Knowing how to recruit talent in cybersecurity talent is a challenging task for more reasons than one. First of all, the demand for these professionals is high, as one ISC2 study confirms – a whopping 46% of cybersecurity professionals are contacted weekly by recruiting agencies, regardless of whether they are looking for a job or not. However, the same thing can’t be said for the supply. In fact, there is a serious talent shortage in the cybersecurity industry, and companies, government organizations, and cybercriminals are taking note.
According to the survey on IT decision-makers done by The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), 82% of employers report a shortage of cybersecurity skills, and 71% believe this talent gap ’causes direct and measurable damage to their organizations.’ The number of unfilled cybersecurity positions has grown by over 50% since 2015, with the total expected to be more than 1.8 million by 2022. This means the competition to find and retain quality talent will continue to be a struggle for companies worldwide.
Another reason for the difficulty in finding cybersecurity talent is how the industry seeks to fill open positions as well as external developments beyond the industry’s control. On top of all of this, we live in a new reality where every company and organization is now dependent on technology. With this comes the exposure to cyber threats like ransomware or phishing and the urgency to acquire cybersecurity professionals to manage them.
As the demand for cybersecurity professionals continues to rise and the supply dwindles, companies are discovering that their proven methods of filling other IT positions don’t actually carry over into this industry. So what can you do to successfully attract and retain cybersecurity professionals? Let’s find out!
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Know Where to Look for Talent
In all probability, the best talent in cybersecurity is already working at another company. This is why most of them are contacted by recruiting agencies on a nearly daily basis. To find the right talent for your open cybersecurity position, you will have to be more assertive in your search. If you have a job position that’s been open for several months and your traditional recruitment methods have produced nothing, you need to start looking somewhere else.
Are you going to local industry meetups? Do you know what local cybersecurity talent is reading? Where are they chatting online? If you really want to get top talent, you need to do some good old networking. This will also allow your company to increase diversity, which leads us to the second step.
Diversify Your Talent Pool
According to HR Dive, nearly 40% of employers face challenges when hiring qualified employees, while one in five people in the US with a disability face difficulties getting hired. Disabled people, women, veterans, minorities, and those with a nontraditional education are untapped markets in the cybersecurity industry. If you want to recruit quality cybersecurity candidates to fill your talent pool, you need to think outside the box. Not only is widening the net for cybersecurity talent crucial for a growing industry, but it’s also the right thing to do for an industry that actively works on making diversity a priority.
Look for Skills Beyond Formal Education
One of the biggest hiring mistakes companies make is immediately eliminating good candidates because they don’t have the required degree. To recruit in cybersecurity, any recruiter will tell you a great candidate doesn’t necessarily have a college degree, nevertheless, so many companies get hung up on this. But experience, professionalism, trustworthiness, and a wide set of skills are always more valuable.
If you focus on candidates who are eager to learn, you will access a new and exciting pool of top talent that’s likely to be more interested in your company if you offer them the opportunity to grow. If your company provides professional development opportunities and values growth as part of the company culture, this will entice talented and motivated candidates to not only apply but, once hired, stay longer too.
Have a Clear Job Description
As mentioned, cybersecurity talents are exposed to job offers daily, so the first impression they get about your open position is through your job description announcement.
Writing a good job description is one of the biggest challenges in recruiting for cybersecurity. Often, companies may not even have the right job title, resulting in getting overlooked by candidates who are searching for other job titles. If you have a position that has been unfilled for months, maybe it is time to take another look at what your company is putting out there for candidates.
Make sure to write a job description that matches the needed skills you’re looking for in a candidate. However, don’t put too many requirements because you most likely don’t need a unicorn for every position, or you will push potential candidates away.
Market Your Company Effectively
In a saturated job market, you need to make sure your company stands out to recruit cybersecurity candidates. This can involve emphasizing new technologies or tools, explaining how you solve security problems or discussing how emerging security technologies are integrated into your company’s operations. However, if your company’s security team is new, pitch the challenge of building a complete security system from the ground up.
Engage Existing Talent
You may already have plenty of fresh, eager, and intelligent talent working within your company. Don’t disregard the value of training such people internally because these individuals already know your systems inside and out. Send these people to cybersecurity seminars and conferences to facilitate skill development.
You can also reach out to people working in other professions who can easily migrate to cybersecurity positions, possibly including communications, accounting, and law enforcement professionals. This is a great way to expand your resources and source talent from less competitive markets.
recruiting the right cybersecurity talent is, without any exaggeration, crucial to your company’s future. Nowadays, everyone depends on technology, and cybercriminals are more than aware of this. However, the recruiting process can be tedious and time-consuming.
Making connections, attending networking events, interviewing – this all takes time. Hiring a recruiting agency that can invest its resources into finding the right candidate can save your company time and money in the long run. Look for a recruiting agency specializing in cybersecurity because they know what you look for in a candidate and will work on delivering just that.
Hundreds of new candidates are looking for job openings every day, and CIBR Warriors are there to help you find the right one for you. For more help on advancing your career or recruiting a perfect candidate in IT and Cybersecurity, contact us. We’d be happy to answer your questions and provide you with the best advice for getting started.