How to Hire an AI Software Developer in Competitive Job Markets

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How to Hire an AI Software Developer in Competitive Job Markets

AI is here to stay, and tech businesses that want to stay ahead of the competition understand that they need to embrace it. Leaders looking to cut costs, streamline operations, manage risks, accelerate growth, and fuel innovation are weaving AI and ML tools into their business processes, which explains why investing in AI software will hit $125B by 2025. Also, the demand for AI software engineers and other AI-related tech roles has more than doubled since 2020 and is expected to keep rising at a similar pace. 

As AI continues to evolve and expand- with a projected addition of $13 trillion to the global economy by 2030- more and more businesses are looking for people with the skills and know-how to create and implement AI solutions. So how does your business hire AI developers in a market where the demand is rapidly outstripping supply? And more importantly, how do you hire the right AI software developer to ensure your AI development project succeeds? Read our guide on how to hire the best AI developers for your business in the current competitive market. 

What's inside:

Quote from Abigail Houck COO at TECLA: “AI is changing every industry in ways that were once unimaginable, and as a result, the need for software developers skilled in AI is skyrocketing. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to not only recruit but also keep the best AI experts on your team.”

Your Guide to Hiring the Right AI Software Developer 

Your business needs to hire skilled and experienced AI developers to help you build AI, allowing you to become more agile, better handle an ever-growing demand and stay competitive. Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to hire the best AI developer:

Determine Your AI Development Needs

Before you start looking for the best fit, you first need to define exactly what you’re looking for. What are your business’s AI development needs? Are you looking to add AI capabilities to already existing products and services? Or have you already adopted AI and need to keep your apps or systems updated? An example of an AI development need would be a startup looking into chatbox development with AI-powered applications to deliver human-like replies to customer queries. 

  1. Identify the Specific Skills and Qualifications Needed for the Job

The next step is to determine the skill set that best fits your AI project, which prevents you from recruiting the wrong type of developer. Also, crafting your candidate’s persona helps you understand what you’re looking for, their motivations, and how to create a job description that encourages potential candidates to join your organization. 

For example, from the example mentioned above, here’s what you’d look for in a chatbox developer: 

  • Experience in chatbot frameworks- The AI developer needs to be proficient in frameworks like APi.ai, IBM Watson, Microsoft Azure Bot Service, etc. 
  • An expert in programming languages like Ruby, Python, Java, PHP, and more.
  • Deep knowledge of emerging technologies such as natural language processing (NLP).
  • Ability to integrate chatbots on different platforms
  • Soft skills that demonstrate the candidate's creativity, good communication skills, collaboration and more. 

  1. Consider the Resources Available to Support the New Hire

Your new hire will need access to frameworks, tools, libraries and software to achieve your AI development needs. Do you have all the necessary resources? If not, your new hire may suggest requirements, such as advanced tools for this specific project, which you should provide. Also, how can your in-house team support your new hire(s)?

Develop An Effective Job Description

Compelling job descriptions are vital to attracting top artificial intelligence engineers. Job seekers typically see many job postings simultaneously, so your description must stand out, especially now that there’s an AI developer shortage.

Keep the AI developer’s job description brief but detailed enough to paint a full picture of the position and work environment. You should include your company’s vision, core values and culture, describe the AI skills and experience you’re looking for, accurately reflect the responsibilities and requirements of the position and the impact the developer will have on company success, and the perks and benefits.

Other tips to help attract top AI developers and engineers interested in working for your company include communicating the job expectations and qualifications in clear and concise language, writing in a conversational tone, and using bullet points.

Here’s more on what to  highlight:

Company’s description

Tell prospective candidates about your company and the goals you believe can be accomplished by hiring AI developers.

Innovative tech stack

Most professionals prefer to work for a company that uses the latest tech, helping them grow their careers even further.

Responsibilities and opportunities

Let prospective candidates know what new responsibilities and opportunities await once they become part of your company. This excites them to join your company and take ownership of their work.


What perks and benefits does your company offer? You can offer wellness programs, gym memberships, tuition assistance, and flexible working hours to attract top and ideal talent for the job position. Also, offering remote opportunities means that you can hire top talent from across the globe.

AI Developer’s Job Checklist

Here’s our checklist of what you shouldn’t miss when  creating a job description:

  • Company description
  • The developer’s job description
  • The developer’s roles and responsibilities
  • Required skills and qualifications
  • Preferred skills and qualifications
  • Benefits and perks

Sample AI Developer Job Description

(Tech business Y) is committed to digital reinvention, helping our clients re-envision how they operate and serve their customers. We are looking for an experienced AI engineer to join our team and be part of the revolution, using NLP,  deep learning, robotics, and computer vision to help us enhance business outcomes and fuel innovation. The developer will join our diverse team of data scientists, machine learning experts, and software engineers to help shape our AI strategy and demonstrate AI’s potential through developing new models and algorithms. This is an excellent chance to exploit emerging technologies and trends to solve real-world problems while changing the future. 

