Ready to Start Screening AI Talent? Here’s How to Spot Experts

by Stacey Matlock on April 12, 2024 in Blog, Hiring Challenges

Whether you’re purchasing a used SUV or hiring IT talent, no one wants to get stuck with a lemon. We all want our time, money, and effort to result in a long-haul partner for the road ahead. However, the ability to weed bad options requires not only an eye for the signs of quality but a sense of when the person selling to you is embroidering the truth.

For example, identifying exceptional AI professionals is proving difficult. We’re still in the early stages of formal adoption, so most leaders might struggle to say what is the equivalent of the CISSP for the information security world or PMP for project management talent. Until more companies hire AI talent, there’s going to be some mystery around what makes one stand out from another.

In the hopes of helping companies better screen artificial intelligence talent, we’ve put together this list of certifications and skills that can make your evaluation process easier.


AI Certifications to Keep on Your Radar

Though the industry is still determining what to mint as the gold standard certification, several options have cropped up as viable contenders. We’re not going to declare a victor quite yet, but if you see one of these certifications on a candidate’s resume or LinkedIn profile, you’ll know what’s being claimed.

Certified Artificial Intelligence Scientist (CAIS™)

If you’re looking for transformative leadership, the CAIS™ might be an indicator that talent will think with an AI-first mindset. Issued by the United States Artificial Intelligence Institute, this certification is designed for senior AI professionals and business leaders, imparting lessons on how to apply complex AI strategy in ways that reshape goal achievement and day-to-day decision-making.

The self-paced program helps participants gain an understanding of the business impact of AI fundamentals ranging from technical concepts like decision trees, support vector machines, clustering algorithms, to deep learning essentials, computer vision techniques, recurrent neural networks. Though CAIS™ doesn’t impart implementation know-how, it does give a holistic understanding about how these different disciplines blend and make a tangible impact. In short, this person will know how to connect the dots between AI and your goals.

Artificial Intelligence Engineer (AiE™)

This is a more hands-on certification. The AiE™ certification is designed to demonstrate that an IT professional is adept at engineering AI systems and applications across a wide range of use cases.

Can AiE™ certificate holders get organizations ready for AI applications to leverage? Yes! Are they prepared to handle the full lifecycle of machine learning models from conceiving and building to training and execution? Definitely. Overall, people who have earned this increasingly popular certification are ahead of the curve—and can help you get there as well.

AWS Certified Machine Learning

Currently, AWS is investing in artificial intelligence, but doesn’t have an overarching certification to reflect their usage. However, there is the AWS Certified Machine Learning. As a subset of artificial intelligence, machine learning is still a valuable skillset to have, especially as more cloud applications are embracing ML models and deep learning workloads.

More of a straight examination, AWS recommends people have two years of hands-on experience, an understanding of basic ML algorithms, knowledge of hyperparameter optimization, and more fundamentals to succeed. Some describe AWS as having a steeper learning curve, but in spite of that, this certification has a loyal and engaged online community. If you hire someone with this certification, you’ll know they not only can combine ML principles with AWS, but that they’re likely connected with folks who can keep optimizing your outputs.

Azure AI Engineer

Though Azure is second place in cloud adoption, Microsoft’s AI certification is highly popular. For Microsoft shops, this is an essential certification, especially since the tech giant already invested $16.3 million in an AI startup that’s working on a large learning model that could rival ChatGPT.

Tech professionals with an Azure AI Engineer certification are demonstrating AT LEAST an intermediate understanding of how to build, manage, and deploy AI solutions on Azure. Those who have earned the certificate can handle the end-to-end processes of creating secure AI solutions.

Plus, they’ve validated their experience using Python, C#, REST APIs, and other tools to elevate the outcomes of these Azure powered tools. You can tell a great deal about numerous overlapping skillsets that will elevate your organization’s capabilities.

Top Skills Your AI Talent Should Have

What about the everyday skills AI professionals need? You want someone who has done more than dabble with ChatGPT in their spare time, but you might not know how deep their knowledge needs to be in specialized skills. Are PyTorch and SystemVerilog table stakes or are they super nice-to-have proficiencies?

From what we’re seeing, these hard and soft skills are essential for AI talent to possess:

Programming Skills

If you want to unlock the power of customized AI platforms, you’ll need people who can code new features, make adjustments, and optimize the performance of your tool. AI engineers with hands-on coding experience in a variety of programming languages as well as data analysis tools and engines will be far more prepared to transform your organization.

Which languages are the most desirable? Python is popular because it emphasizes simple syntax and readability (making it easier to troubleshoot issues) while also integrating well with data analytics tools like Pandas. Java, on the other hand, can be a solid choice because it delivers fast execution speeds and can be more secure (when coded correctly) because of its complexity.

Finding AI engineers with a range of coding competencies also ensures that you’re not locked into a particular tool and that your next hire is someone who can adapt with the times.

Data Expertise

Quality data is at the heart of every AI application. Without proper management, governance, and integrity, AI algorithms and models will come to faulty, skewed, or straight up wrong conclusions.

IT professionals with experience in database modelling, data warehousing, and data processing have the logistical knowledge to create a foundation that results in streamlined and accurate analysis.

Plus, experience with SQL and NoSQL on a resume or LinkedIn profile will indicate that candidates not only understand solid data principles, but how to make direct changes to databases, whether the data is structured or unstructured.

Intelligent UI Know-How

As automation increases, businesses need to commit to intuitive interfaces. If your organization has all this computational power in-house, but users don’t understand how to apply it, then your AI programs will be far from cost-effective.

Looking for candidates who have intelligent user interface experience and emphasize how they’ve increased program usability, you can bet they’ll know how to enhance efficiency and reduce expenses.

Staying Current with Top AI Skillsets

Since artificial intelligence is evolving at lightning speeds, these certifications and skillsets will be in flux as well. Though a number of these technologies have staying power, you’ll still need to keep an eye out for rising and falling stars. Unless you have your telescope trained on the sky full-time, you’re going to miss big and small changes.

That’s why working with an IT staffing partner can simplify your next AI hire. For example, our recruiters regularly engage with new and familiar IT professionals, picking up the skills they’re using on the job and what they’re looking to learn.

Plus, we can use our ever-growing network of IT professionals to help you hire AI talent at the speed of your needs. That way you’re never forced to turn lemons into lemonade—you’ll get exactly the AI expertise you need from the start.

Are you ready to start your AI talent search now? Reach out to the iSphere team. We’ll use our network of top technical professionals to help you find artificial intelligence and machine learning experts fast.


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