Cybersecurity staff: What to look for in your next hire

Joe Svetlik

Friday 3 February 2017

Cybersecurity professionals are some of the most valuable members of any IT team, so how can you ensure your company hires the best person for the job? Here’s what to look for, and how to make your organisation as attractive as possible.

When it comes to cybersecurity, most businesses are walking on thin ice. According to a study by security and compliance solutions provider Tripwire, three-quarters of companies don’t have enough cybersecurity professionals to detect and respond to serious digital security breaches. And the situation won’t improve anytime soon – a Frost & Sullivan market study carried out in 2015 estimated that the shortfall in the global information security workforce will reach 1.5 million by 2020.

The threat of a major cybersecurity breach is greater than ever, so how can you attract and keep the best professionals in your field? And what should you look for when hiring?

Make them show, not tell

Your potential hires need to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. To this end, test them on their understanding as well as their knowledge. Anyone can read up on cybersecurity topics and rehash the information, but it takes someone with real understanding to put it into practice.

It’s also important to value enthusiasm and ability over pure experience. If someone has been around for a long time, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best candidate. A desire to learn can be much more valuable than knowledge of outdated systems.

Up to speed

Being a cybersecurity professional means staying up to date with the latest software and systems. When vetting candidates for your organisation, look for those who take courses and regularly learn new systems and ways of working. If they’re driven enough to keep up with recent innovations, chances are they’ll be more willing and capable when it comes to dealing with a major security threat.

Position your company as a leader

To make your company as attractive as possible – to both potential employees and customers – you need to position it as a leader in your space. Post blogs looking at the latest cybersecurity trends and shout about your achievements. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are great ways to spread the word.

Most importantly, don’t lower your standards. It’s better to readvertise the job and have the recruitment process last a few more weeks than to hire the wrong person. The safety of your company data relies on making the right decision.

The best cybersecurity professionals know they’re in demand and how much their skills are worth. By looking in the right places, adopting the right recruitment technique and offering the right package, you can make your firm an appealing option. The result can be a long and happy working relationship.

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