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Hire an AI Developer: Challenges, Expertise, and Strategies

Hire an AI Developer: Challenges, Expertise, and Strategies

Around 60% of business owners believe that AI will increase the productivity of their companies, while 91.7% of organizations report they continue investing in data and AI initiatives. No wonder the global AI market is predicted to reach $2 trillion by 2030, increasing the demand for qualified AI developers, which is already high these days.

The demand for AI developers is there, no doubt. But things don’t look this bright when it comes to supply. Intense competition for skilled AI programmers, a limited pool of developers with specialized expertise, and rapidly developing AI technologies that make even skilled coders constantly upskill to meet the tech market needs ‒ all these challenges make the process of hiring AI-related experts especially difficult.

If hiring a Data Scientist, Machine Learning Engineer, or any other AI specialist is on your to-do list, this article will help you make the process easier and less stressful. As a global recruitment agency with years of experience, Bridge team is going to share some useful information on how to hire a remote AI developer with you. 

But first, if you’re wondering why there’s such a huge demand for AI devs, let’s see what value AI brings to various industries.

Most popular AI use cases

We are no longer surprised when ChatGPT creates apps or fixes bugs. People are getting used to the fact that AI is able to replace them in the near future (and is actually doing it now in some cases), freeing humans for tasks involving critical thinking, reasoning, and other skills the AI-powered bot lacks so far. The recent advancements in machine intelligence are driving the adoption of AI across a vast number of industries, including:

  • Automotive

One of the most interesting examples of using AI in the automotive industry is self-driving cars ‒  33 million autonomous vehicles are predicted to be on the road by 2040. Developing intelligent software that uses data from sensors, cameras, or radars, AI programmers may improve driver assistance systems, like adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking, and enhance road safety with smart solutions that automatically adjust traffic signals, signs, and other traffic infrastructure.

  • Finance

The most critical factors in the financial sphere are real-time data reporting, processing of huge amounts of data, and security ‒ and AI seems irreplaceable for this domain. Bringing their expertise to the field, AI professionals help create intelligent software to process loan applications, provide personalized financial advice, assess risks, make accurate predictions on market movements, or detect fraudulent transactions.

  • Manufacturing

By implementing AI expertise in manufacturing, you can improve efficiency, product quality, and employee safety. When analyzing sensor data and images, AI-powered software detects defects or quality issues in products manufactured. Intelligent robots may be utilized to sort goods or perform dangerous tasks instead of people. Finally, machine learning and artificial neural networks can predict failures of critical equipment and prevent serious breakdowns and suspension of production.

  • HR and recruitment

As recruitment involves processing and generating tons of documents, like CVs, application letters, job descriptions, and more, AI assistance might greatly help in this sphere as well. Starting with ChatGPT that can be used to write interview questions and personalized outreach messages to the integration of AI algorithms into applicant tracking systems and other HR tools ‒ intelligent software can perform a great number of HR operations enabling recruiters to focus on tasks that are impossible without human intervention, like interviewing candidates. However, when planning to integrate AI tech into your inner system, make sure you have a skilled AI expert to ensure smooth performance and a decent security level.

  • Healthcare

Transforming such core elements as diagnostics, patient care, and research, AI is gradually being introduced in the healthcare industry too. AI programmers use their expertise for building algorithms that detect abnormalities by analyzing medical images, like X-rays or MRIs. In addition, AI capabilities assist healthcare professionals when entering patient data into electronic health records. Coders with machine learning and natural language processing skills can assist in developing speech-to-text apps that help improve patient care and streamline medical documentation workflow.

These are just several use cases demonstrating the power of AI and its amazing capabilities. The latest AI advancements, like the release of GPT-4, prove that AI will continue improving to better cope with its basic mission ‒ help humans achieve their goals with less effort. That’s why you’ve made the right choice when deciding to bring AI into your business. Now, let’s find out how to hire an expert with the required AI developer skills.  

Top 4 skills to look for in an AI developer

First off, you should clearly define what skills your project requires based on its specifications. But how to do that if it’s the first time you hire an AI developer? Of course, we can’t offer a one-size-fits-all skill set perfectly fitting any project, but we can help you identify skills distinguishing qualified specialists from the myriad of candidates.

Strong programming skills

An AI developer should be proficient in writing clean, efficient, and well-documented code, especially in languages commonly used in AI development. The most common languages used in AI development are Python, Java, R or C++.

