for visual recognition from Stanford University is now being offered to the public through Coursera.

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However, the shortage of AI professionals is not just affecting technology companies. A report by the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences states that there is a wide variety of job opportunities in the Artificial Intelligence Industry already open and available to be filled, with one in every 70 jobs expected to be created by 2026.

How long will the shortage last? It will depend on where the AI industry takes off. According to forecasts by the Center for Economic Analysis, demand will remain strong over the next 10 years. However, growth forecasts indicate that the rate of growth slowing in the long-term.

AI Developer Salary

According to Glassdoor, the median pay for AI development professionals with 1-3 years of experience in the United States is approximately $126k per year as of August, 2022, and is expected to rise with the current demand for AI talent. AI engineer job postings on Careerbuilder.com with a salary range of $110,000 to $150,000 have risen by an average of 15% over the past two year.

However, keep in mind that it can be difficult to find true experts in this industry, and you'll probably need to pay more than that to get someone truly capable of meeting your business needs.

For example, the average salary for an experienced data scientist is $116,000 per year. In order to land the best talent out there, you will likely need to pay in a range of $110,000 – $125,000 for a data scientist with 3 – 5 years of experience.

What is Required of a Good AI Developer?

Here below we've put together the top 7 skills of AI developers to help you find the perfect candidates for your organization.

1. Programming Skills

Few companies actually require an AI developer who can build AI algorithms and systems from scratch. Most involve some programming skills in order to train and tune existing AI models to different use cases. This includes proficiency with languages like Python, C++, C#, R and Java, as well as an understanding of algorithms and modular programming.

2. Data Science Skills

Data science are a required skill as AI developers are working with large sets of data using Big data, Spark and Hadoop frameworks. Data science skills allow for the processing and cleaning of data sets in order to extract information that makes up the training sets. These include R, Python, Java and Scala. Experiecned AI engineers are expected to conduct predictive analytics and learn from past data as well as gather information from public-facing APIs.

3. Machine Learning and Algorithms

This is perhaps one of the most essential skills required from a good AI developer, as it gives them the background necessary to understand and develop artificial intelligence for any sector. ML frameworks such as TensorFlow, Keras, MXNet, Caffe, PyTorch and Theano are the most common tools used to build AI enabled systems, and they can be tricky to use. They require understanding of linear algebra, probability theory, optimization and statistics.

4. Comfortable with Collaboration and Teamwork

AI engineering is a team sport. Effective AI developers are able to work in teams and provide deep insights into where machine learning models stand. They also have a good knack for communication and working with project managers, engineers and other stakeholders to reach targets and goals.

5. Proficiency in Conceptual Thinking

AI today is still at the beginning of a long journey towards true machine intelligence. As such, AI developers must be able to think conceptually and outside the box. They must also be able to think at a high level, and understand any other key unknown factors that may come into play.

6. Deep Understanding of AI vs. Human Behaviour

AI developers must be able to understand how humans think, and use their behaviour in the creation of artificial intelligence. They must be able to recognize patterns and trends in human behavior and adapt the AI systems accordingly. For example, if key information is missing, some AI systems may not be able to learn via backpropagation without human intervention.

7. Problem Solving Skills

Being a senior AI developer requires a lot of technical and team problem solving, since these professionals must solve real problems that come with the creation and implementation of new AI models. These problems may be technical, but also may come in the form of unexpected issues that pop up during testing.

These are some of the most important skills of an AI developer, although there is no set template for screening candidates.

How to Find AI Developers

When it comes to developing AI for your own or client's project, you want people who are just as talented as those working on Google’s AI or Apple’s Siri. How do you find top talent? Our list below will help.

1. Define the AI skills needed for your project

As mentioned above, there is some skillset that fits best your AI project. Before you can actively search for developers, you need to understand what type of AI skills you're looking for. This will save you time and effort trying to recruit the wrong kind of developers. For example, if you need a developer with experience in natural language processing (NLP), it's hardly efficient giving your job description to a developer that specializes in research through neural networks.

2. Write an effective AI developer job description

During a time where there is a shortage of AI specialists, it's important you write an effective candidate attraction job description. A good job description should state your company's core values and describe the kind of AI skills and experience the company is looking for. This will help attract engineers and developers who are most likley to be interested in getting hired by your company.

