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The hiring dilemma continues to challenge organizations - cybersecurity and IT functions have shown a continued disparity between the number of open roles and qualified talent. At its peak, the gap included more than 3.5 million unfilled positions. Since then, the number has decreased, but there is still a long way to go before the supply of qualified talent catches up to current demand.
Many factors combined to influence the hiring market. A skills gap existed before the pandemic, but remote work pushed the need for qualified, skilled talent to higher levels than ever before. A corresponding global surge in ransomware and cyberattacks continue to fuel demand for skilled security talent, in addition to recent economic uncertainty that has strained staffing budgets across industries.
This piece explains common employment roadblocks security candidates face when seeking increasingly sophisticated roles along with guidance for both organizations and job seekers to overcome hiring obstacles.
Many of today's information security professionals have benefitted from the talent shortage trend. They've leveraged their knowledge and experience to land high-paying roles in IT and InfoSec departments across the globe. Demand is surging, turnover is high, and opportunities are plenty.
For cybersecurity leaders, this situation can cause more problems than it solves. They must not only fill open positions but also advance their group's careers, boost retention, or risk losing valuable team members to the competition. All of this comes at a cost and can impact the effectiveness of cybersecurity coverage for the organization itself.
As they try to fill security gaps, organizations are wary about losing their top-performing security employees. Advancing to senior management and leadership roles is common for star performers in other business functions but happens less in cybersecurity. Top performers are too hard to replace.
To add to these hiring gaps, potential security jobseekers often find several factors that hinder their search to land their ideal security role. Among the major roadblocks when seeking positions and advancing their careers include cybersecurity training costs, unclear career path knowledge and lack of related experience.
Ultimately, both organizations and candidates end up accepting less-than-ideal hiring results simply because both have reached plateaus with no feasible opportunities for progress or growth. Organizations may turn to third-party vendors offering managed security service packages to cover their shortfalls, but only as a contingency plan – not as a strategic goal to advance cybersecurity initiatives. Security jobseekers may end up settling for a less enriching security role that does not provide an ideal career path
READ: How to Hire and Retain Cybersecurity Talent
Some of the barriers hindering security professionals seeking advanced positions that compounds organizational hiring difficulties include:
READ: Develop Strong Career Paths to Boost Retention
Organizations that take time to be creative when seeking to cultivate security talent and align their goals accordingly will find better hiring and retention with a greater security posture. This approach enables the organization to both grow its in-house security talent and opens the hiring opportunities for qualified trainable applicants.
READ: 3 Keys to Retaining Cybersecurity Talent
The more comprehensive and unique potential and current employees' career roadmaps are, the more likely they are to stick to the path laid out for them. In a labor-tight field like cybersecurity, treating each candidate and employee on an individual basis makes sense, and can significantly impact the success of the career development initiatives you create together.
Security leaders who face security talent and retention issues need to focus on the individual goals of both potential and existing security team members. Be open to the fact that not every individual wants the same thing from their career, and you’ll gain the ability to build collaborative professional development roadmaps with your security staffers. Best practices to cultivate new security talent include:
Pay close attention to what potential and current employees want from their careers and help them build a plan to execute that vision.
Although reasonable efforts will be made to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the information contained in our blog posts, no liability can be accepted by IANS or our Faculty members for the results of any actions taken by individuals or firms in connection with such information, opinions, or advice.
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