Recruiting Cyber Security Professionals
How do cybersecurity firms pick their newest hires for the best jobs? International cybersecurity recruiter Karla Jobling reveals the insider info you’ll need to get ahead.
It’s no secret that demand for cybersecurity jobs is rising and at a rapid rate. The global cybersecurity market is expected to hit $170 billion by 2020 and cybersecurity job openings are predicted to reach 6 million by 2019.
Karla Jobling is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and founder of BeecherMadden Limited, an award-winning international recruitment company specializing in corporate governance, resilience and security, and niche technologies.
As a leading cybersecurity recruiter, Karla reveals her thoughts to Careers in Cybersecurity about what makes for a great cybersecurity hire, and the skills modern professionals will need to compete in this maturing market.
What can make someone stand out to a cybersecurity recruiter?
Passion and focus. A resume which includes speaking slots or conferences they have attended tells me that this is a candidate who loves cybersecurity, this is someone who has this as a vocation, not just a job.
That can apply to anyone at any level in the market and it is totally within the candidate’s control.
Apart from that, a focus on an area that they specialize in is very helpful. It is important to show that you fully understand your role, industry and where you want to take your career.
At the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) level, I look for a focus on business issues and an understanding of the wider cybersecurity challenges that need to be addressed.
What background, experience, and education do you look for?
At present, the demand within cybersecurity is so strong that anyone with some experience or education will be able to find a role.
The best candidates have a relevant education; this could be a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification or a degree in computer science or IT, or better yet an advanced degree in cybersecurity for long-term career advancement.
They may have worked for a consulting firm at some point, giving them exposure to different projects and industries. This also gives candidates an understanding of what they are good at and what they want to do.
Their background can be very broad. Many candidates come from an IT background, but others come from risk management or project management. Women in cybersecurity may have moved from other fields such as risk management or sales, and are bringing skills outside core technical experience.
Anyone with penetration testing experience, incident management or forensic investigations – I could get them a job within a couple of weeks. The marketing is just that hot.
How important are advanced degrees and further education in making a candidate stand out in the hiring process?
If you have an IT background and want to get into cybersecurity, taking a further qualification demonstrates your commitment to that career change. Furthermore, an advanced degree can address skills gaps that prevent upward career growth and movement into leadership.
With demand for cybersecurity professionals so high, how do you ensure you get the right people for the right cybersecurity teams?
This is key at present. There is an incredibly high demand for cybersecurity professionals, but companies have calmed down from the mass hiring and hysteria of the past couple of years. Getting the right people is now more important to them.
At BeecherMadden, we work hard to match a candidate’s expectations and requirements with the culture and opportunities of a client company.
We do this through a detailed interview and by understanding the “soft skills” needed to make that match.
A Master’s program teaches students these vital soft skills, coupling tech experience and expertise with an advanced, in-depth degree program that produces unstoppable career advancers. Find out more today.
The difference between one organization and another can be significant. We work with startups that have venture capital funding and need dynamic risk-takers, through to established companies that like polished individuals who thrive with a corporate structure.
What can cybersecurity professionals do to progress their careers and put them on the CISO track?
Understanding the technology is great, but if you can’t explain it to a less technical person in a way that makes them understand the risk, then you won’t succeed at a senior level.
Candidates can get this experience by putting themselves forward for relevant projects or client engagements. Networking and attending conferences can help candidates gain these skills. Candidates should seek an understanding of wider industry threats and keep up to date with the market so that they can progress quickly.
Where do you see the cybersecurity market evolving as the skills shortage continues and the sector grows?
Training and awareness roles are becoming more important. Companies realize that spending more on technology does not necessarily keep them safe, but that educating their staff can help them avoid being an easy target.
Machine learning and big data are also going to be key trends, as the staffing shortage means companies are forced to do more with less resources.
CISO roles are the jobs likely to evolve the most. Currently, CISOs are typically being hired to sort out a problem and are being asked to take responsibility for everything. There are also CISO roles popping up in companies that have not traditionally hired in corporate governance. This is leading to very large basic salaries. This trend will continue, but not forever!
To capitalize on these evolving trends, explore our Careers section and discover where a career in cybersecurity.