Cybersecurity Recruiting to Strengthen Your Security Posture

Published February 26, 2024
by Jordan Hickam

Cyber threats loom, and organizations are in a relentless battle to protect digital assets and sensitive information. Meanwhile, the entire cybersecurity industry continues to feel the crunch of an ongoing issue: a growing shortage of skilled personnel. Finding, recruiting, and retaining qualified cybersecurity talent is a strategic imperative for organizations seeking to safeguard their digital assets. The right people in the right roles can significantly impact your ability to prevent breaches, identify threats, mitigate cyber risks, and provide your organization with needed resilience in the face of an ever-evolving cyber landscape.

A Widening Cybersecurity Workforce Gap

In its 2023 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC2) estimates the global cybersecurity workforce at 5.5 million—nearly a 9% increase from the year prior. At the same time, the global workforce gap grew by almost 13%. ISC2 estimates that roughly 4 million more cybersecurity professionals are needed worldwide. 

Seventy-five percent of the nearly 15,000 international decision-makers surveyed by ISC2 report the current cyber threat landscape as the most challenging of the past five years. Over two-thirds of respondents reported facing a cybersecurity staff shortage, and 92% say they have skills gaps within their organizations. 

Targeting the Cybersecurity Skills Gap

Employee training and ongoing educational professional development can help shrink the skills gaps emerging in cloud computing security, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and zero-trust implementation. However, skill growth and personnel development are just one piece of the security posture puzzle. 

Cisco Secure’s Security Outcomes Report reveals that organizations fostering a strong security culture also see a 46% increase in overall resilience. Your ongoing investments in employee training, development, and upskilling can serve two purposes:

  1. Continuously improving cybersecurity professionals’ skills and knowledge helps them keep pace with the industry’s always-changing landscape, increasing the likelihood they’ll be able to identify and prevent potential hacks, cyberattacks, breaches, or other threats. 
  2. Offering employees no-cost opportunities to pursue specific cybersecurity certifications, skills, or capabilities becomes an enticing and valuable retention tool. Long-tenured employees tend to contribute to a strong security culture. Consistent turnover, on the other hand, can create opportunities for security vulnerabilities to occur—in addition to demanding time and resources devoted to further hiring and onboarding efforts. 

Cybersecurity Recruitment Tips

A proactive cyber defense requires not only technological solutions but also depends on human intelligence and intuition. 

Attract Talent With a Compelling Job Posting

In the competitive landscape for cybersecurity professionals, attracting talent that aligns with your organization’s values and goals in the realm of cybersecurity starts with a quality job posting. In addition to a competitive salary and benefits, several elements can help your job opportunity stand out.

  • Clear Job Title. Use a specific and accurate job title that reflects the role’s seniority and specialization (e.g., Senior Cybersecurity Analyst, Penetration Tester, Cybersecurity Engineer).
  • Engaging Job Summary. A concise yet compelling job summary outlining the role’s primary objective and its importance within the organization helps applicants quickly identify whether they align with your needs. 
  • Clearly Defined Job Requirements and Responsibilities. To help candidates picture themselves in the role, provide a detailed list of its key responsibilities, specifying both day-to-day tasks and strategic contributions. Avoid internal jargon or company-specific processes candidates won’t recognize. 
  • Categorized Skills, Qualifications, and Certifications. If the role needs specific technical skills (e.g., proficiency in particular programming languages, knowledge of specific security frameworks), relevant certifications (e.g., CISSP, CEH), and educational requirements, distinguish between “required” and “preferred” qualifications to encourage a diverse range of applicants. While having technical skills is essential, you can teach some of these skills. Don’t overlook the foundational and soft skills needed to cultivate the employee into a leadership role. 
  • Unique Selling Points. Showcase what sets your organization apart. Provide insight into your organization’s culture, values, and mission. If applicable, emphasize the organization’s commitment to professional development, training opportunities, and a supportive work culture. Mention any cybersecurity awareness programs, ethical hacking events, or initiatives demonstrating the organization’s commitment to a security-centric culture. Cybersecurity professionals often value a workplace prioritizing security, continuous learning, and a collaborative atmosphere.
  • Career Growth Opportunities. Outline potential career growth paths within the organization. Note any mentorship programs or opportunities for cross-functional collaboration. Highlight any unique cybersecurity-related benefits, such as access to training programs, conference attendance, and participation in industry events.

Look Outside the Regular Hiring Avenues

There are plenty of traditional job posting sites, recruitment platforms, and business-minded social media to assist in finding cybersecurity hires. However, consider other opportunities to fill your cybersecurity workforce gaps.

  • Discover talent at professional group and national organization cybersecurity-centric conferences and seminars.
  • Seek referrals from inside your organization. Reward existing employees for bringing on friends or former coworkers from previous jobs who are a good fit.
  • Retrain current IT professionals and experienced individuals coming out of the Armed Forces who could more easily transition into a cybersecurity role.
  • Host events on college campuses, such as cybersecurity “hackathons” and offer top contenders jobs with your organization.
  • Engage contingent workers in areas where capacity and needs fluctuate.

Connect with Cybersecurity Expertise in RAMPxchange Marketplace

Organizations can find more people, resources, tools, and cybersecurity solutions to strengthen their security posture in RAMPxchange. From cybersecurity consultants to third-party service providers and more, the RAMPxchange marketplace helps connect organizations and agencies with the cybersecurity expertise they need. Reach out to a RAMPxchange representative to join and learn more today.