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If you plan to incorporate NLP into your existing software solutions or want to develop new products from scratch, the first step is to find the best ways to hire AI/NLP developers

NLP has rapidly become the holy grail of software development, attracting an overwhelming interest in almost any industry we can think about. All this success and unmatched interest sound like a good thing, and it is in terms of technological evolution and paves the road for much-increased business efficiency. The downside? - There’s a massive request for NLP software, but few can deliver high-quality and efficient solutions. 

In this article, we will guide you with critical information on the best options that are available to you if you want to hire NLP developers. Also we will cover their benefits and downsides, and how you should make the best decision for your business.

What is NLP?

Before going down the rabbit hole, let’s first clear the air in the room and understand what NLP is really about. NLP stands for Natural Language Processing, which is a field of Artificial Intelligence. As the name suggests, NLP is about processing vast amounts of data (reading, interpreting, rearranging) and outputting it into wording that feels natural, easy to understand, and helpful.

Obviously, this is a simplistic take on NLP. Still, the vital thing to remember is that it can find the needle in the haystack: process unstructured data, organize it, interpret it, and output information based on your request.

What are NLP Business Applications

So, now that we have a better image of what NLP is, besides the cool factor surrounding it, what are some possible or actual business applications that could genuinely help your business thrive? 

Here are some concrete examples of NLP solutions that could help your business:

  • Question-Answer Systems: These applications can respond to the user's questions based on the query/question. They can be implemented into customer support systems, educational systems, and beyond. 
  • Intelligent Document Analysis - this can bring real value to businesses that need to handle information from multiple sources, such as company documents, invoices, emails, chat messages, etc. This is so valuable because you can rapidly find the information you are looking for not just by title but also by the actual content of the documents. 
  • E-commerce recommendations - with NLP, based on user searches and behavior, you could have a system in place that makes personalized product recommendations. The difference from a standard system is that the outcome can always be different based on the user, which can truly transform the user experience into something more personal. 
  • Fraud Detection and Risk Management - NLP systems can help businesses implement fraud detection and risk management systems. Combining the ability to scan the content of documents and make links between vast amounts of data. 
  • Pharma research and manufacturing - NLP systems can help Pharma companies in their research and manufacturing process because of their ability to process and interpret so much data that with “classical” solutions would take a long time. They can declutter data, create instructions, and transform the roadmap of any product development process. Of course, Pharma is not the only industry that can benefit from this; many other fields, such as engineering, energy, and construction, could also implement similar systems.

What makes a Developer an NLP Developer?

You might already have an internal team of software developers. Does that mean they could handle an NLP development project? The short answer is that most probably not - as NLP requires a specific set of knowledge and competencies that, even though, in theory, any good software developer could acquire, it would also need to have a real focus and dedication to the field to deliver excellent quality results.

In your quest to hire NLP developers, you should be looking at the following:

  • An NLP developer must work with text representation techniques such as semantic extraction algorithms, data structures, and modeling.
  • They need to understand statistical methods and machine learning frameworks well.
  • Python and Java are essential to master for any NLP developer.
  • Big Data frameworks such as Spark are also mandatory, and the ability to write in multiple languages is essential when working with large data sets.

Keep these in mind when doing your research or interviewing, as they will be essential to highlight if they can indeed manage your NLP development project.

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How To Hire NLP Developers

With all the above questions out of the way, let’s dive into why you are here: learning how to hire NLP developers. From our perspective, you have several options with their specific strengths and weaknesses:

External or Internal Recruitment

Your first option would be to hire natural language processing developers from external sources, which means going through the entire recruitment process, from developing the job description to creating and posting the recruitment ad, conducting the interviews, etc. Alternatively, you could outsource this task to a recruitment agency that could handle the same processes.

 

The benefits:

 

  • You have complete control over who joins your team and can ensure they match the company culture.
  •  If you aim for the long-term and plan to develop multiple NLP applications, having your team handle the task can be a good option.
  • You can handle the priorities internally, meaning you can control the ropes of your NLP project entirely.

The downsides:

  • Recruitment is usually costly in dollars and time, and NLP developers are hard to find as it’s still a new field. 
  • If you have a strict time frame for your NLP development project, going on this path might require you to postpone the initial deadline. 
  • As with any hiring, you will need to absorb other administrative costs. It might not be the most cost-efficient option if you don’t have constant work for them.

The other option is to recruit from your internal team. If you already have an in-house software development team, you could tap into that resource and find the most suitable candidates. The benefits are easy to see - as you will not require any additional recruitment costs and they are already familiar with your internal processes. The downside is that it can be a hit-and-miss scenario - not every team features talent with the potential or desire to dive into NLP; furthermore, trying to mix NLP projects with other software development projects already at work could put other projects at risk.

Hire NLP Freelancers

If your project isn’t very complex and doesn’t require a whole team to manage it, an additional option is to search for an NLP freelancer; multiple platforms, from Upwork to Freelancer, can help you with that. They offer a flexible option where you can control the expectations of the budget and can choose from multiple applicants.

