In less than 12 months, the cyber security sector workforce has risen to 58,000 professionals in the UK, a 10% increase. This increase is unlikely to slow with over 25,000 cyber security roles currently open in the UK.
With the UK Cyber sector now reaching £10.5 billion as in industry, the need to grow and improve the skills of cyber talent in the UK is more important than ever.
The UK government has reported high numbers of applications into their Upskill initiative since its inception with over half the applications coming from women, and geographically over 50% from outside of London and the southeast.
There are opportunities everywhere for cyber security professionals, throughout all levels of experience. However, being able to grow this talent is key to UK businesses continuing to be competitive in the digital era.
51% of businesses in the UK reported a cyber skills gap within their business, and in line with the number of open vacancies, businesses have reported a need for over 25,000 cyber security professionals in the next 12 months. While government initiatives are helping to get people into the cyber sector, it is not negating the real issue that businesses are facing today when it comes to getting talent.
In fact, the cyber market is showing to be one of the most difficult for businesses to resource with a jump of 9% in difficulty in 2022 from 2021, an upward trend which has been continuing throughout 2023. Many businesses cited that it was the lack of skills and knowledge which has been causing the significant lead times when looking for talent. Adding to the fact that the market is now competitive the combination of these factors is making it difficult for internal teams to find what they need quickly.
A different approach.
With the compounding issue of lack of talent, roles open for extensive periods and a competitive market, internal talent teams are having to take a different approach to get the right people in their business.
More businesses are using specialist recruitment agencies to help source the right skills, and the right fits for businesses they are not getting through the application process alone. The use of cyber recruitment specialists is unsurprising when looking at the current cyber sector landscape.
Businesses are not able to get close enough to the cyber community, relying on job specs and keywords to attract people, however, consistently this is bringing applicants with the skills the business needs. Specialist recruiters already have connections within the cyber sector and can identify potential talent who would not normally apply for roles with opportunities.
At C4S, our specialist cyber team have been able to meet the demand for partners looking for cyber talent. It has been able to produce candidates with the actual skills businesses are looking for which is significantly reducing lead times for partners.