Overcoming the challenges of recruiting cyber security professionals
Recruiting cyber security professionals is no easy task. It’s a candidate’s market with a shortage of skilled professionals, especially with specific qualifications and experience. Demand for talent continues to grow as more and more organisations (big and small) realise that they need cyber security experts on their side.
Whether a business wants to recruit a cyber security expert in-house, or use an outsource provider, demand outstrips supply. The latest (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study says the skills shortage is close to 3 million globally.
Our Technology and IT desk is on the frontline of this skills gap; helping our clients find cyber security professionals, and our candidates find IT security jobs. We have to be very creative but, as with everyone in the Energi team, we are extremely resourceful and don’t give up!
Here’s our advice for companies that are struggling to fill their IT security roles:
How to find cyber security talent
In this market, especially if you want to recruit senior and experienced cyber security experts, money will talk. Many people when they get to senior position are not as inclined to move jobs, so financial incentives are often the only way to attract this level of expertise. Be prepared for counteroffers if you’re recruiting for a senior IT security role. Companies know how difficult it will be to fill a vacancy and will do their best to hang on to their top talent.
Recruit for potential
Cyber security is a young and rapidly moving industry. As such, finding specialist expertise is always going to be challenging. However, generally speaking, candidates are exceptionally motivated to gain experience and relevant certification, and have the aptitude to learn on the job. Therefore, when possible, recruit for potential and provide your new hire with the specialist training you need.
Technology and IT has traditionally been a male-dominated field, and many IT departments are predominately white. By promoting diversity and inclusion, your organisation could attract some of the many women and BAME candidates that have entered the market in recent years: increasing your chances of recruiting top talent.
Speed up recruitment processes
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a fast recruitment process in a market that’s as competitive as IT security. Before starting the search, hone your recruitment process to ensure it’s as streamlined as possible. Also make sure those people involved in interviews and decision making are available and can prioritise the candidate search too.
Cyber security experts know how much they’re worth and how desperate many firms are to recruit them. While I wouldn’t advocate letting them call all the shots, some flexibility is needed. Try to understand what will motivate them to join your company and personalise your offer to the individual. As well as a competitive salary, some candidates may be motivated by incentives like a 4 day week or more generous annual leave. Your recruitment consultant should help you get a better idea of each candidate’s key drivers.
Don’t ignore cultural fit
It might be tempting to focus purely on the skills, qualifications and experience your organisation needs rather than cultural fit. But don’t view this as a ‘nice to have’. If you hire a candidate that isn’t a good fit they can quickly move on and find a different employer that fits them better. Whereas you’ll be back to square one, having invested significant money in that hire. Instead use your company culture to attract the right candidate, it could be what motivates a skilled candidate to leave their current employment.
Naturally, getting specialist recruitment support is another key way to increase your chances of a successful hire. If you would like to discuss your cyber security requirements with our team, please get in touch.