The benefits:

  • Hiring a freelancer is the most cost-efficient option you can find.
  • It could provide good development speed if the freelancer you choose has a verified positive background in NLP software development.

The downsides:

  • With no quality assurance processes that agencies possess, you really can’t know the outcome of your project.
  • It could only work on small projects; bigger ones that require an entire team of engineers, developers, designers, testers, and more can’t be outsourced this way.

Hire an Outsourcing NLP Software Development Company

This option might make the most sense for most companies, especially if they already have experience outsourcing their development projects. The reason why this might be the best available option is also contextual - there is a soaring demand for NLP developers, but this demand drastically overthrows the current workforce availability. Software companies with experience in AI and NLP already feature proficient teams that can handle complex projects with speed and agility, which makes them perfect options.

What should you look at when outsourcing NLP Software Development Projects?

From our experience, there are some key elements we recommend paying particular attention to when searching to hire the perfect remote NLP developers for your project:

  • Geography: This is relevant for several reasons. One is from economic and quality reasons, and the other is about the ease of working with that company. US and Western European countries usually feature a highly skilled workforce, but as expensive as it gets. Some other countries well-known for software development outsourcing, such as India and China, feature much lower prices, but communication can be difficult due to time and cultural differences. Eastern Europe, Romania in particular, is an excellent choice because it’s somewhat at the middle ground with affordable fees and a culture and timeframe that are very similar to Western Europe and even the U.S.
  • Prior Experience: Do your research and find companies with a dedicated AI/NLP department. Not every software development company can take on NLP projects with ease.
  • Similar Working Culture: Before deciding on your new NLP development partner, review their website and social media to see if you have a “work chemistry.” Also, have a call with some team members to see if you are a match regarding vision and work ethic.
  • In-place Security Measures: Security is sometimes not seen as significant as other things such as price for example, but it pays dividends in the long term. You will always get cheaper options, but focus on the long-term perspectives and analyze the risks of not choosing a partner with security built into every software solution and robust procedures and checks in place.
  • Ability to deliver full-service: Most probably, you wouldn’t purchase a new car from a dealer that doesn't offer maintenance. Ensure the outsourcing partner can provide support, training, and maintenance post-launch.

 

What are the benefits and downsides of hiring an outsourcing NLP software development company?

Benefits of hiring a NLP software development company:

 

  • High Quality: If quality is what concerns you the most, this is the safest option of all the others. Choosing an outsourcing NLP partner means you’re passing the responsibility to a highly skilled team with extended know-how. You can rest assured you have increased your project's chances of success by a considerable margin. 
  • Speed: Another essential advantage is related to the speed of implementation. You can communicate your NLP project deadline from the beginning so the outsourcing partner can adjust the size of the team and the resources involved accordingly.


  • Flexibility: No project is the same; unexpected situations can arise, so you need flexibility. Working with an outsourced NLP development team means that you can react faster and you can scale down or up if needed.


  • Extensive Know-how: Believe us when we say that having extended know-how from over a dozen industries is better than knowing just one inside-out. It might not sound logical initially, but knowing and understanding different processes and how they are applied in multiple industries gives the development team insights that would not be accessible otherwise. 

 

Downsides:

  • Time to understand internal processes: It’s not all honey & milk; like everything else in life, there are some downsides. The good news is that they can be overcome. One downside is that the outsourced NLP team won’t have any initial knowledge of your internal processes, so it might take some time to adapt and understand them perfectly.

  • Lack of complete control: Outsourcing means you are giving control, but the other side is that you’re also passing responsibility. It’s a double-edged sword; discussing your expectations regarding the project overview and decision-making from the beginning is essential. In most cases, if you choose your NLP development team right, it shouldn’t be a problem.

It’s time to sum it up - how do you hire the right NLP developers for your project?

Firstly, analyze the specifics of your project needs. Is it a small project? - then you could go with a freelancer. Do you plan to invest in NLP projects for the long run and are not pressed by any deadline? - You could create your own internal team. If you’re in a situation where you want the best quality in a shorter time frame, then outsourcing NLP software development is your best bet.

When looking for the perfect NLP software development partner for you, don’t forget to consider the country they operate from, which might determine the fees and ease of communication and work.

Also, make sure they have prior experience in the field and try to see if they have strong cultural similarities, which will translate into a smoother collaboration. Ultimately, ensure they have robust security measures across all development phases and can offer post-launch support and maintenance.

Looking for your next NLP Software Development Partner?

We developed hundreds of projects from diverse industries such as Big Pharma, Manufacturing, Construction, and more. Our NLP Development team can take the ropes of your projects from the discovery phase, where we analyze the specifics of your project and company, to the launch and postlaunch phases. Furthermore, we have developed our own NLP API capable of rapidly extracting, processing, and interpreting data while maintaining the highest security standards. Leave us a message, and let’s schedule a call.