It’s safe to assume that pretty much every company today has some form of digital touchpoint.  Whether you are a full-blown tech organisation, a beauty salon taking digital bookings, or somewhere in between, you’ll have a requirement for some level of cyber security and protection.

If you are looking to hire an additional, or your first, cyber security professional you may like to know you’re in good company. A recent survey found that when asked, 43% of technology managers plan to hire security, privacy, and compliance talent by the end of 2022.

The digital revolution, our reliance on data, and remote working have created a requirement for cybersecurity professionals like never before. This triad of factors has collided to make cybersecurity professionals one of the most in-demand tech jobs today.  This, coupled with a seriously tight jobs market, means that attracting and securing cyber talent is harder than ever.

How to hire cybersecurity professionals.

Here are some tips on getting ahead of the competition.

Potential is king.

Many employers evaluate potential employees based on a list of credentials. Whilst some, such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) are a benchmark of a candidate’s cybersecurity expertise, employers who overlook potential are doing themselves a disservice.

When recruiting for cyber security talent, employers should consider hiring based on the potential to succeed rather than the accreditations already held by a candidate. Skills such as a desire to learn, determination, time management, adaptability, and passion for the industry can’t be taught.

You may like to relook at your job descriptions. Consider re-writing these without the long lists of necessary skills and experience.

Instead, you may like to consider

  • A handful of must-have qualifications and place the rest under a desirable sub-header.
  • Underline that entry level roles are open to entry level candidates.
  • Emphasise that eagerness to learn and a genuine cybersecurity interest are your priorities.
  • Consider applicants who have taken less conventional paths to a cyber security career. Technical training programmes rather than university degrees, for example.

Change your talent pool.

Like much of the IT industry, the cyber security sector still lives up to the white, male stereotype.  Considering that less than 1 in 4 cyber security professionals are women, there’s a wealth of untapped talent out there.

To create a more diverse talent pipeline

  • Re-look at your job descriptions and make sure they are free from gendered language.
  • Consider the lived experiences of those candidates who fall outside the majority.
  • Candidates from minority backgrounds are often not extended the same educational privileges as the white, middle class. This is another (very good) reason to eliminate extensive qualifications from your people requirements.

Are you interested in how closing the digital skills gap will support social mobility?  Read our recent blog here.

Salary and flexibility.

Salaries across the tech industry are on the rise. Many organisations are using salary packages as an incentive to attract and hire top tech talent. One-third of technology leaders said they’re willing to offer a higher salary to compete for top security, privacy, and compliance talent.  With that in mind, you should aim to offer as high a salary as you can afford to be in cotention

However, if you are a start-up or don’t have the deep pockets of your adversaries, all is not lost.  Many candidates can be won over with other options, such as remote working and genuine flexibility within a role.  You can give yourself a fighting chance by having transparent conversations about candidates’ preferred work arrangements and doing all you can to meet them.


Another option open to you if you are looking to hire cyber security talent is to be flexible around the type of work you are offering. Many organisations are turning to contract staff to fill the cyber security gap. When facing permanent candidate shortages, 79% of tech managers are using contract workers, while 72% plan to use them in the coming 12 months.

Upskilling and professional development.

Upskilling and developing your tech team is crucial if you want to hire and retain top tech talent. The same survey, states that more than 33% of tech managers are promoting employees internally to keep top their A players challenged and satisfied.

Organisational mobility and investment in professional development programs are critical in keeping your employees.

You may like to consider

  • Offering programs from third party companies like Microsoft, AWS, and Oracle.
  • Subsidising or footing the bill for IT certifications and training.
  • Succession planning: identify common needs for entry-level talent and build internal programs to meet those needs. You’ll soon become known as an employer who invests in its people. Who doesn’t want to work for an organisation like that?

Staying ahead of the game when looking to recruit top cyber talent means you are protecting your own data and systems from attack as well as the data you hold on others. First-class protection is essential for your business continuity and organisational reputation. We hope these tips have set you up for success.

Are you wondering which cybersecurity roles you need to protect your organisation?  Read our blog The 5 cybersecurity professionals your company needs.

We are experts in IT, tech and digital recruitment. Our consultants have extensive networks of permanent and contract cyber security talent.

If you are looking for help searching out your next cyber security professional, reach out today.

We’d love to help you!

About the author: As a founder of Ignite Digital Talent, I lead our brilliant team to ensure we deliver time and time again for our clients. I also stay closely networked with industry influencers to ensure we are well placed to understand the issues and challenges our clients face.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Scroll To Top