Being a hiring manager is difficult work, with manifold decisions to make before, during, and after the interviewing process. But this rings especially true for those who hire infosec professionals, in an increasingly competitive and complex field called “cybersecurity.”
It’s no secret that the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a continued infosec job growth. The world should be brimming with new hires, right?
Yes, but you must know where to and how to look for the newest members of your cybersecurity team. With the right level of focus and information at your disposal, you can close your staffing gap more effectively.
All it takes is an open mind, dedication, and some studying. Read on to discover five interesting ways to improve your hiring and management skills in the competitive world of cybersecurity.
1 – Improve Job Listings and Interviews
First, don’t rely solely on the HR department to handle the most fundamental step in incentivizing applicants. If you do, you may find less than impressive results – to little or no fault of your inter-departmental co-workers.
When a “job description” isn’t as descriptive as one might hope, it leads to guesswork and, unfortunately, wasted appointments. Even if your interviewees are qualified, they themselves might be unsure of the fit, ultimately leaving you just as uncertain.
So take pride in getting involved during this preliminary stage – after all, you know best what the advertisement should convey. What does the business need, and what is the modern applicant looking for in a great, new infosec job?
Finally, the process doesn’t end with a good listing – and the applicant isn’t alone in needing to nail the interview. Once you reach the interview, put effort into understanding your applicant and pitching the position as a mutually beneficial opportunity.
2 – Diversify Degree Requirements
All industries change along with the times, but none more so than industries that revolve around technological innovation. Once considered highly selective in their employment requirements, cybersecurity corporations have considerably relaxed degree requirements – in some cases, completely.
More and more businesses are acknowledging the certain advantages of lowering degree expectations to further diversify and expand their workforce. As a hiring manager, you hire employees – not degrees; and what makes a good employee can’t always be pinned down.
Just because someone has the “correct” degree doesn’t make them a good fit for a complex job – experience sharply outweighs. So, just because someone lacks a degree, it doesn’t make them an inadequate choice, especially if they have relevant experience.
Veterans are a great example of this professional unconventionality: one may have cybersecurity experience via their service, but no degree. Statistically speaking, veterans are more motivated to take advanced training classes once hired, a demographic you won’t want to exclude. Plus, it’s a great way to give back!
3 – Continued Education and Advanced Training
If you’re looking to incentivize a position whilst vastly improving its workplace effectiveness, you should consider advanced training and education. If your company doesn’t presently offer any, pitch the good pitch to your superiors for its serious inclusion at work.
Positions that offer on-the-job training and/or provide employees with opportunities for advanced education are more valuable for everyone involved. That’s because it makes the employee more well-rounded for your company, and in doing so, advances their career upon hire.
Moreover, be sure to honor these promises with a methodical approach by organizing a proper schedule and monitoring employee progress. Unlock the potential of new hires and even current employees by investing in their workplace education immediately.
If your superiors are primarily concerned with cost – fair enough; however, surprisingly, this training is often cost-effective, and sometimes free. Including advanced training will reduce costly mistakes on-the-clock and increase overall workplace efficiency and productivity, making it an invaluable investment.
4 – Hire Internally
If you haven’t found the right new hire for your team, your staffing solutions might be just around the corner. The candidate you never considered could prove to be a perfect fit, and the best part is they’re already hired!
Investing in the employees you already have is a legitimate and incredibly strategic way to close your workforce gap. Start asking around, offering leadership and mentorship to interested candidates, not paying super close attention to their current employment positions.
Staffing woes present opportunities to reconsider your team’s diversity: if you notice it’s male-dominated, consider new hiring initiatives for women. After all, you’ll always be at a staffing disadvantage if you only hire half the population!
Executive Women’s Forum, an organization focusing on women in information security, can serve as the model for femme-specific hiring initiatives. By cross-training female employees, you can close the gender-gap, amplify untapped talent, and increase the potential of your company.
5 – Know Your Region
Finally, when searching for new hires, realize each region differs in both density and level of talent to choose from. Like any other industry, cybersecurity operates by a complicated market which will likely affect where and how you search.
For example, Washington D.C. exceeds the national average of cybersecurity positions and listings by ten times, according to Cyberseek. According to the same, Arizona is 30 percent below that average, elucidating a regional gap any search must grapple with.
So, understanding and using these regional differences to your advantage could make all the difference, especially in competitive states. Work-from-home options in these areas may give your company the edge it needs to attract or steal away new employees.
Additionally, expand your search inwardly by accommodating (hire and train) local candidates who meet most of your team’s requirements. It’s better to accept a little extra work in preparing new hires than to sit with a staffing gap forever.
Cybersecurity is one of the most important and fastest-growing markets in the world, and that won’t change anytime soon. But to keep up, hiring managers must stay agile, informed, dedicated, creative, and ahead of the changes – no simple task!
If this guide has piqued your interests, you may be that much closer to the next stage of your career. Being a hiring manager isn’t easy, but each day has its rewards – so get hiring, and managing, and good luck!