A Better Approach to Building Your Cybersecurity Team

July 26, 2021

At a glance:

  • Cybersecurity growing pains: Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand but appear in short supply, leaving businesses’ data security at risk.
  • The root of the issue: One theory for the supposed talent shortage is that hiring models aren’t modernizing as quickly as the cybersecurity industry, leading those businesses to unnecessarily filtering out qualified candidates.
  • Consider a new approach: If you have vacant cybersecurity positions, you need to act swiftly to fill them. Keep reading for some fresh ideas on finding the best candidates faster.

Put data security first by prioritizing a fully staffed cybersecurity team. Contact Aprio Talent Solutions to learn how we can fill those vacancies faster.

The full story:

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists Information Security Analysts as the 10th fastest-growing occupation in the U.S., but 55% of companies surveyed by ISACA have unfilled cybersecurity positions. It seems the supply of cybersecurity professionals can’t keep up with the rising demand, and companies’ data security is paying the price.

In fact, the same ISACA survey also found that 68% of companies that experienced a cyberattack last year had an understaffed cybersecurity team. So how can companies overcome this critical shortage of qualified cybersecurity workers and better protect their critical data?

Consider changing your hiring approach

It’s easy to jump to the conclusion that the entire cybersecurity industry is simply facing a talent shortage, but there may be another explanation. If your company has been struggling to fill open cybersecurity or IT positions, take a look at your hiring approach. Do you require applicants to have a 4-year degree? Do you prioritize certifications over real-world experience? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you’re likely filtering out highly qualified candidates from your applicant pool.

Cybersecurity is a rapidly changing industry where a 4-year education or standard certifications won’t necessarily signify a more qualified or experienced candidate. Hands-on experience and more diverse skillsets can often amount to an equally, if not more, qualified individual.

Here are 3 modern hiring approaches that will flip your preconceptions about cybersecurity skillsets:

  1. Prioritize talent over education – sometimes, all a college degree proves is an ability to pay for an education, not an individual’s innate talents or commitment to learning. Don’t write off the self-taught candidate.
  2. Value experience over certifications – the same can be said for certifications. Which person would you rather have in charge of your data security: someone who dedicated time to learning on the job or someone whose entire experience comes from an online course?
  3. Choose complementary skillsets over technical proficiency – soft skills are equally important as the technical skills for effective cybersecurity staffing; it is a support role, after all, which requires effective communication and collaboration. You need a well-rounded team with diverse strengths.

Companies willing to be more flexible in the types of candidates they consider may find their hiring pool expand significantly. Still, it can be a challenging transition. The biggest hurdle most companies will face is figuring out how to assess these nontraditional qualifications and determine a candidate’s aptitude without becoming completely buried in resumes and interviews. That’s where Aprio Talent Solutions can help.

Unlike traditional recruiters, Aprio Talent Solutions has the deep industry experience to know what makes a qualified cybersecurity applicant. Every candidate we find will be fully vetted by our own team of experienced IT and cybersecurity experts, so you can focus on choosing the best fit instead of filtering out the bad.

Related Resources

The bottom line

Stop fretting over the cybersecurity hiring crisis and contact Mitch Nelson, Executive Vice President of Aprio Talent Solutions. No matter your hiring needs, Aprio Talent Solutions can create a custom hiring model that uses our relationship-recruiting and Aprio-vetted methods to help you achieve transformative growth without the recruiting headaches.

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About the Author

Mitchell Nelson

I provide advisory and digital transformation and IT solutions to businesses of all sizes — from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. I advise C-level executives and key business decision-makers, as well as technology, sales and marketing professionals. My solutions are relevant to any industry, but I primarily focus on the healthcare, financial services, consumer goods, manufacturing and retail sectors.