Cyber Security Recruitment for 2016 saw over 30 In-house recruitment professionals from a variety of industries descend upon Portland Place for 4 hours of learning, networking and education. Sponsored by CyberSecurityJobsite.com, the breakfast was off to a cracking start from the get go! So much so that there was a record amount of uneaten breakfast, which just goes to show how engrossed everyone was from the onset.
Kelly Tame from QinetiQ kicked off the morning’s proceedings with a fabulous insight into the challenges that she and her team face when attempting to recruit those hard-to-find Cyber Security professionals. Following Kelly’s presentation, were two roundtable discussion sessions, from which we have taken some of the main points to create this roundup!
- Skills Shortage
- Candidates know their value
- Market driven by contractors
- Lack of candidate details on Social Media/literally hidden talent
- Institutional businesses/Defence companies are risk averse
- Passive candidates
- Lack of content/understanding of the cyber security industry
Educate the future Cyber Security professionals from a young age
Many companies are partnered with schools, but perhaps this is not widespread enough. The parents of the future generation are fairly ignorant to the Cyber Security industry. There is a dark shadow cast over cyber thanks to high profile hacking cases, which unfortunately, is all most people ever hear of it. There is a responsibility to share knowledge and make children aware from a young age, that this is an extremely rewarding and indeed, real, career path. The majority of people in the UK who are of working age, won’t have known a thing about Cyber during their school days, but times are changing. Embrace this evolution and get the message out there. Local schools and universities are a great place to start.
Collaborate with your competitors/share the talent pool
You are all fishing in a fairly sparse pond when it comes to sourcing talent, but of course healthy competition is important! However, in the name of goodwill, if you have a candidate, but don’t have the role to place them, recommend them to your competitors. Not only will that promote trust between you and the candidate, it may also encourage them to return the favour and recommend their friends! Collaborating with other businesses works both ways, so think of the benefit to you too. (Everyone at the breakfast event was particularly excited about this point so get connecting with eachother and see what you can do!).
Think like a hacker/speak the tech language
Struggling to find those well-hidden candidates? Take a step back. Where would you be if you had the profile of the candidates you were looking for? What platforms or social media would you use (if any)? Do your research and it could yield priceless results. As Cyber Security recruiters, you are already extremely knowledgeable about the roles and the industry, but you can never have too much knowledge!
Engage with quality agencies
A talented, specialist recruiter can be a complete lifesaver, especially if your time is sensitive. Some of the businesses recommended by delegates on the day were as follows:
As well as agencies, niche job boards can be hubs for skilled workers. We recommend our event partner, CyberSecurityJobsite.com.
Run and attend events
Events are superb places for networking with candidates, but you have to know where to go and MAKE SURE YOU MAKE THE MOST OF IT! As well as attending industry events, why not run your own event? Market it through as many relevant channels as possible and get the candidates to come to you! You can be as creative as you want with this, but sometimes, it isn’t so much about the hard sell of the company. It is more about building your pipeline and making some connections in a relaxed environment. Check out these event websites:
Cyber Security recruiters are largely dealing with hidden candidates! These candidates are so savvy when it comes to technology, that they rarely share much information online, and aren’t overly present on social media. Review your existing staff and the candidates you already know. These guys will have friends. Coding, for example is a passion! No different to reading which breeds book clubs, or sports which speak for themselves. Coders will know other coders! So get your existing staff to refer their friends. Referrals are good for 3 main reasons:
- No one wants to recommend bad candidates or this will reflect badly on them, so the quality will be high!
- The candidates want to do well because they don’t want to let down their friend/contact.
- It makes your life a lot easier when it comes to sourcing!
If you don’t already have a good referral scheme in place, get one! Candidates will scour their networks for a good reward. Don’t underestimate this.
Attractive office environments
With contracting being such a driver in the cyber security industry, it’s time to address your office environment! You need to give talented candidates a reason to sign a permanent contract and a desire to work with you. Your candidates are highly technological, so consider this when you think about the environment. A PlayStation, for example, could be a good start!
Think outside the box
It isn’t always obvious where to look for cyber security candidates! Sometimes you need to be a bit creative. Unfortunately, it can be a bit of a long game but small tweaks to your process do pay off. Here are a few extra tips for you try:
- Create forums and start discussions.
- Network with the armed forces for ex-military who are due to leave. There are some extremely technological candidates in the military.
- The traditional job copy is DEAD when it comes to cyber. Set candidates a challenge. It needs to appeal to their skillset and they enjoy a test!
- Start creating content around cyber. You all have a lot more knowledge than you think, and it will engage candidates on a social level. It may also induce interest in people who don’t realise they could do this job!
- Cross-train existing staff that are in roles with the right transferable skills you need.
- Streamline your process and decrease time to hire.
We would like to extend a special thank you to our sponsors, CyberSecurityJobsite.com, for partnering with us in this event:
I hope this rounded up the event well and remember to THINK LIKE A HACKER!