6 Tips for Retaining Top Cybersecurity Talent
Businesses now understand how important it is to protect their customers' and brands' personal data. However, retaining top cybersecurity talent isn't as easy as it sounds.
The shortage of cybersecurity talent was already an issue before COVID, but combining the low numbers of workers with the Great Resignation and the number of job openings is staggering. Even though the United States added over 250,000 people to the cybersecurity industry from 2020 to 2021, the need for workers increased by 30%, leaving around 400,000 job openings in cybersecurity.
How Do You Retain Cybersecurity Talent?
Finding the right cybersecurity team for your company isn't an easy task. It takes time, effort and money to recruit just the right mix of knowledge and expertise. Once you find those workers, you don't want to lose them to the competition.
People leave their positions for many reasons. Some find a better-paying job, while others prefer to work remotely or have more flexibility. How can you retain cybersecurity professionals? The solution isn't one-dimensional. You have to look at all the reasons people walk away from a post and figure out how to keep them engaged and happy.
1. Understand Why People Leave
To ensure you keep your top talent, you first must understand why people leave their current positions. Some of the reasons include:
Dissatisfaction with growth opportunities
Lack of work/life balance
Frustration with co-workers
The reasons why people leave their employers are widely varied. Start by having frank conversations with your cybersecurity team. What do they need to be happy in their roles? What would make their jobs better?
2. Develop a Team Culture
Feeling like you're part of something bigger can be a great motivator to stick around and keep working on something. What is your company culture, and does your cybersecurity team feel as though they're an important part of the organization?
Start by ensuring your workers feel engaged. Around 85% of companies that spend 1% or more of their budgets on employee recognition see a 60% growth in engagement. Keep them informed and recognize their efforts.
3. Focus on Qualifications
You could look for candidates with tons of education from the most prestigious schools. However, nothing beats real-life experience in the platform you operate under or working with businesses your size.
Rather than only seeking specific educational elements, look for resumes where the person has already done the type of work you're hiring them to do. Hiring based on qualifications reduces stress in your employees. They already understand expectations for the role and know how to problem-solve on the job.
4. Pay What They're Worth
In-demand professionals can ask for more than the market rate, especially when they have years of experience under their belts. Look on sites showing the typical salary for the profession in your area.
Consider the total package. Perhaps you can offer perks the larger companies can't. Is it possible to add some PTO above and beyond what's expected? Could you add an on-site day care? Look for perks to ramp up the benefits package and attract top talent.
5. Appoint a Happiness Ambassador
Find someone in your company that is a good problem-solver and ask them to be your happiness ambassador. Their job should be to look for any issues and fix them before they become catastrophes.
Studies show around 39% of employees who are happier at their jobs also work harder than their dissatisfied counterparts. Your ambassador should talk to people in your company about the struggles they're facing.
Imagine you work for a company as a cybersecurity manager. Your spouse grows terminally ill, and you use up all your PTO and are worried about how you'll care for her without any time off left to take.
Enter the happiness ambassador program, which will send a representative to management to explain the situation. The company offers a paid leave of absence so the employee can care for their spouse and still have financial support.
You've just created an employee who feels fiercely loyal to your company. You've shown them you care about them and their needs. It's unlikely they'll leave your business as long as they're being paid fairly and have decent benefits. Even if they do, they'll feel more inclined to give you plenty of notice to replace them and to train a new cybersecurity manager.
6. Allow Remote Work
About 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be fully remote by the end of 2022, with continued expansion into 2023. Although some tasks must be completed in person, many can be done remotely.
The pandemic forced many people to work from home. They decided they liked the freedom and the added personal time from not having to commute to and from a job. If you don't allow those who want remote work to do so, you risk losing them to a company that will.
You could also go with a hybrid approach. Allow employees to choose which days they work from home and have them come into the office on other days.
Follow the Golden Rule
There's an adage that you should treat others the way you want to be treated. Think about what you'd want from a company if you were an in-demand top cybersecurity specialist. Offer that and more to your team.
Ask employees what else you can do to keep them. Let them know they are an important part of your brand, and they'll be much more likely to come to you should they receive an offer from a competitor. You'll then have the opportunity to match any other job pitches.
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Author Bio: Zac is the Features Editor at ReHack, where he covers cybersecurity and the tech industry. Follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn for more of his work.
About Silent Breach: Silent Breach is an award-winning provider of cyber security services. Our global team provides cutting-edge insights and expertise across the Data Center, Enterprise, SME, Retail, Government, Finance, Education, Automotive, Hospitality, Healthcare and IoT industries.