Hiring for Emerging and Disruptive Technologies: How to Identify Skilled Candidates

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Rafael Timbó
By
Rafael Timbó
|
Chief Technology Officer
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Table of Contents

Aiming for highly experienced candidates is often the best approach when filling occupations in your company, but the same isn’t true for emerging and disruptive technologies. This article will guide you through the process necessary to identify, attract, and retain professional experts in disruptive technologies.
Published on
April 22, 2024
Updated on
May 3, 2024

The constant emergence of new technologies, coupled with the rapid obsolescence of current ones, creates an urgent need to keep up with the latest changes to stay ahead of the competition. Recruiters, in particular, are responsible for finding and onboarding talent capable of adapting to industry changes in record time. That’s because it’s no longer enough to evaluate candidates based on their knowledge and expertise in currently available software solutions and technologies but also how well they adjust to new technologies.

Candidates who demonstrate a deep understanding of disruptive innovations and a willingness to adapt to emerging technology trends are highly valued, as they can contribute to technological innovation in the company and maintain competitiveness in the market. That’s why human resource (HR) managers, engineering managers, and recruiters should continuously evolve their hiring strategies to align with the ever-changing demands of the tech industry. This may involve meticulously crafting targeted job descriptions, leveraging specialized job boards, and participating in in-person networking events to meet with professionals first-hand.

What Are Emerging and Disruptive Technologies?

While rapid technological development is nothing new or foreign to the industry, disruptive technologies refer to a specific type of technological advancement. A disruptive technology is a piece of software, hardware, or methodology that creates its own market niche instead of joining pre-existing ones. It also often displaces or renders obsolete some markets.

Unlike sustaining technology, which refers to minor improvements to existing products over time to satisfy existing users, emerging disruptive technologies create completely new, innovative products for new audiences. Emerging technology can be considered disruptive in various stages of development as soon as it begins to offer the promise of a tech revolution. For example, advancements in fields like robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), automation, and big data are disruptive even if they’re still in development.

At earlier stages, many large tech enterprises and professionals are drawn to new technologies and begin investing in developing team skills and competencies to enable them to use the technology once it’s ready. Disruptive technologies often cause a significant shift in how industries in the private sector operate, requiring users to adapt to entirely new processes and methodologies.

Why Is It Important to Understand Technological Disruption When Hiring?

Not every new piece of digital innovation is a copy of its predecessor, so it’s important not to treat a single recruitment process as a fool-proof strategy whenever a new type of hire is needed.

When you understand how new technologies work and their implications across industries, you can better identify what skills and mindsets you need in potential hires. That way, the individuals you bring into the organization are not just adept at using the new technologies but can adapt and contribute to the company once the next tech hits the market.

Regardless of industry, the impact of emerging and disruptive technologies can be profound. They can launch entire companies into relevance or ruin. It all depends on how organizations use them and how fast they do so.

New tech can redefine customer expectations, thus altering customer satisfaction metrics. Companies that adapt at hypersonic speeds can maintain a competitive advantage in the market and attract the most customers.

Examples of Disruptive Technology

Preparing for a market dominated by specific new technologies requires a deep understanding of sub-fields and innovations that are more likely to impact your industry. Candidates with experience in such fields can adapt to sudden industry changes and help keep your company afloat among industry disruptors and at the forefront of customers’ minds.

Here are a few emerging disruptive technology examples you should look for when seeking potential candidates.

Blockchain Technology

Despite dominating cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology has played a role in revolutionizing numerous sectors, from cloud computing to cybersecurity and video games. This is thanks to its ability to provide decentralized, transparent, and secure transaction records, making it a game-changer in numerous industries.

Candidates with blockchain expertise typically know how to use complex algorithms and distributed ledger technology to enhance payment processing security, reduce transaction fees, and improve the traceability of funds.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are at the forefront of big data analysis and data science. Together, they’re an innovation unit responsible for the massive advancements in autonomous systems, enhancing decision-making and enabling personalized experiences for individual users.

From risk assessment and fraud detection in finance to faster, more accurate diagnoses in healthcare, AI and machine learning have already impacted many industries. That’s why candidates well-versed in AI and machine learning algorithms are essential for businesses looking to capitalize on these initiatives and their interoperability.

3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing

3D printing is one example of disruptive technologies that steadily established themselves as industry disruptors. It first gained popularity as a niche hobby in the early 2010s but has since successfully disrupted traditional manufacturing processes by enabling the creation of complex, customized items with less waste.

