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Hiring A Cybersecurity Pro? Consider These Six Do's And Don'ts

about 5 years ago by Lucy Cinder

Hiring A Cybersecurity Pro? Consider These Six Do's And Don'ts

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The need for cybersecurity professionals is high with very limited supply. These roles are vital to your business, and you may want to fill them quickly -- but with a candidate who meets your requirements. Here are a few thoughts based on experience that might help you uncover a great fit despite the slim odds.

Don’t Be Arrogant

Listen to your interviewee. Many who work in cybersecurity say unemployment in the industry is at ground zero. The person you're interviewing likely has a job. That means they don’t need yours. It can be tempting to talk about your company’s success, and while that’s important, you’ll win with your candidate if you put their thoughts and needs first. Ask their opinion on the security challenges your company faces.

You are an extension of how the candidate perceives your company culture. Create an interview environment where the candidate feels wanted and valued. Appreciate their opinions and ideas. Show them that you care not only about company goals, but also about the people that work for the company.

Do Give Them A Compelling Reason To Leave Their Current Position

Most cybersecurity professionals are happy in their current jobs. It could take a serious carrot to overcome inertia and give them a reason to make a move. A 2018 (ISC)2 report found that only 14% of respondents in the cybersecurity industry were actively looking for a new job.

With a bounty of options available to the average cybersecurity professional, you’ll need to listen carefully to individual goals. Are they money motivated? Is working with the latest tech their biggest priority? Is it the possibility of relocating? Put yourself in their shoes, then be flexible and creative to find what it is that would equate to an opportunity they can’t refuse.

Don’t Reject Someone Because They Don't Look Like The Perfect Fit At First

Be open to less experienced, smart candidates. My biggest pet peeve in the industry is when hiring managers don't see the full potential of strong candidates.

Is it routinely taking you more than a few months to fill positions? Raise your hand. Maybe you're suffering from hiring perfectionism. What if you hired someone who was a little below the desired experience level? Look for candidates that ask great questions and are smart and curious. Invest in them, and over time they will likely get up to speed and become a loyal employee.

If you are at the low- to mid-range level of compensation, consider extending an offer to someone who will view your position as a step up in their career. Their gratitude could pay off in the long run.

Do Research What Other Companies Are Doing

Those 498,000 are tipping the scales of supply and demand. You’ll need to analyze what other companies in your geography and industry are doing to attract cyber professionals. Make sure you're competitive. Do you allow remote work? Do you allow for a flexible schedule? Do you offer extra paid time off? These are just a few of the less-costly perks that can make a huge difference in your hiring power. Find the benefits within your own culture. Ask what makes working at your company more interesting and rewarding than working with other companies. Think about how you show people that you care about their quality of life.

Don’t Search For Clones

Sometimes people look to fill a position with a person just like the one who recently departed. They might say: “We need another person like Joe.” Instead, look to implement good onboarding and training approaches for your new employee.

It can be hard to remember that Joe was not always experienced. If you are holding out for a clone of the person who just left, there is a high probability that you're spending valuable time looking for someone who doesn't exist.

When an experienced person leaves, so does the “glue” of the institutional knowledge they carried with them. That means someone will have to invest time into the new hire. Be realistic and pragmatic. Find ways to help the new candidate get up to speed. In my experience, the best thing you can do is fill the position as quickly as possible with someone who is capable of learning -- and surround them with mentoring opportunities.

Do Speed Up Your Hiring Process

Hiring can be a slow process for many reasons. People take time to decide in part because they're afraid of making a mistake.

Wasted time can be the biggest mistake. Today’s competitive market demands agility, especially with regards to cybersecurity.

You can increase your odds of landing that highly sought-after and hard-to-find candidate by making them an offer before anyone else does. Being the first one to ask is like being first to market. It can be a big advantage. Make it so that you are your candidate’s only offer.

source forbes

Industry: Cyber Security News

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