The Myth Behind the Cybersecurity Talent Shortage
The solution behind the cybersecurity talent shortage might not be as intuitive as we think.
Currently, businesses are struggling to attract talent and the numbers may seem worrisome. In fact, from 2013 to 2021 the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs grew by 350% and is expected to grow at a similar rate.
However, your organization can use a few tools already in its possession to thrive despite the perceived shortage. Here are some myth busters to help you narrow the talent gap in your business.
Myth Buster #1: Invest in New and Young Talent
Understandably, companies want to find experienced cybersecurity personnel who possess specific certifications and skills. However, organizations who focus on only hiring individuals with extensive experience are ignoring an untapped resource: young and new talent.
With the competition to attract staff high, consider that your organization can acquire and incubate talent. It is a counterintuitive idea, but companies who educate and guide new workers can fill in gap shortages faster. A newly skilled workforce can become a strong cybersecurity team under good leadership.
Organizations can proactively search for talent by attending college graduate job fairs. Besides cybersecurity or information security majors, a handful of other degrees prepare graduates with skills similar to the ones needed in cybersecurity.
Computer science is the 11th most popular major in the US with more than 50K degrees awarded each year.
For example, graduates with computer science, computer programming, database management, and network administration majors, among others, can be trained much faster than new talent coming from unrelated areas of study. These graduates can help reduce the cybersecurity talent shortage.
Myth Buster #2: Mentor Your Employees
Providing your workers with mentoring opportunities not only can mitigate the talent shortage, but also keep them engaged with inspiring and reliable leaders.
If your company has access to a loyal IT or cybersecurity team, these employees can help new hires skill up and attain the certifications they need.
Workplace mentorship is not only a cost-effective way to train new hires, but it also allows leaders within the organization to practice leadership and development skills. In short, mentorship keeps the leaders as well as their team members engaged.
Some of the organizational benefits of implementing mentoring include:
- Increased productivity
- Upward mobility
- Knowledge sharing
- Better culture of communication
Since mentors would be helping new talent in your company, consider giving them the time, resources, and support they need. Solving the cybersecurity talent shortage requires team effort, so ensure your leaders feel energized to avoid burnout.
Related Blog: What Are Employee Expectations for Business Tech?
Myth Buster #3: Create a Culture of Growth
Fostering learning and communication within your company culture can tangentially fill a cybersecurity talent shortage. The new talent you hire and the leaders you empower are more likely to stay in a company that fosters growth.
Many company leaders fear that after investing time and money, new talent would move on to other opportunities. However, a constructive organizational culture is hard to come by. This is especially poignant since many young workers highly value a good company culture.
56% of workers ranked a strong workplace culture as more important than salary. And many would consider a company’s culture before applying there.
When a company listens to its workforce and encourages communication, both leaders and employees benefit. An organization with a positive culture can create loyal employees who partner with them for a long time.
Related Video: The Impact Networking Company Culture
Myth Buster #4: Invest in Diversity
It is known that the tech industry can be male dominated. In fact, only 24% of computing jobs are held by women and turnover for them is high. How can organizations increase diversity in the workplace?
Similar to the last tip, embracing a culture of diversity can help new hires and experienced workers feel more comfortable in their jobs. Ongoing training, check-ins, and guidance by helpful leaders can curb high turnover rates and encourage new staff to stay with the company.
Additionally, the number of minorities in tech has increased in the last few years, but is still generally low. Employees of color feel that organizations could do more to address the lack of diversity, especially in tech.
Depending on the location of your company and employees, evaluate whether your company demographics corresponds to that of job seekers. Does the leadership also reflect these numbers?
Acknowledging workers’ differences and opening the door for dialogue can take you one step closer to reducing your talent gaps.
Strengthening discrimination policies as well as educating the whole company can benefit minority staff as well as decrease the likelihood of employee turnover.
Related Blog: 5 Strategies to Retain Employees
The cybersecurity talent shortage is not as dire a situation as many companies believe. Implementing the previous strategies can help your company attain, train, and retain new talent.
Investing in young and new workers, training your existing staff, empowering leaders, and investing in diversity can help your business address the cybersecurity skill gap.
It can also create a more rewarding and efficient workplace, turning your organization into one sought-after by eager job seekers.
Your company does not have to be affected by the talent shortage. Watch our webinar, Overcoming the Talent Shortage, to learn the tools you need to attract the best talent and curb turnover.