Given the current cybersecurity landscape, it’s becoming increasingly evident how important it is for organizations to staff their IT departments with highly skilled individuals who are capable of handling the monumental task of network and data security. Unfortunately, at least for the time being, it’s largely an employee’s market, which means companies are competing fiercely to attract, court and hire from the dwindling pool of qualified candidates. Here are a few suggestions to help tip the scales in your favor.
Leverage Social Networks
Being active on social media is a given for all businesses today, but when it comes to tapping into certain talent bases, it requires a more in-depth and targeted involvement. If you want to find the best security professionals, you have to be present where they are, so look for things like online forums, discussion groups (like on LinkedIn) and anywhere else you can start or join in on conversations about the topic of cybersecurity.
Be Flexible with Your Requirements
Not every individual out there working in the thick of the cybersecurity realm is necessarily decorated with degrees and other impressive credentials. In reality, many of the most skilled and valuable security experts got to where they are today by working their way up and learning the ropes through on-the-job training. If your requirements are too stringent (i.e. only candidates with a bachelor’s or master’s degree need apply), you could very well be weeding out those with much more valuable hands-on experience.
If you are a larger organization, chances are you’ve already got a slew of eager entry-level IT folks waiting in the wings for an opportunity to grow and improve their skills. Investing in these up-and-comers through internal mentorship, education and ongoing training can help circumvent the process of finding and hiring top external talent and provide a leg up in the race for optimum cybersecurity defense.
Showcase Your Assets
One thing top cybersecurity pros look for in a potential employer is the tools and technologies they will ultimately have at their disposal should they choose to accept a job offer. What types of weapons have you invested in to help fortify your defense against cyber-attacks (i.e. advanced monitoring, automated incident response, etc.)? What things really set your company – specifically your IT department – apart from others? Showcase these things in your job listings and discuss them during the interview process.
Don’t Rely On Salary Alone
Sure, money is important in bringing in the big guns, but it’s not the be all and end all. While you’ll likely have to pay more for top cybersecurity talent than other IT roles, you should also be working on a solid benefits program – particularly one that values work-life balance. Demonstrate to your candidates the steps you’ve taken as an organization to ensure that IT workers won’t get burnt out, such as investing in technology that makes their jobs easier and implementing generation vacation plans that encourage time off as needed. These little perks are often what will make all the difference in deciding which offer to accept.
Building a team of highly skilled, well-prepared cybersecurity professionals may be challenging in today’s marketplace, but it’s not impossible. The five tips listed above should help you position your organization as one that offers excellent opportunities and is overall a great place to work.