March 10, 2020

The 9 most difficult IT hires today

Media Coverage
The 9 most difficult IT hires today

by: Paul Heltzel on March 10, 2020 at 3:00 am

The IT talent gap is driving up demand for skilled IT pros, but for certain roles and skillsets, finding — and signing — the right candidate can feel a bit like trying to capture a unicorn.

CIOs are quick to point out that every company is essentially a technology firm, and demand for a broad range of skills has created a race for talent.

The emergence of interactive technology such as augmented reality and virtual reality have made jobs in those areas a hot ticket. AR/VR developers are currently the most difficult positions to fill, according to Hired.com, with 1,400 percent growth in demand for in 2019.

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That spike may be short lived, however. “Right now, filling AR/VR engineering positions can be challenging,” says Hired CEO Mehul Patel. “This mirrors the 517 percent growth in demand for blockchain engineers that we saw in 2018, which then normalized to 9 percent growth this year. So I expect we’ll see a similar normalization with AR/VR engineering demand, which will make these roles less difficult to fill.”

Staffing firm Robert Half Technology reports that while 67 percent of hiring managers plan to expand their IT teams, nearly 90 percent say they’re having a hard time finding candidates with the necessary skills. Here we look at some of the hardest hires in technology, from standbys such as security and web engineers, to quickly evolving technology roles such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

AI and data scientists

Albert Brown, senior vice president of engineering at Veritone, says increasingly sophisticated AI tools are providing better data for making business decisions. And recruiting AI talent means threading the needle of finding the right skills in a person who also knows how to solve your business problems.

“Data scientists and practitioners add value to their companies by identifying how to provide AI solutions that benefit customers or lead to more business,” Brown says. “Data scientists need to develop soft skills, like emotional intelligence and communication, to better work alongside team members who don’t have deep technical knowledge and understand the problems they can solve together. Business can’t look for just the technically experienced applicant for the role, but rather, vet their problem-solving skills.”

Chad Kidder, global head of talent at ElectrifAi, echoes the need for AI and data analytics talent and recognizes that hiring for diversity can help overcome inherent problems with the technology.

“A major focus for us is hiring people who are able to bring diverse perspectives to our company,” Kidder says. “This allows our products to solve issues that are prevalent in our field, such as bias, and enables our company to navigate difficult issues product-users are facing.

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