  • Python

With many libraries and frameworks, Python is considered one of the most popular programming languages for AI and ML development. Besides, Python’s simplicity, rich ecosystem, strong community support, integration capabilities, and rapid development features make it a preferred language for software development. With Python, developers can explain complex AI concepts in a simple manner, which significantly facilitates team collaboration. If you are looking for an AI engineer with Python expertise, here are Python interview questions to help you assess the candidate’s skills.

Hire Python Developers

  • R

R is another popular programming language for AI development due to its extensive statistical and data analysis capabilities. With its intuitive syntax and robust statistical functions, R is a preferred choice for AI projects that heavily rely on statistical analysis. It also offers a great number of libraries specifically tailored for machine learning, data visualization, and statistical modeling, enabling AI developers to easily explore, preprocess, and analyze data.

Hire R Developers

  •  Java

While Java may not be as commonly associated with AI as Python or R, it still has some advantages in certain AI applications. It is an object-oriented, highly reliable language with numerous frameworks and packages, which is suitable for large-scale AI systems that require high computational efficiency and robustness. What’s more, Java has a huge community of developers and a long-standing presence in enterprise environments, making it a top pick for integrating AI capabilities into existing software systems and deploying AI solutions in production environments. 

As an example, Bridge has recently helped Jasper.ai, an AI-powered content writing solution, hire experts in Java and specific JS technologies. We provided 20 qualified candidates in the first month, and around 30 candidates during the next two months. As a result, Jasper hired 5 senior staff-level engineers while achieving an average cost per hire of $1500.

  • C++

C++ is a programming language known for its speed and efficiency. It is frequently used in AI projects related to image and video processing, like object recognition or face detection, and natural language processing solutions. What’s more, many popular AI libraries, including TensorFlow and OpenCV, offer C++ APIs, making it an ideal language for integrating with existing AI frameworks and leveraging their functionality.

Data proficiency

In the AI niche, data sets are used to train smart systems to carry out tasks humans are usually responsible for and make decisions. So, when looking for an AI developer, ensure the candidate possesses essential data science skills, like data mining, mathematics, and statistical analyses, since such experts work with tons of structured and unstructured data, gathering, analyzing, manipulating, and interpreting it.

As a mature recruitment agency, Bridge worked on projects for sourcing data analysts and data scientists. Partnering with Obvious.ly, a leading influencer marketing company, we sourced up to 10 qualified candidates weekly, so we can say for sure that we can help you find data experts for your project fast. Drop us a line if you are planning a project that requires data expertise.

How to Hire a Data Engineer on the Hot Job Market: Expert Hiring Workflow

Knowledge of AI technologies and related fields

Apart from data science skills, an AI developer should have the technical expertise and sound knowledge of machine learning algorithms, natural language processing, artificial neural networks, and be able to work with relevant frameworks, libraries, and tools. These skills create a background that allows a developer to build AI solutions for various industries.

ExpertiseTech stack
Deep Learning Frameworks/LibrariesTensorFlow (Keras), PyTorch, JAX, Caffe, MXNet, CNTK
Traditional ML LibrariesScikit-Learn, XGBoost/LightGBM, Vowpal Wabbit, etc.
NLPNatural Language Toolkit (NLTK), spaCy, Gensim, CoreNLP, OpenNLP, Flair, UIMA, HuggingFace, BERT, Transformers, Attentions, etc.
ML model familiesNeural Networks (ANN), Graphs, Trees, Generalized Linear Models (GLM), Kernel Machines


Soft skills

Deep technical expertise should be complemented with soft skills necessary for becoming solid team members, apart from being good AI programmers. Strong communication skills are essential for developers to clearly communicate their ideas, while problem-solving abilities might help when dealing with AI challenges. In addition to that, an AI expert should be a team player while being able to efficiently manage time and organize the development process. 

3 tactics for sourcing AI developers

Once you know what skills you should concentrate on when hiring an AI software developer, it’s time to start searching for the best candidate. Here are some options you might use to source AI engineers.

  • Post your AI job opening on online portals

The most obvious solution here is to go to one of the most popular job portals, like LinkedIn, UpWork, or Indeed, and post a job opening there. In this case, make sure you have a well-written job description and be ready to look through dozens of CVs. Or you can leave these tasks to Bridge. We have a team of tech-savvy sourcers who will help you effortlessly extend your team with qualified AI developers.

  • Opt for IT staffing services

When looking for a tech specialist like an AI coder, consider the IT staffing offering from agencies like Bridge. Our IT staffing services can help you find AI professionals for short or long-term engagement. Here’s how it works. You create a job requisition on our platform and our sourcing team begins searching for candidates. We rigorously test each applicant to ensure they have all the required skills and meet your requirements. You interview the most fitting engineers and hire those satisfying your project needs.

