March 26, 2024

4 Ways to Hire Qualified Cybersecurity Executives to Protect Your Business

By: sanjay sathe

The cybersecurity industry is facing a talent shortage and significant competition for qualified talent, with 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally (750,000 of which are in the U.S.). This represents a 350% increase since 2013—a trend that’s expected to continue through at least 2025. 

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Amid this shortage, Gartner also predicts that nearly half of cybersecurity leaders will change jobs by 2025, meaning organizations will be competing to replace executives in an increasingly tight job market.

Given the challenges and complexity associated with finding and hiring qualified cybersecurity executives, taking a traditional approach to executive search no longer works. Traditional executive search operates primarily offline and is transactional, time-consuming, and expensive. With this approach, by the time your organization fills an open leadership role, you may have already been targeted by a security breach, phishing attack, or other cyber threat. 

Below, we’ve outlined how taking a modern approach to executive recruitment can help you hire the best-fit leaders for your open cybersecurity roles, while reducing costs and time to hire and supporting diversity initiatives.

1) Access qualified candidates with accomplishment-based matching

A survey of cybersecurity professionals from ISC2 found that 67% of respondents reported that their organization has a shortage of cybersecurity staff and 92% report having skills gaps in their organization.

Traditional executive search firms often pass around the same candidates to different companies—even if they aren’t the right fit for a particular open role. Each chief information security officer (CISO) and other cybersecurity leadership role has different requirements unique to your organization and it’s critical that you hire the right candidates based on your specific needs. Rather than evaluating cybersecurity executive candidates based on skills, understanding individuals’ past accomplishments is a strong indicator and predictor of future performance. SucceedSmart modern executive recruitment platform leverages proprietary, patented, AI-powered accomplishments-based matching technology to match best-fit candidates with open positions based on specific job descriptions. 

In the cybersecurity space, past accomplishments may include

  • Achieving compliance with relevant regulatory and industry standards such as SOC 2, NIST, and PCI 
  • Leading teams in effectively detecting, containing, and recovering from security breaches or cyber attacks
  • Implementing new technologies or strategies to improve threat detection and prevention capabilities, decreasing the organization’s vulnerability to attacks as a result
  • Developing and implementing cybersecurity training programs for employees 

2) Reduce hiring time and costs with AI-powered technology

Given the significant cybersecurity talent shortage and increasing sophistication of cyber threats, organizations can’t afford to have lengthy recruitment processes and go months with vacant leadership positions.

A report from McKinsey & Company projects that damage from cyberattacks will amount to about $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, a 300% increase from 2015 levels. 

The longer a cybersecurity position goes unfilled, the more your organization—and your customers—risk being exposed to rapidly evolving threats. Additionally, given the competitive market for cybersecurity talent, organizations risk losing their best candidates to other opportunities if the hiring process takes too long. 

With a traditional executive search process, total hiring time can take four to six months and firms typically charge 33% of each executive’s first year total compensation—even if the role goes unfilled. By leveraging an advanced platform like SucceedSmart, AI-powered technology can automate candidate matching and routine administrative tasks, reducing the total hiring time to 4-6 weeks and decreasing costs by up to 70%.

3) Build a diverse, inclusive cybersecurity executive team while supporting confidentiality  

In addition to helping you reach qualified cybersecurity candidates and reducing hiring time and costs, an AI-powered executive recruitment platform can promote diversity, inclusivity, and confidentiality in your hiring process. The survey of cybersecurity professionals from ISC2 cited above found that 65% of respondents said it’s important that their team is diverse and 57% said DEI will continue to become more important for their security team over the next five years. 

In 2023, SucceedSmart launched a generative AI platform, Taylor, which can create unbiased, accomplishment-based job descriptions in minutes. The platform also includes capabilities to review existing job descriptions, flag biases and exclusionary language, and recommend essential changes. This can help ensure your organization doesn’t turn away potential cybersecurity executive candidates with unintentionally biased job descriptions. 

Rather  than having a member of your team manually review each candidate, AI-powered, accomplishment-based matching also minimizes biases during the hiring process while supporting confidentiality for executive candidates. 

SucceedSmart leverages a “single-blind” approach to promote diversity and inclusivity in the hiring process. This approach also prioritizes privacy by giving executives complete control over which organizations can view their profile. Showing a commitment to privacy and confidentiality in the hiring process can help you attract top cybersecurity executives, as they’re likely just as mindful about securing their own personal information as they are about protecting company information for their employer. 

4) Ensure new cybersecurity executives acclimate quickly with executive coaching

Any time your organization hires new cybersecurity executives, you’ll want to make sure they get up to speed quickly and begin making positive contributions to the business as soon as possible. You can support this by offering executive coaching to new cybersecurity executives. 

Each new hire through SucceedSmart receives six months of complimentary executive coaching, which is mutually beneficial to both organizations and new leaders. Executive coaching helps new executive hires acclimate quickly and improve soft skills such as communication, emotional intelligence, and empathy. Partnering with a coach also enables cybersecurity leaders to be better positioned to make a more immediate impact on the business and protect against evolving, sophisticated cyber threats. 

SucceedSmart can help fill your critical cybersecurity executive roles 

At SucceedSmart, we have in-depth knowledge of the specific challenges related to hiring executives in the cybersecurity space. Our unique blend of AI-powered technology and human expertise can help you hire qualified leaders capable of detecting and protecting your business and its customers against the latest threats in a dynamically changing cybersecurity landscape.

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