Cyber security recruitment: Top tips for hiring the best

With such a significant skills gap in the cyber security sector, the demand for qualified and experienced professionals is at an all-time high. So, with fierce competition for the best candidates, what’s the best way to ensure your organisation hires the top applicant? Here are our top tips:

Experience isn’t everything

Just seven per cent of professionals working in cyber security are under the age of 29, and this reflects the lack of ‘new blood’ entering the sector over the last few years; however, there are plenty of skilled university graduates looking for work without relevant experience.

It’s also worth considering offering apprenticeships or internships. Available through e-skills UK, an apprenticeship gives organisations the chance to develop future talent, whilst internships give postgraduates and undergraduates the opportunity to gain work experience.

Be creative

Qualifications and experience are excellent yardsticks by which to judge potential applicants, but practical tests will demonstrate a candidate’s approach to real-time scenarios.

A government-backed competition organized by PwC in February gave professionals the chance to respond to an attack on a fictitious company. Recreating the circumstances of a security breach allowed the organisers to see how competitors worked under pressure.

Expect to pay more

Average salaries for qualified cyber security professionals are already higher than their IT counterparts, but are expected to further rise in 2015 by up to 20 per cent across some sectors.

Money isn’t everything

While you can expect to pay more in terms of salary for the best candidates, it’s worth remembering that money isn’t the only driver. Offer a package that is attractive to a wide range of candidates – one that considers flexibility, career investment and pension benefits.

Develop in-house skills

You may already be sitting on potential talent within your own organization. With fierce competition in the marketplace, you may find that additional training could give an existing employee the chance to shine.

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