The best ways to attract cyber-talent

in such a competitive industry

The best ways to attract cyber-talent

The assessed cost for the NHS dealing with Wannacry event? £92,000,000.00 

Yes, that’s ninety-two million pounds (side note... the annual cost of the contract with Microsoft to provide patches for their XP systems which the NHS cancelled? £5.5 million!)

In August, almost 400,000 British Airways customers’ details were exposed as hackers stole payment details, names and addresses in an attack that went unnoticed for two weeks. Two weeks prior, telecommunications giant T-Mobile suffered a breach that compromised the data of 1.3 million customers. 

The cyber war continues apace, and costs are going to keep going up. 

Of course, it isn’t for lack of awareness. Thanks to the constant stream of high profile cyber-attacks that have taken place in the last five years, most leaders are well-versed with the growing threat of cybercrime. Today, a flimsy cybersecurity strategy and a lack of capable talent puts a business at risk of a data breach, no matter their size, sector or status. 

Unfortunately, due to the surge in demand for expertise in this area, most firms have been struggling to attract the right people from an already-sparse talent pool. According to PwC, the cybersecurity workforce gap will widen to 1.5 million job openings by 2019, up from 1 million last year. 

To protect their organisations, leaders must seek ways to overcome the shortage and snap up the best and brightest in the market before their competitors have a chance. The question is, how? 

Improve your employer brand 

In the war for talent, it’s every business for themselves. Leave it up to fate and you’ll lose out on a raft of opportunities as your competitors grow stronger and your defence gets weaker. If you are to secure a stream of strong candidates to protect your organisation, a proactive approach is essential. 

Your first step should be to assess your employer brand and consider how your organisation is perceived by outsiders. High staff churn? Poor company culture? Don’t expect the applications to flood in when your job ad goes live. Unfortunately, building your employer brand is not a one-and-done exercise; it’s an ongoing strategy which aims to shape the opinion of your audience. 

Every company has something unique that sets them aside from the competition: when writing your job description, try to highlight these strengths. For instance, do you promote flexible working opportunities? Is your office known for its high-tech setup? Do you offer wellness, do staff receive regular learning and development opportunities? 

Every company will insist they are better than the competition: instead, try to draw attention to what makes you different. This gives potential applicants a reason to click and consider rather than scrolling away from another copy-paste cyber-security job ad.

Get networking

If you are to build a presence with your audience, you must be willing to get out there and spread the word. Considering the importance of cyber-security in the digital age, finding relevant events to attend shouldn’t pose a challenge. 

Besides hiring managers, the delegates in attendance tend to be experts eager to keep ahead of the cybersecurity curve. Perhaps they’re passive candidates; perhaps they aren’t searching for a job at all. However, if you are to attract a steady stream of applications, you cannot wait for them to come to you. Build enough professional relationships and word will soon get out about the exciting company looking to bolster its cybersecurity department. 

Remember, while networking face-to-face is a great way to build rapport with potential candidates, don’t neglect social media. Beyond the obvious channels like LinkedIn and Twitter, cyber specialists may spend time on forums dedicated to the subject where they can interact with likeminded professionals. If your company is to win the talent war, it’s time to strike up a conversation start making connections. 

Team up with a specialist

Knowing where to look is half the battle: if an organisation cannot succeed in enticing a talented info-security candidate to the role, they leave their network open to potential threats. Time is of the essence, but it is by no means a process that should be rushed. For this reason, many firms find the best approach is to seek support from a specialist recruiter well-versed in the fast-paced field of cybersecurity. 

As well as a vast and diverse network to take advantage of, businesses opting for this approach will benefit from an expert on hand to assess their employer brand and advise accordingly. If you could do with a helping hand in securing top cyber-talent to your organisation, don’t hesitate in making the call: this is not an area worth neglecting.

The best ways to attract cyber-talent
Date: 10 December 2018
Author: Alex Masliychuk