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What’s the secret to mobilizing talent in the age of gen AI?

In a world shaped by AI, recent studies say tech leaders need strategic talent adaptation — and quick

Photo: © Digital Journal
Photo: © Digital Journal

Salesforce found that job safety is a top concern for industries across the globe in the age of generative AI.

This rings true for the tech world too, as BCG estimates the technology will impact 90% of tech jobs. Still, not all will be lost. While AI will eliminate the need for some roles, it will require new roles to manage that efficiency, too. 

If you’re a tech company uncertain of how to mobilize tech talent in the face of gen AI — this is for you. From upskilling to open-minded job postings, here are four tips on how to upgrade your talent strategy.

1. Assess generative AI’s biggest value additions to your company

BCG recommends assessing your operations to determine where you can best leverage AI.

Hire a company to audit your existing processes if you have to — a third-party perspective can often catch things you’ll miss. Understand your operations intimately so you can assess which departments can best benefit from generative AI. This can also help you assess where you can redeploy employees without AI knowledge to other higher-level, more strategic areas of your operations. 

2. Invest in professional development

The biggest barrier to leveraging generative AI? Russell Reynolds Associates says it’s a lack of knowledge and expertise. But before you start firing employees and launching a new recruitment strategy, consider investing in your in-house talent via upskilling. 

You have employees that know your product and company intimately — imagine their potential if they knew more about generative AI. Investing in education for your employees, whether that means funding bootcamps or funding job shadowing opportunities can save you time and capital otherwise spent chasing after new hires for skills that will continue to change.

3. Combat talent shortage with a different approach to job postings

Machine learning engineers are among the highest in demand for 2024 — yet the talent pool is tiny. The knowledge required is so specialized that the right candidate isn’t easy to come across. But if you look carefully at your job posting, you might find your company places unnecessary barriers to finding your new candidate. 

The worst offender is college degree requirements. For example, only 20% of software engineers have a college degree, and CIO Dive reports that removing it as a job requirement expands your talent pool by 70 million adults in the US.

It’s even harder to find stats on AI engineers because the tech keeps changing, meaning the standard educational models have changed, too. Many talented AI experts have attended bootcamps, completed one-off courses, and gained years of practical experience in place of formal education. These qualifications might be overlooked with a too-prescriptive job posting.

4. Attract and retain senior talent over junior

BCG suggests that tech leaders adjust their recruiting strategies to prioritize senior engineers until upskilling in generative AI becomes more common among entry-level talent.

It’s vital to retain your existing senior engineers with whatever they need, whether it’s competitive compensation or flexible work-life balance. Similarly, invest recruitment efforts into senior engineers over junior ones. Keep in mind that hiring out should only be a later tactic after upskilling and retaining existing employees who can learn the intricacies of generative AI.

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Written By

Chrissy Kapralos is a Toronto-based writer who loves exploring finance, tech, marketing, and travel topics in her work. She runs a small writing agency named No Worries Writing. Co.

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