What are the Challenges in Cyber Security Recruitment?

Rebekah Valero-Lee IT


In an ever-growing cyber industry filled with increasingly impenetrable jargon and a limited, highly sought-after talent pool, recruiters are challenged to stay up-to-date with the latest sought-after skills and business requirements. So, what are the top cyber recruitment challenges for our clients? We answer 3 of the top questions that companies need to ask before they employ the services of a cyber recruiter.

Is the recruiter technically qualified to vet candidates?

Business leaders, scared into action with endless news of cyber breaches and their potentially devastating financial impact, know they need provisions against the threat. But, due to the aforementioned point about this being a new industry filled with jargon, they are unlikely to understand exactly what they need. So they turn to recruiters. The problem here is that recruiters are overwhelmed by a volume of placements and in an attempt to fill these from an already scarce talent pool may not be asking the right questions of the candidate to ensure a correct fit.

Another problem faced by recruiters is the increasing numbers of certifications cyber professionals can have. Knowing the difference between something like the Certificate of Ethical Hacking (CEH) or the Certificate of Information Security Management Principles (CISMP) and what skills they entail is often a game unto itself, with many meaning similar things that aren’t recognised by all potential employers (even though, for all intents and purposes, they are pretty much the same thing).

From a Morson point of view, we are fortunate in that we have, in-house, not only recruiters who have years of experience in the field, recruiting for some of the most high-security businesses in the world, but also a team of cyber security managed service experts in the form of Morson Cyber Security. They have contacts within the industry to help us source specific candidates for more niche roles. These particular roles bring us onto one of the most pressing cyber recruitment challenges:

Who can find me rare or passive candidates?

Cyber professionals can come from various backgrounds. Often, the most highly skilled, specialist (and hence most sought-after) candidates are not the sort of people who will need to be advertising their CVs or actively looking for jobs. This is where headhunting comes in, and having the right network of contacts is crucial for finding those rare, specialist skillsets. As mentioned above, Morson Cyber Security work with companies as part of their managed service who utilise specialist ethical hackers and data analysts – meaning the right skillset for the job is never far away.

Knowing how to approach these candidates is also one of the key challenges. We have learned that we need to be prepared, armed with information and able to speak in a language that the candidate will respond to. Going in ill-prepared – particularly when headhunting – does not create the best impression and the best candidates are not short of potential employment opportunities elsewhere. It’s about knowing your stuff.

What are the cyber recruitment challenges that businesses will face with regards to retention?

With the talent shortage being talked about so much, recruiters are scrambling to find candidates to fill roles for their clients, casting their nets ever further afield in order to do this. But it’s not just the lack of talent that’s an issue. Most talent is centered around cities, naturally, and there are separate challenges with regards to to attracting professionals to go out and work and potentially remote sites (for example, a nuclear power station like Sellafield or Hinkley). Companies need to accept the reality that with things as they are, they’re going to be paying premium salaries for the best talent.

Nobody knows of the talent shortage more than the candidates themselves. Highly-skilled, SC or DV-cleared experts command huge fees as a result of this, and will always be in the sights of another recruiter wanting to place them with another client.

Want to find qualified recruiters who solve your cyber recruitment challenges? To find out more contact us at itrecruitment@morson.com 

Or, looking for your next cyber security role? Check out our current jobs


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