In 2021, you have to deal with tech no matter what your business is about. If you have a server or even just a website, you must think about both European Union’s GDPR and California’s CCPA. Governments care about online privacy a lot these days — so if you’re processing a lot of data, you want to make sure all of it is safe. Of course, you take care of that by having the right people in your team. But if you aren’t an expert in the field, it can be tricky to figure out what you need. To help you out, we’ve made a guide to hiring a cybersecurity specialist.

The problem

As more and more sectors embrace technology, it’s only natural that we need more skilled IT security workers. However, these specialists aren’t easy to come by. At the moment, about 2.72 million open positions are waiting to be filled.

The demand is high, and there aren’t enough employees to go around. So, what can we do to turn the situation around?

As it turns out, companies need to up their game. They need to change the way they pick the people they’ll hire. We know it’s not an easy thing to hear, but if you couldn’t find a cybersecurity expert to fulfill your needs for some time, the problem may have been in you.

Here are some of the best practices you should follow if you want to get it right.

A frustrated woman reading a guide to hiring a cybersecurity specialist on her laptop.

The biggest problem with the industry is that there aren’t enough workers to go around.

Find your weak spots

You want to start by thinking about is your company’s strengths and weaknesses. You must recognize your vulnerabilities to know what expert you need to plug the gap. Maybe certain areas of your security strategy are good, so you don’t have to work on them. Instead, focus on the ones you know aren’t at their best.

On the other hand, you might be thinking about the future. If you’re keeping some sensitive information, you want to stay ahead of the curve and ensure its safety is never compromised.

As experts love to say, one vulnerability is one too many. Hence, you want to create a comprehensive strategy and a team to make it a reality. Think about your hires and cover all the security areas. Remember that hiring too many people who specialize in one thing could bring you a lot of trouble as it will leave other areas open to risk.

Don’t get hung up on traditional qualifications

Most companies seek some qualifications when looking for network security experts, and we’re not saying this doesn’t make sense, but maybe you should change the way you think about it.

High tuition fees made many people ditch getting a traditional degree and dive right into the world of working and gaining experience. There’s nothing wrong with that in the eyes of experts from If someone took the non-traditional route to learn how to do the job, that doesn’t make them less competent.

On the contrary, we see that many people with the ”right” qualifications don’t know enough about working in the real world. And it’s not necessarily their fault. In this niche, experience is often more valuable than school.

Thus, in this guide to hiring a cybersecurity specialist, we advise you to keep the qualifications you require to the necessary minimum. You don’t want to stop people with the actual skills from applying because they don’t have formal credentials.

People working in the office.

A significant takeaway from this guide to hiring a cybersecurity specialist is not to be afraid of hiring self-thought experts.

Go for a diverse team

Your goal should be to make your team as diverse as possible. Only that way, they’ll be able to reach their full potential. If you hire everyone with the same background and career path, you can’t expect to see innovative ideas popping out.

Luckily, there are a few easy ways you can take to solve this problem. For example, hire a woman. Although the chances are that you have a female employee working on creating fresh content for your SEO, the world of cybersecurity is predominately male. As a result, it’s a smaller talent pool to recruit from, but if you can do it, it’ll be an excellent addition to your team.

Speak to your HR team and see how you can take your recruitment strategy to the next level. The more you can diversify your talent pipeline, the more quality of your workforce will improve.

But it won’t stop there. The word will spread out, and your company will become far more attractive to prospective employees. In the future, it’ll be much easier for you to find new talent, and that can’t be a bad thing.

Help your current employees grow

As you can see, it can be hard to find the right people to hire in this sphere. However, if you already have some employees, you can provide them with additional training to develop and advance their skills. It’ll mean a lot for their career, but it’ll mean to you even more as they’ll do more meaningful work for you.

On top of that, your workers are more likely to stay with you for longer if they see that you’re investing in their professional development. They’ll know how to respect that, and you won’t have to hire external associates.

Explore a bit about cybersecurity certifications, and learn how you can get your staff to earn them. Maybe some of your IT generalists want to get into this world, and there’s nothing wrong with producing your experts.

A man teaching coding.

Help your employees grow, and they’ll love working for you.

Be flexible

The way people work and like to work is changing. In other words, you need to know what you’re potential employees are after and offer them just that. When it comes to younger generations that dominate the IT security niche, they value job satisfaction over traditional linear career progression.

For you, this means that you’ll have to sell not only the position but also the company. You’ll have to offer:

  • A competitive salary
  • Good benefits
  • Nice work environment

However, that’s what everyone’s offering, isn’t it? Hence you need to go a step further. You want to show your potential employees that you care about their work-life balance by giving them flexibility. Don’t try to run away from remote working, graduates, or working parents, for that matter.

Your workers will do their job well if they like their place in your company, and that’s what we’re trying to get across with our guide to hiring a cybersecurity specialist. The talent is out there — you just need to find it.

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