2020 brought many transformations to the cybersecurity community. The key takeaway from our perspective here at CyberSN was the change to the talent seeker and the job seeker as it relates to the hiring process. In short: the roles and expectations of both cybersecurity professionals seeking employment, and hiring managers looking to fill job vacancies have changed forever.
Cyber professionals are in high demand and have experienced different modes of working as the pandemic took hold. Many cyber professionals set up an office at home without affecting their productivity. Cyber professionals who were hiring had to adjust how they were acquiring talent and the changes they needed to make to attract, vet, and retain quality cyber talent.
In support of this, we’ve outlined five ways cybersecurity hiring has changed forever (with one bonus prediction):
This is probably the biggest, most obvious realization that came out of the 2020 pandemic. Remote work is no longer a privilege. It is now expected in every cybersecurity job. Cybersecurity has evolved from the days when cyber professionals rarely were allowed to work offsite to a time where they’re rarely mandated to work on premise. So long as productivity and security remain optimal, this likely will not change. If your company doesn’t have a permanent work from home policy, you will be a much less attractive employer for cyber professionals. Make sure your company is prepared. It’s no longer a request. It’s an expectation.
Remember the days when a cyber professional would dress up, drive to a company, pay inflated parking rates, and be subjected to a series of face-to-face interviews? Many times, they would be subjected to re-answering the same questions over and over. Most of the interviews were conducted secretly so their current employer wouldn’t find out. Cyber pros were forced to make excuses so they could take a day off to interview for a new opportunity. This is no longer the case. CyberSN has not had an in-person interview since early 2020. Everyone on both sides of the interview lens should be prepared for video interviews, which means paying special attention to your surroundings to make sure it’s what you want people to see.
Compensation has been on the rise as the demand for experienced cyber professionals continues to skyrocket. Compensation is typically salary and bonuses, though cyber professionals are also being offered generous stock option packages and other benefits where available. Take inventory of all the good things your company has to offer in addition to money and put it on the table if you want to be competitive in attracting and hiring cyber professionals. Like cyber salaries and applicable benefits packages, demand for cyber pros will only continue to grow, so if you’re not weighing out what you have now and presenting your best offer, you’re not going not going to fare well.
The interview process for cyber professionals is faster than ever. We are seeing offers being presented on the same day of the interviews. We even had one during the interview. If you’re hiring, be prepared to move quickly with an offer. If you’re interviewing, be prepared to field an offer and make a decision quickly, sometimes right on the spot. Those who are prepared to move quickly (and do) will benefit greatly in this hiring market. It’s no longer an option to sit around and wait. If a person feels like a good fit, make a move, or else risk that person moves on to the next readily abundant opportunity.
While we’ve placed most of the focus on the hiring teams to put their best foot forward, there are also developments that lean the other way (towards the cyber professionals seeking new jobs). Make note that almost every new opportunity we are involved with is requiring Cloud/SaaS experience.
There is a greater focus on securing all cloud applications. It’s no longer the responsibility of a few security or IT professionals. It’s now the responsibility of all cyber and IT professionals. Users are geographical spread out these days, and they’re relying on cloud applications and file sharing more than ever. Securing these systems and data has never been so vital to an organization and it’s employees. It’s impossible to rely on a few individuals to be able to protect the vast amount of data that is spread out throughout the U.S. Thus, Cloud/SaaS experience is a must. If you don’t have it as a working piece of your portfolio, it’s time to dive in, else risk being overlooked.
As we mentioned above, remote working is expected by all who are employed within the cyber industry. But that expectation for flexibility will no longer be unique to a cyber professional’s “physical” presence. Soon that flexibility will be associated with time. No longer will work hours fit into the typical 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. window. Different work habits by different people spread out over multiple time zones will require a lot more flexibility.
Households with children require organizations to allow workers flexibility in their workday. Also, it’s become quite commonplace for employees to take pause for a few mental health breaks. So many workers are cooped up in their homes and only leave to get their mail. Organizations will have to be flexible on the specific times that people login, and instead, focus on the work that is produced to make sure the job is being done. Productivity is the key metric here. So long as the work is getting accomplished on time it shouldn’t matter so much when it’s getting done.
It’s pretty incredible to watch an industry grow, and we’ve been lucky enough to play a role in one we’re very passionate about. The changes we’ve outlined above are a direct result of the last 12 months we’ve all experienced. It’s amazing how much things can change in such a short amount of time.
If you need help figuring out the right solutions for your cyber needs, give us a call. We’re here to help!