How to recruit cyber security personnel

Cyber security experts are among the most in-demand employees in any profession. Businesses large and small are increasingly recognising the huge consequences of issues such as cyber attacks or accidental data breaches, and as such, individuals with the skills and experience to protect organisations from these threats are essential.

However, finding the right personnel is easier said than done. With so much competition for a limited pool of talent, firms today have to impress prospective employees just as much as, if not more than, candidates need to showcase their own skills and experience.

Taking the time to put the right recruitment model in place will therefore be essential for the future success of any firm.

The growing fight for talent

The biggest challenge for any recruiter looking for cyber security professionals is the mismatch between supply and demand, as a shortage of talent in the sector has been an issue for a number of years. While the situation has improved slightly recently, research by industry body (ISC)2 found that in 2020, there were still 3.1 million more open positions in the industry globally than there were employees to fill them.

One reason for this is that cyber security has shot up the list of businesses' biggest concerns in recent years. According to Deloitte's 2021 Global Risk Management Survey, for example, 87 per cent of firms said improving cybersecurity risk management will be a very or extremely high priority over the next two years. And to do this, they'll need the right people.

As a result, competition for these personnel is fierce. As well as high salaries, firms may feel they need to offer a wide range of perks and benefits in order to attract talent. However, if you're putting more resources into these activities, it's even more essential you're targeting the right people.

Key factors to consider when recruiting

With the best personnel in such short supply, it's vital to have a clear idea of what to look for when reviewing prospective candidates. And this may not always be the most obvious skills and qualifications. If you want to ensure you're recruiting the best candidates, there are a few things you need to consider.

  • Don't obsess over specific qualifications - You may have determined that you need a certain certification for a key role, but if you discard anyone else, you may be missing out on great potential. Flexibility is key, so consider your expected qualifications as guidelines, not must-haves.
  • Invest in education - If you're asking candidates for five years' experience in a six-year-old technology, you'll greatly limit your options. But there are huge benefits to be gained from hiring people who are eager to learn and develop these skills, both in attracting talent and helping them build up their resumé once they're on board.
  • Use the community - Cybersecurity job fairs, hackathons and other events are great ways to engage with the community, find new talent and be seen as a firm that cares about cyber security. Professionals talk, so make sure you're part of the conversation.

The benefits of using a specialist platform

It's clear that offering the right package - not only in terms of salary, but also an attractive and enticing working environment - is vital in securing cyber security talent. But this will all be for nothing if your advertised roles aren't being seen by the right people.

Skilled IT security professionals are almost certainly used to being courted by recruiters. In fact, according to (ISC)2, almost a third of these employees (31 per cent) report being contacted at least once a week, even when they aren't actively seeking a new position.

As a result, when they are looking for work, they tend to be cautious and consider their options carefully. They won't want to accept a position at a company that doesn't take security seriously or undervalues their skills.

That's why using specialist recruitment services such as CyberSecurityJobsite matters. This gives you direct access to a relevant pool of talent than more general alternatives and shows candidates that you're serious about the sector and want the right people.

With the ability to search and review thousands of CVs and identify those with the skills and experience you're looking for, we offer a cost-effective way to connect recruiters to the best talent easily and ensure they're speaking to the right people.

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