The Objectives

  1. Manage and direct research and development (R&D) and processes to meet our AI strategy’s needs. 
  2. Guide cross-functional teams in recognizing and prioritizing areas of a partner’s company where AI solutions can drive significant business transformation.
  3. Understanding business and clients' challenges and how weaving AI capabilities into our systems can generate solutions.
  4. Examine and explain AI and ML solutions while establishing and maintaining high ethical standards. 

The Responsibilities

  • Advise business leaders and C-suite executives on a broad range of AI-related strategy, tech and policy issues. 
  • Collaborate with our leader, CTO and advanced engineering team to prototype, test, train, and define support procedures and handle functional and process design. 
  • Manage a team in assessing AI, the automation market, and the competitor landscape. 
  •  Liaise between stakeholders and teams, sharing feedback and allowing team members to make the required presentation or product performance changes. 
  • Train team members on implementing AI systems.
  • Stay updated on the latest AI models and technologies. 

Required Skills and Qualifications

Here are some skills and areas of expertise to look for as you hire AI developer: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, software development, or data science.
  • Three or more years of experience in AI application to comprehensive and practical cutting-edge tech solutions.
  • Solid understanding of programming AI languages like C++, Java, Python, etc.
  • Experience with deep learning and machine learning models and using popular AI/ML frameworks.
  • Knowledge of popular AI models like GPT-3, GPT-4, Google’s Bard and more.
  • A clear understanding of algorithmic and statistical models and fundamental math concepts like probability and linear algebra.
  • Advanced knowledge of functional design and project-oriented principles, for example, REST API development, RDBMS and NoSQL database design and optimizations. 
  • Soft skills such as communication, empathy, patience, and time management.

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master's degree in computer science or related fields.
  • Experience working in cloud environments

Expand Your Hiring Pool

Now that your job description is ready, here’s how you can source and hire ai engineers:

Post the job opening on your website and your socials

Including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. and inform your professional networks to reach a wider audience.

Attend and sponsor AI conferences and meetups

Tech giants and startups recognize how valuable conferences and meetups are for AI talent acquisition. Your business can regularly participate in or sponsor AI conferences, giving you a chance to create your network of AI and ML experts.

University partnerships, hosting hackathons, or organizing competitions

They’re great for attracting and recruiting junior AI talent who may be interested in joining your team in the future.

Retrain existing software developers

Many companies are opting to retrain their in-house staff who are loyal and have a great understanding of the business. The company may provide corporate training, pay for online education on platforms like Udacity and Coursera, or bring in external trainers. However, this will only work if your company has excellent retention, growth, and employee training policies.

Offer referral bonuses to current employees

You can exploit your existing ML team’s network. They likely know other developers working on similar projects for other organizations and are experts in this area.

Consider outsourcing to a staffing agency or recruiting firm

There are many proven benefits of working with a recruiting firm, including cost savings, flexibility, access to top talent, and more. A recruiting firm will have an extensive network of connections in AI and can better identify the best talent to work with for your specific business problems. For example, Latin America is a booming hiring destination for tech businesses looking for a cost-effective approach to hiring top developer talent from neighboring regions. If you’re looking to hire from LatAm, it would be wise to work with a nearshoring solution like TECLA that best understands the LatAm tech scene, expected compensation rates, and how to source the top developers from the region. Having an expert on the region do the heavy lifting for you makes recruiting and hiring top AI talent easier.

Conduct Thorough Interviews

Once you’ve combed through the list of candidates for the opening, you can now conduct interviews to choose your top picks. You'll need to hire someone with the ideal skill set, the necessary soft skills, and who is a cultural fit for effective AI development. Here are the questions to ask yourself: 


  1. Does the candidate have the required hard and soft skills? 
  2. Do we share the same values on what constitutes a great AI service or product? 
  3. Will the candidate thrive in my team? Can they collaborate with existing team members to develop something great? 
  4. Are they open-minded and willing to learn from the team members? 
  5. Can they take constructive criticism positively? 
  6. Are they a good cultural fit for my in-house team and service/product? 
  7. Are they motivated to succeed no matter the obstacles? 
  8. Are they passionate about AI development and innovation, as demonstrated by their former projects and experiences? 

