February 16, 2022

Overcoming the Challenges of Cybersecurity Executive Search When Seeking Talented New Leaders

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Cybersecurity threats and challenges continue to grow more serious, even with efforts taken by businesses to beef up their cyber defenses. Wolf Hill Group, a respected national cybersecurity executive search firm that specializes in hiring top talent for companies in many sectors, is well equipped to partner with your organization when seeking talented cybersecurity leaders.  

Recent headline-making cybersecurity breaches demonstrate the need for companies to take critical steps to recruit and hire the most talented cybersecurity leaders they can find to build teams, develop strategy, and implement strategic cybersecurity operations across all operational vectors.  Wolf Hill Group delivers the cybersecurity leadership that builds and protects amazing organizations like yours.

Partnering with a top cybersecurity executive search firm like Wolf Hill Group can help you gain access to high caliber talent networks in real time. Those connections are invaluable when conducting cybersecurity executive searches in today’s hyper-competitive cybersecurity talent landscape.

The results of a recent CNBC Technology Executive Council survey demonstrate the challenges that companies face when conducting a cybersecurity executive search. Nearly half of the survey’s respondents reported that finding sufficient cybersecurity talent is the biggest risk facing their organization in the coming year. Cyber talent is indeed scarce in an age of rising cyber threats, but Wolf Hill Group is committed to helping its clients understand their unique and most urgent needs and securing the talented cybersecurity leaders necessary to help protect company assets, data, people, and systems. Wolf Hill Group works with companies across all sectors, ranging from banking and fintech to insurance and healthcare.

The CNBC survey respondents recognized that “cloud computing, machine learning, and software-defined security are critically important to their organization’s tech strategy.” Cyber criminals have myriad targets in today’s digital first society.

Writing in Security Magazine, Bharath Vasudevan stresses that the “stakes have gotten a lot higher,” arguing that the bad actors now attack with greater ease. Vasudevan points out that response actions are “typically triggered to address breaches and incidents.” Addressing immediate breaches is not enough when considering the totality of cybersecurity risks facing organizations today. Companies must assess and consistently revise their strategies and teams to stay ahead of the risks. As a leader in cybersecurity executive search, Wolf Hill Group is committed to helping companies secure and onboard high-quality cybersecurity leadership professionals with the experience and knowledge needed to build and sustain a high-performing cybersecurity program.

With the current talent shortage, it’s more challenging than ever to recruit candidates for top cybersecurity leadership positions. As a result, companies and their cybersecurity executive search partners must think outside the box to attract a robust pool of candidates. That means going beyond traditional networks and considering candidates who may not fit the traditional mold and who may not have come up through the traditional cybersecurity ranks. A recent article in TechRepublic quoted several professionals who stated that many cybersecurity positions remain unfilled when talented candidates are not considered because they lack a specific degree, significant previous experience, or certifications. Camille Stewart, the head of product strategy at Google, said that the cybersecurity industry is “fraught with high and often unnecessary certification requirements.”

Gerald Chertavian, the founder and CEO of the workforce development organization Year Up, recently told CNBC that companies cannot exclusively rely upon on-campus recruiting because of the limitations and the exclusion of talented candidates. If you rely only on individuals who have a four-year degree, he said, you “exclude 84% of Latinos and 78% of African Americans” from consideration.

The World Economic Forum reveals "troubling" statistics on demographics in cybersecurity and indicates that diversity and inclusion can help resolve the significant talent shortage. Although women comprise 51 percent of the U.S. population, they only represent 24 percent of the workforce in cybersecurity.  The organization sees the demographics of other groups as more troubling. Blacks make up only nine percent of the cybersecurity workforce. Asians represent eight percent of the cybersecurity workforce. Hispanics make up just four percent of the workforce in cybersecurity.  

The World Economic Forum suggests that working to improve the existing environment for underrepresented groups could have “lasting positive impacts.”  As one of the nation’s top cybersecurity executive search firms, Wolf Hill Group understands the importance of diversity and hiring top talent when working with client companies to find and secure the ideal pool of candidates during a cybersecurity executive search.

The best cybersecurity executive search firms have the existing relationships in place to leverage during a leadership search. And those relationships are inclusive of rising BIPOC stars who are seeking leadership opportunities in cybersecurity. As journalist Mike Elgan writes in Security Intelligence, “businesses still face a huge diversity gap in the cybersecurity field, driving the need to hire more women and people from minority groups. One small bright spot is the chance to hire remote workers anywhere, rather than pulling from people who live within commuting distance of the office.”

Wolf Hill Group also believes that employees who identify with the values of their company display higher levels of engagement and work satisfaction. That is one reason that cultural assessment is a critical component of every cybersecurity executive search that we perform.  

The cybersecurity executive search specialists at Wolf Hill Group understand the multi-faceted challenges that companies face when trying to identify and secure the talented leaders they need to drive their cybersecurity strategy. That’s why each cybersecurity executive search begins with a deep dive and a thorough assessment of the company’s needs and culture to help ensure that the candidate pool is replete with prospects who will fit the bill.

Salary is another challenge to hiring top cybersecurity leaders. Newly released compensation data reveal that current demands for the top talent in cybersecurity have sent salaries soaring.

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