Hiring For A Senior Cyber Security Role In 2019: What You Need To Know, by Simon Hember, Director, Acumin Consulting



2018 was another challenging year for cybersecurity professionals; from the introduction of GDPR to high-profile cyber breaches involving the likes of Uber, Marriott and British Airways, not to mention a well-documented cyber-skills shortage set to be compounded by Brexit in 2019.

As we enter 2019 and evolving technologies such as AI, autonomous vehicles and embedded medical devices give rise to new threats, recruiting cyber talent will be ever-more critical and ever-more challenging. Security leaders must therefore consider how their cyber-strategy impacts the recruitment and developing of staff, and how they can work with partners across their organisation to ensure the building and development of strong teams.

Attracting cyber-talent in 2019

To recruit talented cybersecurity staff in a candidate-driven market, organisations must demonstrate that they consider cybersecurity a board-level issue, and welcome innovation. Talented cyber professionals want to know they have the attention and support of seniors in these fast-paced and, often mentally taxing roles. Financial reward is important but organisations must show candidates they will be given opportunities to train and develop.

Candidates are increasingly attracted by access to industry mentoring - programmes which CISOs can utilise HR’s experience to develop. In this sector you cannot simply buy loyalty and that’s where visible strategy will be so important in the recruitment and retention of talent. Security leaders must be able to demonstrate to candidates that there is a clear security development roadmap that considers individual career development and opportunities to diversify within a role.

Identifying the right roles to future-proof your organisation

Cybersecurity is a constantly evolving sector and when it comes to job titles there are few firmly agreed descriptors in use. Without standard terms CV’s may not clearly specify skills that align with the job description but that doesn’t mean the candidate doesn’t possess what’s required. In a climate of cyber-skills shortages, it will be increasingly important to demonstrate flexibility in hiring for cyber.

As a developing sector cybersecurity teams must work closely with HR to help them keep apace with technological change, and the roles this will demand. For example, through 2019 we will see new roles emerge as technologies such as autonomous cars, connected medical devices and artificial intelligence boom. These will demand very specific skills to ensure implementation is secure and safe. How will your HR function recruit and support brand new roles, the likes of which will require supreme talent and board-level support to succeed?

Make 2019 a year of collaboration and diversification

With these challenges, in 2019 cybersecurity will need to work closely with HR to make sure that hiring processes allow for subject matter experts to be closely involved and supported. Equally, CISOs must ensure that they work with HR to understand how to encourage those with diverse backgrounds or needs to apply for roles, facilitating any workplace adjustments necessary to enable accessibility and safeguard employees. Whether race, gender or neurodiversity, cyber is a sector that demands different approaches and innovative thinking.