Here are things you can make the interviewees do: 

  • During the interview, you can ask the candidate coding questions to see if they can write code in at least one language like Java, Python and R.
  • Have them build something into a company’s service or product-This basic programming service will help examine their abilities to understand the problems and solutions. It also gives the candidate better insight into who you are and what you do. 
  • Have the candidates do a team interview to assess their communication in speed and writing and their interaction with others.  The interviewer and two other team members, including someone from the technical side, can ask questions to see how well the developer fits into your company and how fast they can learn. Here are sample questions you can ask the candidates to determine if they’re a great fit for the AI development team: 
  1. What AI projects are you most proud of? Describe how you approached the project from ideation to implementation and the project results.
  2. What methodologies can be used to improve an ML model’s performance? 
  3. What are the different AI types? 
  4. What's the difference between AI, ML, and DL?
  5. How are you currently growing and improving your AI skills and knowledge? 
  6. What AI-based product impressed you the most? 
  7. How would you go about creating a product recommendation system? 
  8. What are the technical challenges of AI in 2023?
  9. How do you tell whether a problem is ML solvable? 
  10. What challenges have you faced while implementing automation-based technologies, and how did you overcome them?
  11. Instances when you would you use strong or weak AI

Once you’re done with the interviews, you should touch base with the rest of your team members before you make an offer. Covering all these steps gives you confidence that your next hire will best fit your team and company. 

Offer a Competitive Compensation Package

The next step is to offer your new hire a competitive compensation package. To do so: 

  1. Research market trends to determine a competitive salary range- As of May 1st, 2023, the average salary for a U.S.-based AI developer ranges from $93,137 to $111,187, depending on education, certifications, additional skills,  experience, and more. You can expect to spend roughly $130,000 annually to recruit and hire top AI talent, but this amount is expected to increase with the high demand for AI talent. LatAm-based has equally talented developers who make anywhere between 50 to 80% of that. You can review our LatAm compensation report for more. 
  2. Your business can offer employees benefits such as: 
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Performance-based bonuses (annual/referral/retention/spot ones)
  • Health  insurance (dental, vision, and more) 
  • Life insurance
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Gym membership and wellness packages
  • Paid sick leave and vacation
  1. Consider offering equity or profit-sharing options to attract top talent. 

Implement Retention Strategies 

Once you’ve built a strong team of AI experts, you must determine how to retain the attracted talent. Here’s how you can do it: 

  • Provide ongoing support and training- Ensure the new hire is integrated into the team and receives proper training. 
  • Provide professional development and growth  by encouraging continuous learning and attending professional meetings and conferences. 
  • Ensure that your team receives support from top management- Encourage open communication, feedback and a mutual comprehension of expectations to foster a positive work environment.
  • Support a creative culture  where people can share ideas and hold intellectual discussions. AI requires people to be open-minded to novel approaches and solutions, which is critical for success.
  • Your team needs the appropriate hardware to solve the business problems they’re working on.
  • Consider flexible working options

Partner With TECLA to Hire the Best AI Software Developers

Contact TECLA today
if you’re looking for a nearshoring partner to help you attract and vet the best AI LatAm talent for your team. We have over a decade of experience working with 300+ top U.S. companies and a vetted network of 50,000+ professionals who cost half as less as U.S. talent. Our developers are committed to building world-class scalable, business-oriented AI models, including computer vision, chatbots, IoT,  neural networks, etc., empowering your business in the competitive marketplace. Here are other reasons why you should work with us: 

  • A 90-day risk-free trial period and guarantee
  • Industry-best 7-day average time-to-hire
  • Transparent rates and processes
  • 96% candidate success rate
  • Scale up or down as required

FAQs on How to Hire Top AI Talent

What Should I Consider Before Hiring An AI Software Developer?
Before hiring an AI developer, consider your AI project needs, develop an effective job description, expand the hiring pool, and conduct thorough interviews
How Much Does It Cost To Hire An AI Developer?
The average salary for a U.S.-based AI developer ranges from $93,137 to $111,187, translating to $50-$180 per hour. Hiring from nearshore countries in Latin America can cost 30% to 50% less. Contact TECLA for more information!
How Do I Hire An AI Developer In A Competitive Market?
You can post AI job openings on your website, socials, professional networks, or on specialized AI job boards, offer referral bonuses to current employees, attend AI conferences and meetups, retrain existing staff, or work with an AI recruiting partner like TECLA to attract and hire the best AI talent.
How Can I Retain AI Development Talent In My Company?
You can retain AI talent by providing ongoing support and training, opportunities for development and growth, supporting a creative culture, offering your team the required hardware, having flexible working options, and more.
Gino Ferrand


Gino Ferrand

Gino Ferrand

Gino is an expert in global recruitment having spent the last 10 years leading TECLA and helping world-class tech companies in the U.S. hire top talent in Latin America.

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