Where to start finding cybersecurity talent?

Hundreds of cybersecurity contractor jobs and permanent roles are advertised each day, but how can you find the right talent to match? Companies are constantly looking for staff to help protect their digital stance, reduce the threat of data breaches, and improve their incident response.

Unfortunately, there aren’t thousands of potential applicants in the market. There’s a significant gap between supply and demand. So much so that 69% of cybersecurity professionals admitted their teams were significantly or somewhat understaffed.

That’s where cybersecurity recruitment agencies step in. Specialised recruiters find cybersecurity staff that organisations so desperately need.

What do cybersecurity recruitment agencies do?

Cybersecurity agencies specialise in attracting and securing the best talent in the cyber IT industry. They simplify the hiring process for organisations by taking over the hassle of advertising roles, interviewing candidates, and extending offers.

Rather than spending months looking for the perfect fit, organisations that invest in cybersecurity recruitment simply pick the best option from a pool of suitable candidates.

Cybersecurity recruitment agencies are experts in their field; therefore, they can use their market knowledge to their advantage and source the best candidates. The most experienced companies will spend time researching cybersecurity trends and strengthening their relationships in the industry.

Full-time vs. contractors?

Differentiating between cybersecurity contractor jobs and permanent roles is crucial. Here’s what you should know:

Cybersecurity permanent roles

Permanent positions offer long-term job security. Candidates are offered a regular salary and typically benefit from perks like health insurance, retirement pensions, and paid leave. In this position, employees have less flexibility, but they often have access to opportunities for career development and ongoing training.

For cybersecurity recruitment agencies, permanent contracts often involve longer hiring cycles as companies have specific requirements and many agencies are trying to attract the same talent. However, permanent recruitment often entails higher fees for placing suitable candidates.

Cybersecurity contractor jobs

Contractors in the cybersecurity industry have much more freedom and flexibility over their work hours, payments, and projects. Moving from a permanent role to contracting can also help build experience as individuals improve their networking and learn new skills with each project. However, contractors may lack job stability and other additional benefits.

From a cybersecurity recruitment perspective, placing contractors can result in a faster turnover of positions, and, consequently, a steadier stream of income. Agencies can also help organisations meet their needs at a faster pace. Nevertheless, placement fees for contractor roles tend to be lower due to shorter contract terms.

Top skills and qualifications in 2023

During the selection process, cybersecurity recruitment agencies look for the following skill sets:

  • IT and networking analytical skills: leveraging data for cyber defence strategies.
  • Threat intelligence: identifying complex cyber threats and analysing security events to better understand them.
  • Incident handling: monitoring and detecting security events.
  • Auditing: reviewing the strength of IT infrastructures and identifying potential vulnerabilities.
  • Penetration testing: conducting simulated attacks on computer systems to check for possible security weaknesses.
  • Risk management and compliance: assessing the organisation’s compliance risks.

Here are some examples of relevant qualifications that recruiters look for in 2023:

  • (ISC)² Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)
  • Certified Cyber Threat Hunting Professional (CCTHP)
  • GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH)
  • Cybersecurity Audit Fundamentals
  • EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • ISACA Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)

Challenges of attracting talent

Given that the cyber IT market is largely candidate-driven, recruitment agencies often find themselves competing for a limited pool of talent. To address these difficulties and attract the best candidates, recruitment agencies must be prepared to know the market inside and out, use their connections to secure contracts, and offer generous salaries based on qualifications and skills.

Recruitment strategies

Cybersecurity recruitment agencies adopt various strategies to ensure they secure top-tier talent, these include:

Outlining Your Objectives

Before you go into the interview, clearly outline your objectives. Does your client require specific skill sets or experience? Make a note of the criteria and evaluate the ideal candidate accordingly.

Asking Specific Questions

Ask as many specific and relevant questions as you can. For example, you can use behavioural or situational questions to gauge how applicants would act in real-life scenarios.

Prioritising Technical Competence

Cybersecurity staff must be technically competent if they aim to excel in the role; therefore, candidates must demonstrate their familiarity with the industry, their ability to perform, and their understanding of relevant terms.

If you’d like to learn more about cybersecurity recruitment and how to secure the best talent, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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