The changing face of AI Recruitment : research on job profiles in Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence and the skill-set that goes with it is creating thousands of new specialised jobs across all industries. Demand for machine learning engineers, AI programmers, data scientists, embedded AI specialists and cybersecurity experts (to only name a few) is skyrocketing so fast that employers are struggling to fill these positions.

Though these may not be the roles at threat from the millions of jobs predicted to be displaced by algorithms, we are witnessing massive changes in the field and asked our conference partner — global specialist for IT and telecom recruitment — First Point Group (FPG) about their experience in this area.

“We’re seeing a new kind of recruitment with AI positions; more strategic roles involving new technology, full understanding of the spec — taking longer to determine exactly which candidate is needed and a longer recruitment process.” explains Jason Duloquin, Regional Director for FPG EMEA.

“Few companies know exactly what is technically needed for a Lead AI role for example and we’re keen to accompany them with this — often writing the entire job spec for the client — something that hasn’t occurred before in standard recruitment process.”

FPG conducted a study with LinkedIn Insights Research in December 2016 along with third party research and found distinct trends among professionals working in AI.

These highly-skilled roles come with an attractive package, and while salaries range higher in the USA, the global salary range to be expected for an AI professional is $20–50K entry level, $40–100K mid-level and $90–190K for a senior level position.

Global Salary ranges for AI roles EMEA. Source : FPG LinkedIn Research, December 2016

“First Point Group have experienced an increase in AI focused vacancies across many clients that we work with. Completing our internal research with the help of LinkedIn has given us a better perspective to match AI professionals to the roles we are currently looking for and has certainly given us an insight into what we can expect for the future.” says Kloe Hunt, FPG Marketing Executive.

Where are the AI roles based in Europe?

Analysing European and Israeli companies to begin with, FPG looked at the spread of AI professionals and which locations are dominant within each of these companies. While these tech giants are more than just AI, the results show where their core AI teams are predominantly based.

Geographic spread of AI staff for top firms in EMEA. Source : FPG LinkedIn Research, December 2016

The top location for European AI teams is UK and Ireland — mainly by Facebook and Google — which may come as no surprise as European headquarters for both tech firms are located here. Interestingly IBM, Microsoft and HPE share similar percentages of AI professionals in their UK and Irish offices. IBM has the biggest research center focusing on AI within Israel explaining the massive presence in this region, and Germany’s Siemen’s HQ hold the majority of their AI team.

Perhaps more surprisingly, the consulting firm Accenture shows strong presence in AI recruitment across Europe;most notably in Scandinavia and France, as well as the UK and Ireland again.

While the UK stands as strong headquarters for these tech titans, we’ll be watching closely to see if the Brexit effects will push these players to neighbouring Ireland or to mainland Europe.

Another interesting part of the research was the popular career moves these sought-after candidates made as illustrated below.

Popular Companies and Career Moves for AI roles EMEA. Source : FPG LinkedIn Research, December 2016

But, where do startups stand in this ecosystem?

“While we have this trend with leading corporations, we’re noticing the growing demand in tech startups keen on recruiting top level data scientists and machine learning engineers to fill the gap in their teams.” Jason continues. “Startups are looking to expand faster, but have limited staff and need specialised recruiters to accompany for fast-paced, accurate recruitment.”

With the very healthy startup funding we’re seeing across Europe mainly for the UK — over £600M in raised investments for the UK alone — followed by Germany (€117M+), France (€106M+) and the Nordic region (€93M+) they may be more likely than ever to afford machine learning specialists to support their growing teams.

EU AI startup funding by Galina Deftyareva

What’s the best way to prepare for these roles?

According to FPG’s research, the top 3 university degrees held by entry and mid-level AI professionals were Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Information Technology, whereas senior level AI professionals replaced the latter with mathematics.

Top 3 university degrees for AI professionals EMEA. Source : FPG LinkedIn Research, December 2016

While formal degrees seem more promising and prestigious, remember that there’s a vast wealth of training through online courses and online degree programmes (also giving retraining advice) such as UdacityCoursera and Udemy as well as YouTube tutorials, and a range of textbooks and ebooks.

However, hiring managers and department heads seem to agree that experience is key for engineering roles. Software Engineers who are versatile in multiple programming languages can make the smoothest transition to AI Engineers. Paired together with a curious disposition, analytical mind and love of problem-solving, you should feel better prepared

While research and scientist roles require more advanced, academic ( often PhD level) credentials, you can cut your teeth on machine learning projects by contributing and learning from active open source AI projects, achieving top ranks in data science competitions such as Kaggle, and of course by attending a myriad of AI conferences.

How to get a great CV for an AI role into the right hands

To ensure your CV stands out in the selection sent to the hiring manager — who takes 30–90 seconds to read it — FPG have some great tips on what makes a clear and concise CV. You can also make use of AI Resumé checkers to help you, for example, startup BYOR’s algorithm uses Phrase2Vec language parsing to improve your CV; learn more from BYOR during their presentation at AI With The Best.

Ultimately it also takes having a great relationship with a recruiter who can put you forward for these roles. Kloe reminds us that, “AI professionals are in high demand at present and this demand will grow stronger as time goes on. I look forward to working with, and reaching out to, more and more candidates in the AI industry!” Check out FPG’s active roles for Senior AI SpecialistAI Algorithm Architect or send your CV to FPG.

AI With The Best Conference

First Point Group is a media partner for AI With The Best online conference April 29–30th which encourages global networking and expert sessions on Machine Learning, and Applied AI from 100 speakers from Deepmind, Ericsson Research, LinkedIn, Oracle, Uber AI Labs, Google Brain, Baidu, NASA, Netflix and more. Visit their LinkedIn page for a discount code.

Research Methodology: To determine these results, First Point Group looked at a keyword basis, excluding a long list to make sure that the results focused on the skilled professionals in this area using LinkedIn Research in December 2016.