January 25, 2022

How Companies in All Sectors Can Overcome the Challenges Posed by Cybersecurity Leadership Search in a Hyper-Competitive Environment

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With the increased risks from cybercriminals across all sectors, the demand for talented cyber security executives is greater than ever. The White House recently proclaimed that cybersecurity is a core national security challenge, and it’s no wonder with ransomware attacks especially prevalent. This was made painfully clear during the recent attacks on large and small corporations that saw huge amounts of money paid to cybercriminals in exchange for captured data. CNBC reports indicate that the Colonial Pipeline ransom later recovered by the FBI  was a whopping $2.3 million paid in bitcoin.

With the growing scale and severity of cyber threats facing the oil, agriculture, manufacturing, retail, energy, finance, transportation, healthcare, and IT industries, the focus on cybersecurity leadership search strategies is taking center stage for many companies. However, filling top cybersecurity leadership positions is a tremendous challenge considering the significant shortage of cyber security leaders. A 2021 report by CBS News indicates a whopping half a million vacancies in the cybersecurity space. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the demand for information security analysts will grow by 31% over the next ten years. There are many reasons for the shortage, including the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As reported by iapp, shifting from corporate settings to remote work amid the global pandemic has increased the need for more powerful online networks and systems, which have become targets of dangerous cyber-attacks. All these developments make it all the more imperative for companies to deploy very sophisticated cybersecurity leadership search strategies to find and secure the most talented cyber professionals.

Overcoming The Challenges in Cybersecurity Leadership Search

Today's top cybersecurity leaders understand their worth and seek opportunities with the best companies with sufficient support and resources. Moreover, many are passive in the job market and can only be found through rigorous talent searches like those conducted by Wolf Hill Group, a top cybersecurity executive recruiter. However, weak branding, low compensation, and poor hiring strategies have crippled many companies' capacity to attract and retain potential cyber security leaders. Nevertheless, there are many ways such companies can overcome these challenges by partnering with Wolf Hill Group to secure top talent during their cybersecurity leadership search.

Building Strong Brands

Their brand strength speaks a lot about a company's ability to attract clients and employees. According to the Forbes Human Resources Council expert panel, a good brand helps recruiters attract and engage better candidates during a cybersecurity leadership search. Regardless of the sector, companies that invest in authentic and meaningful branding strategies stand out from the crowd and attract quality leadership prospects. Strategic branding is not a top-down exercise; it involves everyone within the organization, and it requires an authentic set of voices that resonates industry-wide.  

Communicating the values behind a strong company brand is especially important in highly competitive industries where every edge is critical. It happens though marketing and advertising, social media campaigns, digital communications, videos, blogs, and positive interactions with online reviews - both good and bad. The expert panel at Forbes also recommends using current employees as brand ambassadors to enhance your cybersecurity leadership search efforts. Word of mouth can be a particularly powerful way of expressing the special nature of a company and its workplace culture.

Creating Great Offers

The most coveted cybersecurity leaders know they are in high demand and, therefore, can be quite selective when considering job offers. In such a competitive cybersecurity market, these professionals are often fielding multiple job offers at once and therefore, it is extremely important that the cybersecurity leadership search process moves quickly.

According to the Wall Street Journal, many companies in many sectors that previously did not have chief information security officers are increasingly hiring them, resulting in a growing need for specialists with both technical and business expertise. Because of the challenge of finding security executives with all of these qualities, salaries are rising. Yet companies must be careful to stay within their budgets and will often work with a top-quality cybersecurity leadership search firm like Wolf Hill Group to ensure a robust and diverse candidate pool from which to select talented finalists.

Actively Engaging Candidates

A 2018 survey by (ISC)²  found that talented cybersecurity leaders are in the driver’s seat when negotiating a move. “Employers may be in for a struggle as they seek to fill cybersecurity vacancies and retain workers, many of whom say they are spoiled for choice when deciding to switch jobs,” according to the report. As many as 84% of leaders surveyed said they would be open to a switch, including 14% that were actively looking for a new position. Cybersecurity leadership search teams like Wolf Hill Group use their highly evolved networks and connections to find those talented leaders who are in the market and ready to make a move.  

Passive candidates who aren’t actively looking are difficult to identify, but cybersecurity leadership search experts can find them. A company that actively engages them is often able to convince them to consider and ultimately to accept an offer. However, prior to contacting passive candidates during a cybersecurity leadership search, it's important to understand their professional motivations and work preferences. This requires conducting preliminary research. With such information, recruitment communications can be personalized to focus on what the company will offer rather than what the candidate can do for the company.

Ensuring Good Candidate Experiences

To attract top cybersecurity leaders, companies must be especially attentive to ensuring a high-quality candidate experience from beginning to end. The cybersecurity leadership search process can be filled with twists and turns, which is why engaging with a top cybersecurity leadership recruiting firm like Wolf Hill Group makes complete sense.  Wolf Hill Group has the expertise and resources to move the process along smoothly and efficiently so as to maximize the chances that top leadership candidates are secured.

One pillar for creating a positive candidate experience is to set expectations up front and to communicate effectively throughout the engagement. No applicant will be satisfied if they feel left in the dark during the hiring process. If the recruiting team is conducting one-on-one interviews, it's vitally important to fully brief candidates on what they can expect and how they should prepare. This builds trust and increases the chances of a successful cybersecurity leadership search outcome.

Virtual interviews can be challenging, but the best cybersecurity leadership recruiting firms have learned over the past two years how to make the experience as seamless and pleasant as possible for both the client partner and the candidate. But once the pandemic passes, companies will have more opportunities to engage personally with top leadership candidates. In an interview published in the New York Times, Carol Smith, Elle Group's senior vice president and chief brand officer remarked that sharing a meal with a potential candidate can draw forth important aspects of their personality and leadership traits which can help companies better gauge whether or not they will be a good match with the company culture.

Working With a Top Cybersecurity Leadership Search Firm

Cybersecurity executive search firms like Wolf Hill Group have an established track record of recruiting the best talent by selling the opportunity in a way that other recruiters do not. They've developed tried-and-true methods for attracting even the most passive candidates who many recruiters miss during a typical cybersecurity leadership search. The most respected cybersecurity executive search firms build robust and diverse candidate pools giving their client partners a wide selection of candidates from which to choose.

Whether your company is in healthcare, biotech, data analytics, energy, transportation, finance, or any other sector, Wolf Hill Group has the people and resources to conduct a rigorous and successful cybersecurity leadership search and present you with the best candidates to build your cybersecurity team. For more information, and to begin your cybersecurity leadership search, contact us at 1-866-245-WOLF (9653) or reach out to us online today.

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