3. Post your AI job opening on online portals

Just because you're looking for IT specialists doesn't mean you can post your opening on the same old job boards that every other company does. Here are some different platforms where you can find the best AI engineers and developers:

3.1. Use LinkedIn for professional outreach and tech recruiting

This social network is a good place to find AI specialists that are trustworthy professionals. The potential of LinkedIn's open-door policy is huge, and the amount of connections you can reach is on an exponential growth curve. You can actually search for programmers, engineers and developers according to their AI skills, years of experience, and expertise without even having access to their full profile. Most importantly, you can get replies within minutes!

Also try Facebook for candidate search.

3.2. Consider Upwork for freelance jobs

UpWork.com is a marketplace where you can post your job openings and hire the talent you need from freelancers. Upwork is one of the most popular platforms for freelance software development. The best thing about UpWork is that you can hire designers, software engineers and developers on an hourly rate. The other good is that UpWork gives to every job posting a potential “wish” list so that you might find acceptable candidates in no time.

Also try Toptal, TopCoder, Guru, Fiverr and Freelance marketplaces.

3.3. Search for AI developer CVs in Monster's large database

Monster is one of the most popular job boards where you can find almost any kind of IT skills, starting from software engineering and and project management to user experience and design. Monster is often used by mid-sized and large companies due to its job posting structure, but it's also a good place for smaller companies that are looking for entry- and mid-level AI specialists.

Also try Indeed, Glassdoor, Dice, ZipRecruiter and Hired job boards.

4. Partner with Intersog

Intersog's IT staffing can be an essential component to your AI developer recruiting process, whether you are looking for temporary help or you have a hard-to fill AI-related position that requires more attention.

Some of the benefits of partnering with Intersog are as follows:

  • Helping with planning and filling the recruiting pipeline
  • Providing a greater variety of pre-qualified candidates
  • Flexibility to fill specific positions when needed

Tips to identify the perfect candidate for your AI team

So, you get a list of candidates for your AI job opening. Now you want to hire someone who has the right skill set, is a good cultural fit, and can work independently. The best way to do this is to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does this candidate have the soft and hard skills I need?
  • Do we share similar values about what makes a good AI product or service?
  • Can this candidate be successful in my team? Will they work well with our other teammates in order to create something great together?
  • Is this person open-minded and willing to learn new things from others in my team?
  • Is he/she willing to take constructive criticism from me or someone else in the team without getting defensive about it?
  • Are they a good cultural fit for my team and our product/service?
  • Do I like them as a person and will we both have a good working relationship?
  • Is this person motivated to succeed at all times – because people who are, are much more valuable than those that aren't.
  • Does this candidate have passion for innovation and AI development, as evidenced by their previous projects and experiences?

Once you've chosen a candidate who seems like a good fit for your AI development team, here are some of the things you should make them do:

  • Ask them coding questions. You want to make sure the candidate can write code in at least one general purpose language like Java, R or Python.
  • Have the candidate build something in your product or service – a simple programming exercise that helps you assess their abilities to understand what the problems are and how they solve them. This will also help them gain a better understanding of who you are and what your company does
  • Make them do a team interview. The objective of this interview is to assess how well they can communicate in both speech and writing, as well as how well they can interact with others in your team. The candidate should answer questions from you and two other people from your team (or two other people from one of your clients).
  • The candidate should also be interviewed by a person from the technical side of your business (for example, someone from your AI engineering). This interviewer will ask the same questions and do the same exercises to assess how well the candidate fits into your organization and how well they can learn.

After this, it is important to touch base with other people on your team before making an offer. Don't rush into hiring anyone. The AI developer interview process shouldn't be exhaustive, but it should give you confidence that your potential hire is going to be successful in your company.

If you follow these steps, you'll increase the chances of hiring the right person for your team and company. You will also save yourself time and frustration during the onboarding process if they work out well.

Conclusion

Overall, the best way to find the right AI developer for your tech team is to take your time and be sure that you research all of your options. Make sure you know what skills are most important for this job, so that when it comes time to post an ad or interview potential candidates, you can easily identify who might be a good fit.

You would also want to partner with tech consultants like Intersog that would help you find and vet the perfect candidates for your AI development team.

IT and talent solutions
Intersog is a leading IT solutions provider in the United States and beyond. The company has provided agile software engineering and staffing services for Fortune 500 corporations, tech startups, and SaaS businesses for over fifteen years. Why Intersog.

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