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How to Attract AI Talent for Your Medical Device

Competition for AI talent is white hot. So how can medtech companies differentiate themselves to snag the best AI engineers?

Artificial intelligence may still be in its infancy, but the demand for AI talent is already growing at warp speed, according to a recent report from jobs site Indeed Inc. Posts for AI-related roles on Indeed nearly doubled between June 2015 and June 2018. Meanwhile, during the same time period, the percent of searches on Indeed using "AI" or "machine learning" increased by 182%.

In the medical device and diagnostics industries, we've already seen how artificial intelligence technology can impact medtech. But how can companies differentiate themselves to snag the best AI engineers for their device?

"The competition is so severe and everyone is using the buzz words of AI and data science so it's up to us to be different and rise above the noise," Liza Blumenthal VP of people and culture at SparkBeyond, told MD+DI.

One advantage medtech companies have over the broader tech companies is the ability to attract people who are looking for a sense of purpose as opposed to just looking for the biggest paycheck or benefits package.

"When you're trying to attract AI talent in the medical sphere it's really important for hiring managers to play that angle," Brian D’alessandro, director of data science at SparkBeyond told MD+DI. "Because at the end of the day if you're building a system that does automatic diagnosis or a system that can help someone with paralysis have mobility again, while of course you're getting paid to do your job, you ultimately go home feeling good about yourself."

The talent pool is also beginning to bulk up, which make it challenging for employers to find the specific talent they're looking for, D’alessandro said.

"Most universities are turning out AI talent hundreds per year and a lot of people with STEM backgrounds are trying to reposition themselves as AI talent," D’alessandro said. "So what you have is an industry that has a wide supply of entry-level talent with very little experience and few people who have deep experience and deep knowledge."

The closest thing to a “pure” AI job is machine learning engineer, according to Indeed, followed by data scientist. These two jobs came in at numbers one and two for most frequently mentioning AI or machine learning. Those terms were included in job descriptions for almost 95% of machine learning engineer jobs and about 75% of data scientist jobs. Computer vision engineers came in at number three, with 64.6% of jobs mentioning AI or machine learning. These engineers automate the tasks performed by the human eye, such as image processing.

The Indeed report also looked at which AI jobs are hardest to fill. Computer scientists jobs are hardest to fill, according to the report, with nearly 64% of computer scientist jobs open after 60 days. Statistician is the easiest AI-related job to fill, with only 29% of these roles open after 60 days.

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