Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Conversation: Senior Director of Corporate Security

The more I’m on the phone, the more often I run into stories that I think and quite frankly, I hope will be of interest to the readers of the Security Recruiter Blog.
Today I was on the phone with a Senior Director of Corporate Security in a large healthcare organization. This Director talked to me about the interview process they recently went through in order to nail down what sounds like a great job opportunity.

I was told that 80 security job candidates were considered. This means that the larger list of candidates who responded to this job posting was well into the hundreds. In the end, the candidate who was hired tells me that they were hired because they demonstrated a clear understanding of how security can be implemented to actually enable the business to do business. They demonstrated through examples from their past how they had succeeded in elevating security to a position of partnering status with various lines of business.

This is what the hiring company was looking for in a security job candidate. Apparently, most of the candidates they interviewed did not come across as being a business focused security professional. Thus the reason that the person who won the job was chosen.

The company this Corporate Security Director went to work for was described to me as being friendly, professional and focused. Relationship building is apparently very important in this company.

In the interview process, emphasis was not placed so much on what the candidate had done in the past but emphasis was focused on where the candidate could take the organization moving forward. While it is very important to be able to articulate past accomplishments when interviewing, it is also important to articulate vision for forward movement. If your vision for how security can and should fit into an organization does not line up with the organization’s vision for security, you should keep looking until you find a job that matches well with your expectations.  Taking a job where your expectations are not in line with the expecations of the employer will more often than not result in a short stay.  You'll be looking for a new job all over again just about the time you get comfortable with your desk.

This candidate had many interview opportunities because they have done a great job of career management up to this point in their career. This company more than any other company the candidate interviewed with seemed to represent the right culture match for what the candidate was seeking in a new employer. Where the company wants to see security fitting into their corporate structure is where the candidate is capable of delivering.

A few months from now, I’ll speak with this Director again to get a progress report as the candidate determines just how well security was aligned with the business once they arrived. It will be interesting to hear whether the candidate was able to implement the changes they were hired to deliver.

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