Can global recruitment solve the cybersecurity hiring problem?

June 15, 2022  |  Devin Partida

This blog was written by an independent guest blogger.

It’s well known that there’s a pervasive cybersecurity skills shortage. The problem has multiple ramifications. Current cybersecurity teams often deal with consistently heavy workloads and don’t have time to deal with all issues appropriately. The skills shortage also means people who need cybersecurity talent may find it takes much longer than expected to find qualified candidates.

Most people agree there’s no single way to address the issue and no fast fix. However, some individuals wonder if global recruitment could be an option, particularly after human resources managers establish that there aren’t enough suitable candidates locally.

Current cybersecurity professionals planning career changes

A June 2022 study from Trellix revealed that 30% of current cybersecurity professionals are thinking about changing their careers. Gathering from a wider candidate pool by recruiting people on a global level could increase the number of overall options a company has when trying to fill open positions.

However, it’s essential to learn what’s causing cybersecurity professionals to want to leave the field. Otherwise, newly hired candidates may not stick around for as long as their employers hope. It’s also important to note that the Trellix poll surveyed people from numerous countries, including the United States, Canada, India, France, and Japan.

Another takeaway from the study was that 91% of people believed there should be more efforts to increase diversity in the cybersecurity sector. The study showed that most employees in the industry now are straight, white, and male. If more people from minority groups feel welcomed and accepted while working in cybersecurity roles, they’ll be more likely to enter the field and stay in it for the long term.

Appealing perks help attract workers

Some companies have already invested in global recruitment efforts to help close cybersecurity skills gaps.

For example, Microsoft recently expanded its cybersecurity skills campaign to an additional 23 countries – including Ireland, Israel, Norway, Poland, and South Africa. All the places were identified as under high threat of cybersecurity attacks. Microsoft representatives have numerous plans to get people the knowledge they need to enter the workforce confidently and fill cybersecurity roles.

The hiring initiative also includes some Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries. That’s significant since statistics suggest it will face a labor shortage of 47 million people across all job types by 2030.

Something human resources leaders must keep in mind before hiring cybersecurity professionals is that the open positions should include attractive benefits packages that are better than or on par with what other companies in the sector provide.

Since cybersecurity experts are in such high demand, they enjoy the luxury of being picky about which jobs they consider and how long they stay in them. Even though cultural differences exist, there are some similarities in what most people look for in their job prospects. Competitive salaries and generous paid time off are among the many examples.

Shortfalls persist despite 700,000 workforce entrants

Global research published in 2021 by (ISC)² found that 700,000 new people had joined the cybersecurity workforce since 2020. However, the study also showed that the worldwide pool of professionals must grow by 65% to keep pace with demand.

The study’s results also suggested that one possibility is to recruit people who don’t have cybersecurity backgrounds. The data indicated that 17% of respondents came into the field from unrelated sectors.

Some experts suggest tapping into specific population groups as a practical way to address the shortage. For example, people with autism and ADHD often have skills that make them well suited for the cybersecurity industry.

Global recruitment is not an all-encompassing solution

Hiring people from around the world could close skill gaps in situations where it’s evident there’s a lack of talent wherever a company primarily operates. However, as the details above highlight, the skills shortage is a widespread issue.

Accepting applications from a global talent pool could also increase administrative tasks when a company is ready to hire. That’s partially due to the higher number of applications to evaluate. Additionally, there are other necessities associated with aspects like visa applications or time zone specifics if an international new hire will work remotely.

People in the IT sector should ideally see global recruitment as one of many possibilities for reducing the cybersecurity skills gap severity. It’s worth consideration, but not at the expense of ignoring other strategies.

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