May 25, 2022

Cybersecurity Executive Placement 101: How to Win the war for Talent

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The war for top cybersecurity leadership talent rages on, with companies fiercely competing for cybersecurity leadership professionals at a time when serious cyber talent shortages threaten the security and sanctity of organizations in every business vertical. For those companies with internal cyber teams, successful cybersecurity executive placement is of paramount importance in order to secure the strong leaders necessary to build the teams and the strategies needed to deter and defend against costly cyber-attacks.

As a nationwide cybersecurity leadership search firm, Wolf Hill Group is a premier partner for VC and PE-backed growth stage small- and mid-size companies in banking, critical infrastructure, fintech, healthcare, insurance, transportation, energy and utilities, as well as in all market segments of the cybersecurity industry seeking to attract top talent through a smart and efficient cybersecurity executive placement strategy. Our professional recruiters are experienced cybersecurity executive placement specialists with whom candidates can relate to, respect, and trust, and we take pride in building robust and diverse candidate pools, providing our client partners with a significant edge over the competition.

The War for Top Cybersecurity Talent

Companies that continue to rely exclusively on traditional methods and networks for finding cybersecurity leaders are less likely to find the best candidates. But when companies partner with a retained cybersecurity leadership search firm like Wolf Hill Group, they demonstrate their commitment to hiring top talent. These are the companies where outstanding candidates want to work!

A recent workforce study found that the U.S. cybersecurity workforce grew by 30 percent in 2021, yet 60 percent of survey respondents indicate that their organizations continue to face direct risks related to shortages in cybersecurity talent. Finding talented leaders to help fill some of those gaps is a complicated and often expensive endeavor, but Wolf Hill Group has the established networks and relationships in place to pave the way for successful cybersecurity executive placements at small- and mid-size companies and non-profits throughout the country.

Our unique capacity to identify and recruit passive candidates – those who are not currently looking for new opportunities – enhances the chances of securing an extremely talented cybersecurity leader who will be the right match for your company and your company culture. And when you partner with a retained and exclusive search firm like ours, your professional stature in the marketplace is greatly enhanced.

Some companies haven’t prioritized the development of a diverse cybersecurity leadership team or the importance of cybersecurity executive placement. In an article in Harvard Business Review, cyber and digital strategist Matthew Doan explains that although cyber risks abound, companies often still struggle to treat cybersecurity as more than a “back-office job.” Because of that misconception, companies may not be compelled to engage the services of an executive recruiter that specializes in cybersecurity executive placement, thereby missing out on dozens of qualified candidates who could bring tremendous value to the organization. That is an expensive lost opportunity.

Cybercrime Magazine reports that cybercrime, which inflicted an estimated $6 trillion in damages in the U.S. during 2021, will cost an estimated $10.5 trillion annually globally by 2025. Companies that aren’t protected by rich, robust, and diverse cybersecurity teams will bear the blunt of those costs, making it even more imperative for them to partner with cybersecurity executive placement experts like Wolf Hill Group that prioritize targeted sourcing based on their clients’ unique needs.

Recruiting diverse cybersecurity specialists and leaders is critically important in today’s competitive marketplace. Companies with significantly more racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to outperform competitors. And inclusive companies are 1.7 times more innovative and 120% more likely to hit financial goals. Diverse teams see a 60% improvement in decision-making as compared with their peers. For all these reasons, it makes sense to partner with the cybersecurity executive placement team at Wolf Hill Group. We also offer a full suite of DEI services to help organizations build and sustain an inclusive workplace, which will help retain current workers and attract new ones.

Many businesses rely on the expertise of the respected cybersecurity executive placement specialists at Wolf Hill Group to gain access to our extensive networks of talented and accomplished diverse candidates – both passive and active – who will be a beneficial addition to their executive team and will help build a healthy and sustainable culture of cybersecurity at their organization.

Hiring and Retaining Top Cybersecurity Leaders

Education and backgrounds matter, but it is no longer essential for cybersecurity specialists to possess a university degree. And cybersecurity leaders can come from myriad backgrounds with a wide range of experience, something that the cybersecurity executive placement specialists at Wolf Hill Group are attuned to. We seek candidates from both traditional and non-traditional sources, and we seek references from throughout our well-established networks.

Ours is a firm committed to completing all executive searches efficiently and successfully. Because we are retained, we can commit to deploying the resources necessary to identify ideal candidates who are not actively looking and convince them to interview with our client partners. Our professional recruiters also understand the types of companies that leading performers are attracted to. Having a healthy workplace culture is top of the list.

As Brian McGowan writes in CIO Review, “What can we do to recruit and retain the talent we need to successfully operate our cybersecurity programs? …As leaders, we need to take a close look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we foster a culture that increases retention or compels team members to leave. Focus on individual growth plans. Get to know team members and their personal interests. Recognize team member accomplishments. Operate with transparency and hold team members accountable for high-quality work. We have control over how we treat people and treating them well is at the core of creating lasting relationships and retaining team members.”

Stop looking for top talent to fit a certain mold and refusing to hire a candidate if they do not fit that mold. Make the most of hiring new cybersecurity leadership talent by investing in training and retention.

Remember that talented leaders have the upper hand in this tight labor market so it is more important than ever for companies and their cybersecurity executive placement partners to execute a smart and targeted strategy if they want to land the ideal candidate. The cybersecurity executive placement team at Wolf Hill Group is not only skilled at finding and attracting top candidates, but also in serving as a third-party buffer to keep negotiations on track until the deal is signed. We also offer a hybrid retained search and pay-for-performance model that fits our client partners’ needs for speed and quality while reducing their exposure.

The cybersecurity executive placement search specialists at Wolf Hill Group are prepared to work with you and your organization when you need to recruit top cybersecurity talent. We are nationwide. We are experienced. And we have the resources and networks in place to make your cybersecurity leadership search a successful one.

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