Hiring cybersecurity talent is harder than ever. In fact, some have said we’re in the midst of a “cybersecurity hiring crisis” – yikes. Not only is cybersecurity an especially technical and highly specialized field – but these professionals are under more stress than ever, especially in today’s era where cyber threats like data leaks and information theft can be devastating.
Over the years, we have seen many examples of how data breaches can demolish a company’s reputation. It’s critical that data-centric companies are investing handsomely in their security practices to ensure there’s minimum risk of exposure to cyber threats.
One of the ways a company can protect itself from such calamities is by hiring and retaining top-talented cybersecurity individuals. But as mentioned earlier, it’s easier said than done. In fact, according to one scary stat from our 15 Frightening Cybersecurity Statistics infographic, talent availability is the biggest challenge when it comes to adopting IT automation and digital workplace technologies.
In this article, we talk about how companies can find and onboard top security talent. Plus, we briefly touch on retaining your new hires for as long as possible.
Let’s dive in.
1. Be clear in your job description
The first thing a candidate sees about your open position is the job description – and you want to make it great. Top-talented individuals are often looking for long-term opportunities where they can grow their skillset and prosper in the longer run. They require a position where they can hone their talents and get an appreciation for doing incredible work.
Make sure your job description has all the above-mentioned features no matter where you post the job opening on social media or other platforms.
2. Certifications aren’t everything
Certifications and degrees do matter in a lot of professional areas, but they may not be that relevant when it comes to cybersecurity. By that, we don’t mean you should totally neglect a candidate’s excellent academic record; we mean you shouldn’t pay all your attention to degrees and certifications alone.
According to this article from HelpNetSecurity, the ISACA’s 2020 State of Cybersecurity concluded that “finding cybersecurity staff with the right skillsets continues to be difficult. Only 27% say that recent graduates in cybersecurity are well-prepared. They also noted the top five skills gaps as being soft skills (32%), IT knowledge and skills gaps (30%), insufficient business insight (16%), cybersecurity technical experience (13%) and insufficient hands-on training (10%).”
You see, cybersecurity officers are from a geeky background and they’re highly versed in tech. Such individuals are often deeply integrated into the cyber world from an early age, and that’s where they get most of their instinctive skills from. It’s these instinctive skills, along with soft skills (like communication and creative problem-solving) as well as specialized training, that help form great cybersecurity leaders.
Along with paying attention to candidates’ degrees, also give a thought about what the person has achieved over the years through their experience and other skills.
3. Look for industry-specific experience
Cybersecurity practices differ from industry to industry as companies may need to protect different types of data and information breaches. That’s where industry-specific experience shines.
While evaluating candidates for your open position, look for candidates that have a solid, reputed background in your industry, if possible. The ideal candidate should have the right set of skills needed to leverage cybersecurity practices specific to your products and services.
4. Invest in training and retention
Hiring new talent is a time-consuming and costly process, so you want to make the most out of it. After you have successfully gone through the process of hiring, you don’t want your new employee to leave after a few months. You want them to stay with you for as long as possible – especially in cases where they are key holders and have access to tools and critical information that other internal employees may not. And that’s where retention practices come into play.
Make sure your new hire gets the feeling of achievement and self-improvement in your workplace. Provide them with effective training programs where they can learn and hone their skills. Give them an online learning opportunities along with an attractive compensation package so they don’t go looking for other jobs while working for you.
5. Don’t hesitate in taking professional help
Your organization might be great at selling excellent products or services, but might not necessarily have substantial experience in hiring, especially for technical and highly specialized roles like cybersecurity – and that’s OK! Staffing and recruitment agencies and professional employer organizations are specifically designed to help in cases where companies are looking to expand internationally or need hiring support.
Hiring and retaining top-talented individuals is harder when we’re talking about cybersecurity personnel. Cybersecurity requires a very specific set of skills not found in every graduate with a CS degree.
This article is aimed to help you down the road of hiring the best cybersecurity candidates and retaining them for as long as possible.
Note: This blog article was written by a guest contributor for the purpose of offering a wider variety of content for our readers. The opinions expressed in this guest author article are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of GlobalSign.