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3 ways to overcome the cybersecurity talent shortage

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​Cyber security is one of the most sort after skills in the UK. However, with an annual shortfall of over 14,000 placements each year (according to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport). However, this issue looks only set to grow with emerging disciplines such as AIOps, and DevSecOps continuing to grow. In contrast, there continues to appear to be a lack of talent.

With the formation of the UK cyber security council, support on qualifications, career progression and skills base has been needed. However, while this is great for businesses and individuals in the long term, innovation in finding talent is still required to help bridge the skills gap currently being experienced, stopping companies from accelerating as fast as they want. 

Here are three ways in which hiring managers can widen their candidate pool without compromising on talent

Mindset over Certificates

Cybersecurity has long focused on a very narrow candidate pool by insisting on specific experience, qualifications, and technical skill sets before someone might be considered. However, with the demand for roles increasing, businesses need to consider the skills and traits of an individual that matter.

Many job applications require a Bachelor's degree. However, this is old-school thinking when it comes to jobs in cyber security. Demonstrated traits such as a love of learning, calm under pressure, curiosity, and an interest in the industry create an excellent baseline for a career in cyber security which may not have the exacting qualifications that are usually expected.

Look outside of security

We already know there is a shortage within cyber security, so there is a real need to understand which transferrable skills from different industries can be applied to a role. Then, with strong training programmes, the relevant skills can be taught to bring people up to speed.

This doesn't always need to be talent from other IT backgrounds, either. Understanding the accurate skills of your role enables businesses to understand better how someone might fit into a cyber security role. For example, a person who has worked in an administration role archiving and filing in a solicitor setting would have strong detail orientation skills and so could be suited for security compliance work.

Considering someone outside of security should not be an automatic no if your department has formal training and encourages ongoing training opportunities within the business. Skills are teachable, whereas someone with the right mindset, willingness and cultural fit is more important to find.

Work with people who understand your business

When looking at potential talent, you can find that multiple agencies will field an abundance of CVs. When the criteria is particularly niche, you can find the same CV's being sent multiple times. Working with one talent provider means that when you are looking at hiring using more broad matching scope, such as attitude, cultural fit and cross-skills working with one provider means they can understand the needs of your team and the business's growth plans. This means they can successfully pre-screen talent against your needs and advertise your role in areas which can reach potential talent you would not usually get from your regular channels.

When skill needs are at an all-time high, and the talent shortage continues to halt companies' growth opportunities, considering a different approach and what matters from your next hire can make all the difference.

If you need to find talent to fulfil your cyber security role or looking to expand your team, get in touch with us.