Monday, May 23, 2011

Time Kills All Deals When Hiring Top Security Talent

Two years ago I wrote a blog entitled “A Sure Way To Not Acquire Great Talent”. Today I’m plagiarizing my own work to bring the topic of “Time Kills All Deals” to the table once again. I can plagiarize my own work can’t I?

Over the years, there have been many occasions where I’ve worked with companies that didn’t understand the importance of keeping a hiring process moving forward. In late 2008 and spilling into the early part of 2009, I ran into a specific HR person in the process of trying to fill a very difficult to fill security management job who clearly had never been taught the importance of keeping the hiring process rolling.

Today I find myself in a déjà vu situation in that I’m again working with an in-house recruiting manager who doesn’t get it. I think he believes that because everyone should want to work for his global company, he doesn’t have to do anything special to get to the industry’s top security talent. Think again!

Sound Familiar?

If you’ve ever been a security job candidate and you’ve been through a security recruiting process, I’m probably reminding you of an experience you’re already familiar with from personal experience.

Hiring Security Talent

If you’re on the hiring end of the equation, just because you work for a company that has a global brand and global reputation and you think everyone should be attracted to your company just because it exists, you might want to think through this topic with a fresh perspective.

I work with global companies that have global brands all the time. While the brand name that I’m recruiting to does definitely help, a brand name alone is not going to guarantee that great talent will arrive at your company without a well-defined recruiting process. A process that makes security job candidates feel wanted and needed even though you’re evaluating each candidate through your interview process.  Remember that you're acquiring people who have emotions and needs.  You're not acquiring an emotionless widget when you're working with people.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger

As a third-party recruiter to the clients I serve, I’m always the messenger, the guy in the middle. Security job candidates rely on me for up-to-date and accurate information coming from the client-side of the equation. I can’t share information my client’s fail to share with me in a timely manner.

My clients rely on me for the same kind of data coming from the candidate side of the equation.

Recruiting is Part Psychology

Once a security job candidate has been recruited and they become mentally engaged in potentially acquiring a new security job, a well-defined process must be in place to keep the candidate rolling through the recruiting process. If a process does not exist, the odds of losing a top-shelf candidate are very high. People only stay mentally engaged in a hiring process for so long and then their mind wanders to other opportunities or back to where they’re employed today if they were directly cold call recruited.

Underdog Companies Can Hire Great Talent

Even without a major brand name and global reputation, companies that have a well-defined recruiting process in place can attract the industry’s best security, risk, compliance and privacy talent.

The Security Talent Pool is Tightening

Last week I engaged in two different conversations that prove my point. A CISO of a global financial service company in Los Angeles told me that in his market, great security talent was becoming hard to find.

This CISO knows the value of having a process in place and the value of attracting and not just evaluating great talent when great talent is sitting in his office guest chair.

Recognize That Talented Security, Risk, Compliance and Privacy Pros Have Options

A Director of Compliance and Risk Management who is currently interviewing with a global company called to warn me about ever doing business with the company he was interviewing with. He told me how disorganized the hiring process was and how rude the internal recruiters were to him as a risk management job candidate.  He is no longer interested in this employer and he was kind enough to give me a heads-up so I wouldn't waste my time with this organization in the future.  Not exactly the reputation a company of any size wants when the job market for the talent they seek is getting tighter.

I know the candidate very well and know that he is in the top 20% of his profession. He confirmed for me the reasons I’ve never attempted to do business with the company he was visiting as a security job candidate.

The general attitude at this company is that they don’t need to be attractive to security job candidates because of who they are. In their minds, everybody should want to work for their company.

A Better Security Job Market

Many indicators I see suggest that the security job market is getting better if you’re a security job candidate and it is getting tighter if you’re thinking of hiring security skilled professionals.

If your company doesn’t have a formal process built around identifying, recruiting and acquiring the industry’s best security, risk, compliance and privacy talent, today would be a good day to start building such a process.'s Security Recruiter Blog