Time to scale your business’ employee headcount with skilled and experienced professionals? Welcome to the knife fight.
Let’s start with some data.
- Talent shortages in the US have more than tripled in the last 10 years. 69% of employers struggle to fill open positions. (source)
- 50% of leading CEOs representing >15 industries named “Talent” as their top challenge going into 2022. (source)
- The Cyber Security market will hit $346 billion in 2027, up from $163 billion in 2021. (source)
This data indicates that competing for skilled talent will be a persistent challenge for the foreseeable future.
The challenges of talent acquisition for Cyber Security vendors
In 2021 investors piled $20.2 billion into ~300 cyber security vendors. While the level of interest by investors is not surprising given the projected growth of the industry, it adds to the existing challenge of chronic talent shortages. These 300 vendors need to hire and there simply are not enough experienced professionals to go around.
In this type of environment, posting a traditional job description just isn’t going to cut it. If anything, hiring managers and or HR will get bogged down by reviewing countless unqualified resumes.
Adjusting your mindset
Too often, “hiring” and “recruiting” are considered synonymous. This is a root cause contributor to many talent acquisition woes, especially in a candidate driven market.
Since mindset contributes directly to how an individual makes sense of the world and themselves, I’ll challenge you to adjust your mindset and perceive “hiring” and “recruiting” as highly differentiated terms. Defining these words in the context of your talent acquisition approach is the first step to attracting the professionals you need on the team.
Defining “Hiring” and “Recruiting”
According to Merriam-Webster, “hiring” is to give work or a job to someone in exchange for wages or a salary.
Key word in this definition is give. In this context, an employer will give, or award an open slot to one of several contenders vying for a job.
This may work in certain industries or functions of labor, but in a competitive market requiring skilled and experienced professionals, it’s not enough. In many industries, including Cyber Security, candidates are interviewing companies as much as companies are interviewing them.
As we enter 2022, we’re seeing a continued trend of Cyber Security professionals receiving and weighing several competitive offers as they gear up for a career change.
As defined by Merriam-Webster, “recruiting” is the act of securing the services of…
The act of securing something of value – in this instance the services of a skilled and experienced professional – requires a coordinated and concerted effort.
Having a plan to attract talent is key.
A strategy to attract talent
In my blog, Navigating Candidate Driven Markets we highlight key drivers to successfully planning your search.
- Creating a compelling employment value proposition
- Mapping the interview process
- Selling on every interview
In addition to these drivers, Implementing a Stellar Candidate Experience could very well be the differentiator that draws a professional to your organization versus your competitor’s.
- Appointing a candidate liaison
- Implementing a candid and direct approach
- Incorporating a consistent feedback loop
- Elevating the importance of the interview process
- Qualifying the match early and often
Companies plan to go head-to-head with their competition to win business. Messaging is created, responsibilities are delegated, and a certain amount of courting takes place. If the customer has questions during the procurement process, there is a liaison assigned to ensure those items are addressed. It’s all hands-on deck until the deal is closed.
Talent acquisition in a highly competitive, candidate driven market requires a similar dedication of strategy, coordination, and execution. Companies in competitive industries like Cyber Security cannot afford to take a nonchalant approach. Switching from a reactive “hiring” mentality, to a proactive recruitment mindset will contribute to wins in the knife fight for talent.