The days of manual record keeping are largely behind us. Most businesses today rely entirely upon their IT systems for day-to-day operations, from online communications to automated e-commerce solutions. While we’re reaping the benefits of instantaneous sync and faster access to data, information security has become a more complicated area that brings many advantages but also opens up more concerns.

The biggest of these is cybercrime. It has become drastically more prominent recently, with high-profile instances of hacking that have resulted in security breaches, identity theft, email spam and phishing scams, shutting down websites for ransom, and many others. This has made information security one of the most urgent issues facing businesses today. Insurance powerhouse Lloyd’s says that 81% of large businesses and 60% of small businesses experience a breach each year, with average recovery costs totalling as much as $1.5 million.

What makes cybercrime so difficult to combat is that as soon as we find a solution, hackers find a new and more insidious way to break through it. This means information security experts need to have not only a very specific set of skills, they need to be able to adapt quickly to an ever-changing foe. This vicious cycle makes filling these niche job vacancies quite challenging. Unlike other areas, information security isn’t something that can be studied at a university and then simply applied to the workplace. Organizations are having difficulty recruiting for these types of roles because they are often unable to understand what is even needed for success. That includes getting the job description right, knowing where to find qualified candidates (job boards that cater to military veterans has proven to be fertile ground), and what to pay them.

All this has led organizations to lean more on Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) firms for their expertise in finding the right candidates. Technology will only continue to change and grow more sophisticated, and recruitment teams must adapt in order to remain effective.

Data security positions will only become more in demand with the next generation, and on-the-job training will be a core component of their learning. The time is now for organizations to start thinking about how to approach these roles and how they can improve recruitment. When looking internally, it is important to identify high-potential employees and give them the right skills. If the solution lies in an RPO partner, find one that can present relevant case studies to show how they can attract and engage the right candidates. In the end, the goal is to help organizations make the strength of their information security a strategic advantage.

For an example of successful recruitment of information security talent, read our new case study, “Targeted Recruitment for O2’s Niche Talent Needs.”


Post contributed by Chris Barton, VP of Client Services. Connect with him on LinkedIn.