Tuesday, November 15, 2011

When a Magazine Editor Calls

When a Magazine Editor Calls! 

This call has come to me before and ironically or not, the call has come from the same magazine editor.  Sometimes these people call on me when they have lots of time in which their article can be created.  Other times, like today, I received calls from magazine people when they’re up against a deadline to submit an article in 24-48 hours.

What is interesting to me about some of these calls is that I naively thought that reporters and magazine writers were supposed to be objective.  When I speak to “C” level executives and learn what it is that they like or don’t like about security, risk, compliance, audit and privacy professionals, I write exactly what has been shared with me.  I am the president of SecurityRecruiter.com.  I have no reason to twist what a “C” level executive shares with me.  I want the candidates who come to me and the candidates I recruit to be better aligned with the jobs I represent.  Not the opposite.

It seems that not all writers operate that way.  Many do but today, an editor called to ask me which certifications employers were looking for when the call on me to fill jobs.  Most security jobs have a CISSP requirement.  Sometimes, if the job has a significant amount of audit involved, I’ll see a CISA requirement.   Corporate security jobs frequently carry a CPP as a requirement.

News Flash!  When I see certification requirements on a job description sent to me by an employer, I always ask why there is interest in a particular certification.  Frequently, the person on the other end of the phone doesn’t have the slightest idea why a particular certification requirement is at the bottom of the job description they’re discussing with me.  This always prompts me to probe for an answer.

I shared this information with the magazine editor and she didn’t know what to do with this information.  She couldn’t possibly write this in her article because what I’d just shared didn’t line up with what she wanted me to say.  She wanted me to say something that was in line with her thoughts for the article she was trying to complete.

A couple of years ago, another magazine editor for a brand name cyber security focused magazine called on me quarterly to find out what skills were in demand.  Quarter after quarter, identity management, application security and security architecture skills were the skills employers called on me to deliver.

I reached a point with this editor where I’m sure he wanted me to manufacture some kind of skill requirement that would be cool for a reader to read about.  I told him that what employers had been asking me to deliver was still what they were asking me to deliver for the past few years.  He didn’t like my answer and hasn’t called me back since.

I guess the moral of this story is that you should always use critical thinking skills when you read an article.  You’ll find that some articles are written from the basis of truth are truly written by unbiased writers.  Other articles on the other hand are written by people who have an agenda before they start writing.  In these cases, they’ll include quotes from people whose points of view were aligned with their own and they’ll omit points of view that made them uncomfortable or perhaps made them have to think.

SecurityRecruiter.com's Security Recruiter Blog

SecurityRecruiter.com's Security Recruiter Blog