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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

CEO Journal

Using AI to Close the Technology Talent Gap

Artificial intelligence is massively taking ground as innovative development firms are effectively building video recruiting platforms that utilize AI to identify and sort through new talent. TopDevz a leading development firm known for its work with global brands like Kraft, Invesco, Bose, Ferrari, W Hotels, TMZ, Urban Outfitters and Williams Sonoma is one of the pioneers that have developed and utilizes AI-based hiring technology. Job openings outpace available workers by 17%, making the talent gap the widest we’ve seen in recent years.

This is particularly true for the technology sector due to the immense amount of new products and services being launched daily to support the demands of today’s consumers. Technology is developing and widening at rapid speed making it difficult for companies to deploy the solutions needed to keep up with demand. From only a handful of programming languages only two decades ago, we now have hundreds of them. Innovations such as Mixed Reality and Blockchain were not the norm years ago, but they are now. Developers are trying hard to keep up as the gap widens.

In addition, lately, there have been serious concerns about the higher education sector. The biggest challenge is, what most tertiary institutions teach is not directly relevant in the present world, which is changing rapidly. What many university students learned twenty years ago is now most likely outdated. As such, alternative platforms have risen to fill this gap through short courses after which a student would earn a certificate. However, the responsibility remains on employers to filter through potential candidates and identify those who make the best fit for their available jobs.

TopDevz Academy

In order to solve its recruitment challenges, the TopDevz Academy was born. It is a testing ground that all prospective talent must pass through to prove that they are qualified for the project.

  • Applicants are made to pass through a series of stages including a personality test and a soft skills interview. But scaling through those is only a preamble.
  • The most important and most difficult stage is the complex live coding stage. This is the point where the developers have to display their software development capabilities.
  • Afterward, an AI algorithm is deployed to grade each one’s work. This method guarantees that only the objectively best candidates get employed, and it has ensured that TopDevz’s reputation of excellence is upheld over the years.

Using AI to scout for talent is a relatively new phenomenon and TopDevz is not the only pioneer in this regard. Catalyte is another technology workforce company who tackles the talent gap problem this way. They do so by deploying randomized testing and the candidates with the most potential in software development are trained for a few weeks before being contracted with a client. Whereas, with TopDevz potential developers have the opportunity to sharpen skills that need improvement through TopDevz academy before being contracted on a project.

3 Benefits of AI in Scouting for Talents

  1. Ease of Recruitment. The purpose of this manner of AI usage in recruitment is very unique and applicant-focused, in the sense that algorithms are deployed to find the best talents, not necessarily to make the recruiters’ work easier. Of course, this can make the work of recruiters’ easier, especially as regards having to otherwise manually sift through bulky files and interview numerous candidates. However, that is only a by-product and not the main purpose.
  2. Improved Quality of Eventual Employees. TopDevz only contracts senior developers who are not only very experienced but have demonstrated their skillset during the companies evaluation process. In the mountain of applications recruiters often receive, it is not surprising that some excellent ones get overlooked and do not even make it to the interview stage. However, AI offers everyone a level playing ground and makes it easier to select those who perform well the most. Catalyte, for instance, administers its tests to candidates and subsequently trains them. They even pay successful candidates through the duration of the training. This might be costly, but the CEO describes it as them “putting their money where their mouth is.” Why? Because it works.
  3. Competence, Diversity and Inclusion. AI removes the usual human bias in recruitment, especially as it relates to minorities such as the physically-challenged. Human beings can consciously or unconsciously let their unwarranted sentiments come into play when hiring. AI helps to better facilitate a culture of diversity and inclusion, making sure that competence holds prime position above all other purely sentimental factors. This would help minority groups a lot in their quest for better inclusion. 

The benefit of improved quality of candidates supersedes every other possible benefit, particularly because of the intense competition among tech companies. This is because available workers and available jobs are not evenly matched, the companies have to ‘fight’ to attract the top talents and even keep them. Without an efficient recruitment system, companies would regretfully watch the most qualified candidates go to their competitors. Through AI and machine learning, recruiters can match the skills of applicants to the job requirements to determine who would be the best fit for a role. Many times, the insights gained by using AI are often overlooked during traditional recruitment.

In conclusion, organizations would greatly benefit by tackling the talent gap utilizing AI..


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Anna Papadopoulos
Editor, writer, teacher, consultant. Advocate for plain language, journalism, free speech, and tolerance. Feminist. Based in Sydney, Australia.
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