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Grow your cyber security team before the post-COVID talent wars

By: Christine Wright, Senior Vice President, Hays U.S. on May 14th, 2021

Nearly 30 percent of employees say they’ll quit if forced to return back to work. 

In response, companies are adopting hybrid work models, where employees come into the office some days and work from home on others. 

This shift requires a heavy lift from cyber security teams who’ll need to put controls in place to protect their distributed work environments. 

Companies need to scale their cyber security teams

The COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to remote or hybrid work has accelerated the following trends: 

  • adoption of the zero trust network methodology whereby cyber teams verify everything and trust nothing
  • treatment of identify as the new perimeter since employees are increasingly working outside corporate networks
  • shift to cloud-based or cloud native work environments which require specialized cyber security talent

Putting all of these requirements in place requires in-house cyber security talent that knows how to develop and promote cyber security policies and best practices, implement cyber security controls, and adopt new defensive strategies. 

Increasingly, these scaled-up teams will need software development experience. As workforces become more distributed, cyber security teams will need automated tools to quickly triage threats. These tools are also an important way to ensure cyber security team retention, since cyber security professionals tend to avoid or leave jobs with tedious or repetitive tasks. 

Companies that avoid hybrid work will be a gold mine for competitors

Remote or flexible work is no longer a cool, nice-to-have perk. It’s become an expectation. After a year of working from home, employees are less convinced that they need to be in the office to do good work. Furthermore, the stress of the past year has led employees to re-evaluate their priorities. As a result, they are less tolerant of long commutes or missing out on time with their families. 

Providing flexible working options will help employers stand out

During the anticipated “post-COVID talent wars”, employers will differentiate themselves by offering flexible work options. In the past, it may have been difficult to convince long-term employees to leave their company. With all the turmoil of the past year, however, and the prospect of returning to the office, people are more open to new opportunities.  

Talent shortage calls for more efficient cyber security talent pipelines

A strong cyber security function does more than protect the company. It also protects the employee experience by ensuring that employees can do their work from anywhere with limited disruption. 

Unfortunately, 61 percent of cyber security leaders report that their teams are understaffed. Only 31 percent of them say their HR teams understand their hiring needs. 

Hiring cyber security talent is not a checkbox exercise. Not only are they in-demand candidates, they’re also wary about which jobs they take. For example, many cyber professionals avoid companies without the right cyber security automation tools or interesting projects.

This is why working with an experienced recruitment partner matters. At Hays, our recruiters are specialists, not generalists. They specialize in cyber security, have developed a network of cyber talent, and understand what this talent pool seeks. 

Our team can also help you adopt a diversified cyber security talent strategy. According to our most recent cyber security talent report, 41 percent of organizations say that their talent is a mix of both insourced and outsourced talent. Our cyber security team can support both full-time and contract recruitment projects. This hybrid talent acquisition approach is a strategy companies are increasingly adopting to keep up with growing cyber needs within hybrid work environments. 

Learn more by downloading our Cyber Security Talent Report: Addressing the Skills Gap.

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