3D printing combines mechanical ingenuity and advanced software that allows using countless materials, such as plastic, resin, metal, and carbon fiber, for applications ranging from aerospace prototypes to medical equipment. Aspiring hires with a background in 3D printing bring a wealth of knowledge in design, materials science, production, and many technology areas that can revolutionize manufacturing processes.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

While initially popularized in gaming, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have transformed education and academia. School-aged students can leverage these technologies to make learning experiences more dynamic by engaging in an ecosystem of curated virtual materials. Meanwhile, healthcare providers can train surgically with the help of virtual try-ons. Similarly, real estate agents can offer virtual property tours to potential clients at a fraction of the cost and time constraints of in-person visits.

Having experience in AR and VR would mean a candidate is well-versed in creative and cutting-edge thinking and capable of crafting experiences out of thin air. This could easily translate into excellent problem-solving skills for future problems.

Quantum Computing

Quantum computing is a dual-use technology that combines computer hardware, algorithms, and quantum mechanics to achieve computing powers unavailable to classical and supercomputers. These powers can solve problems that are too complex and long for non-quantum computer models, allowing for advancements in cryptography, material science, and simulations based on big data.

Working with quantum computers requires extensive knowledge of mathematics, physics, and computer science. Candidates with these qualifications typically make for great analysts and efficient programmers.

Strategies to Identify Candidates Skilled in Emerging and Disruptive Technologies

While you can aim for previous hands-on experience and formal education when searching for candidates versed in technology that has existed for a while, that’s not the case with disruptive technologies. In this case, you should seek candidates proficient in and adaptable to emerging technologies, with plenty of experience in the fundamentals, such as mathematics and computer science.

Here are a few hiring strategies to help you successfully build and scale your team and prepare suitable business models for the future.

Develop Targeted Job Descriptions

Creating a well-crafted job description is the first step toward attracting the right candidates. Start by clearly outlining the skills and knowledge you’re looking for in an ideal candidate and how they best suit disruptive technologies that pertain to your industry. This will allow you to evade candidates who don’t have the specific technical and soft skills you need and instead focus your time on those interested in innovation.

A detailed job description with a technological edge serves as the first filter, ensuring that applicants have a baseline understanding of the technologies they’ll work with.

Utilize Specialized Job Boards and Forums

For niche tech roles, generic job boards might not yield the type of candidate you're after. Instead, turn to platforms and forums where tech enthusiasts and professionals congregate.

GitHub and Stack Overflow are hubs for developer talent. Meanwhile, specialized LinkedIn groups can connect you with industry-specific experts. These communities tend to be attractive to tech-savvy individuals, who discuss and showcase their work, providing a rich source for recruitment.

Offer Continuing Education and Training Programs

Most highly adaptive and flexible candidates are also interested in continuous learning and further skill development. Showcase your organization's commitment to technological leadership by emphasizing your willingness to invest in employee training.

You can establish partnerships with tech leaders such as Amazon, Google, and Oracle, who offer world-recognized degrees in various technical skills and fields. The quality of the training is also an attraction factor, similar to competitive salaries, bonuses, and paid time off.

Evaluate Candidates' Curiosity and Learning Agility

During early interviews, try to identify candidates with innate curiosity and a propensity for lifelong learning. Assess their enthusiasm for emerging technologies and whether they keep up with industry-specific news.

You can then advance to more in-depth tests and trial projects, where you can see firsthand a candidate's capacity to innovate and creatively problem-solve.

Partner With Educational Institutions and Bootcamps

What better way to connect with trained professionals than by partnering directly with educational institutions? Universities and coding boot camps, in particular, are often at the forefront of technical education and provide a direct pipeline of fresh talent.

By sponsoring hackathons, workshops, or guest lectures, you can engage with students and identify those with the potential to excel in your organization.

Hire Skilled Developers & Get Ahead of Disruptive Change 

Pinpointing what type of technical talent you’re looking for isn’t enough. In the tech world, recruitment is highly competitive, with a limited supply of qualified individuals. This can make it difficult for small and medium-sized companies to attract and retain highly experienced and knowledgeable software engineers.

Luckily, you can partner with Revelo on this journey. At Revelo, we specialize in connecting expert software engineers in Latin America with companies in the US. Our pool of candidates is pre-vetted for technical skills, soft skills, and English language proficiency. They’re all stationed in the Eastern Daytime (EDT) time zone, allowing for more streamlined telecommunications through real-time virtual meetings when needed.

Revelo will also support you through onboarding, negotiations, and payroll, ensuring candidates’ seamless integration into your team.

Contact Revelo and hire software engineers who can transform the future of your business today.

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