Within our offering, we cover all paperwork, team setup, payroll operations, and facilitate productive relationships, while you remain in full control of the hiring process. You only pay a daily or monthly rate for the developer’s work eliminating any recruitment or hiring fees.

  • Use sourcing-as-a-service

Sourcing-as-a-service allows you to get 15-30 pre-screened candidates per month for potential hire. Using our proprietary sourcing engine built specifically for engineer recruitment, we define an exact talent pool according to your requirements. Our local recruiting managers use culturally tailored messages and communicate with candidates in their native language to make the outreach faster and more efficient. We vet candidates’ skills and pick those suitable for your project.

Choosing our sourcing-as-a-service offering, you only pay for a subscription that is a fraction of what a full-time recruiter would cost.

Tips on how to evaluate AI developers

Once the list of potential hires is on your desk, it’s time to put all your effort into finding a perfect fit. Here are some tips to help you evaluate AI developer skills.

  • Evaluate the candidate’s portfolio

When you hire an AI developer, opt for candidates with at least 2 years of experience and study their portfolios in detail. During the interview, ask questions about their previous projects, like what specific tasks they were in charge of and how they dealt with project challenges. This way, you will get a better understanding of the candidate’s hands-on experience in AI and how they work in real-life scenarios.

  • Conduct a technical interview

Once you get to know the candidate’s past experience, you can proceed with a technical interview to assess how an applicant understands basic AI concepts, algorithms, and technologies. Ask questions about programming languages mostly used to build AI apps, machine learning, natural language processing, deep learning, and other related topics.

Prepare some practical assignments for a candidate, for example, a problem-solving task. It might be the question like “What would you do if you notice that data in a data set is corrupted?”. Make sure you have an AI specialist to support you during the interview as it’s difficult to comprehensively evaluate AI expertise without a technical background.   

  • Assess soft skills

Finally, you can move to evaluating soft skills, which are also essential when hiring an AI programmer. Bringing a new person on board, you should make sure they have strong collaboration and communication skills, the ability to work in a team, be creative and possess critical thinking skills, and more. To evaluate personal traits and cognitive skills, you might ask questions, like “Describe a complex AI concept to a non-technical audience”, “Can you share an example of a time when you received constructive feedback on your work?”, or “Can you tell me about a time when you had to collaborate with a diverse team to solve a complex problem? ”.

After you make sure the candidate has both strong technical expertise and fitting soft skills, it means you found your new team member. But while evaluating soft skills is not a problem for any business owner, we can’t say the same about technical knowledge. That’s why it’s better to play it safe and partner with an agency like Bridge. Our local recruiters understand the technology and validate the information in a candidate’s profile, answer any questions they may have, and run additional high-level screening when necessary. 

When deciding upon sourcing and hiring AI developers independently, make sure you are aware of the pitfalls you might face along the process. 

Common mistakes that companies make when hiring AI developers

Trying to hire an AI engineer, companies often make similar mistakes that result in a bad hire or a long hiring campaign. Here are the most common mistakes to avoid when searching for AI developers.   

  • Limiting your talent pool

Instead of focusing on your country or region, search for remote AI developers across the globe. Team up with a company like Bridge and access the global talent pool with ease. We can help you find candidates across three continents ‒ North America, Latin America, and Europe.    

  • Evaluating the candidates’ skills on your own

You risk hiring the candidate without the skills required for an AI developer unless you engage a technical expert in the hiring process. That’s why make sure an AI engineer from your current team supports you throughout the project or work with a hiring agency like Bridge that has a team of tech-savvy sourcers.

  • Ignoring cultural fit

When looking for an AI engineer, you shouldn’t focus on hard and soft skills only. Think of whether the chosen candidate aligns with your company culture and philosophy. If a person doesn’t align with your organizational culture, they can feel disengaged which leads to decreased motivation, poor performance and productivity. Besides, differences in communication styles and work ethics of remote employees may hinder collaboration and impact overall product quality. At Bridge, we work with local recruiters who understand the developer’s cultural background, so that there are no problems connected with poor cultural fit. 

Hire top AI developers with Bridge

Finding a perfect fit for an AI developer role might come with numerous obstacles to overcome. But not with Bridge ‒ we have an experienced recruitment team to connect you with the right person fast and hassle-free.

  Contact us to discuss AI programmer requirements for your future project.  

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