Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Why Some Security Jobs Go Unfilled for 6, 12, 18 Months or Longer

Recently, I spoke with a CISO who has a cyber security job to fill that has been open for 1 solid year.  His company has worked with multiple local general IT recruiters and his HR department has posted the job to multiple job boards throughout the year-long campaign.

Not Aligned

Within 5 minutes of the outset of our conversation, the CISO started using terminology that didn't exist in the job description that sits on his company’s website.  By the end of our conversation, my notes contained references to multiple technologies that didn't appear in the company’s published job descriptions.

Not Aligned Again

One year ago, I took on a CISO job that had been open for 9 months.  Once a call was scheduled between me and the CIO, I quickly determined why the job had been open for 9 months.  The CIO had ideas in his mind that his HR department and those around him at the business unit leadership level didn't know about. 

Once I got this information out of the CIO’s mind and it sat on the table, I was able to re-write the job description and begin recruiting.  Approximately 3 weeks after my recruiting started, I delivered a candidate who was directly in line with the CIO’s thought process.  A couple of weeks later the job was filled.

Not Aligned Yet Again

A couple of years ago, I took on a Chief Security Officer search that had been open for 18 months.  After sharing a conversation with the CFO and Controller, two significant stake holders connected to the CSO search, I determined what they really wanted in a CSO candidate versus what their job description suggested the wanted.

Fish with the Right Bait

If you’ve ever fished for Bass, you know that you can fish with big clunky lures that rattle, spin and make noise.  If you ever come to Colorado where I live and you wish to catch trout in a gold medal trout stream, you’ll fish with replicas of flies that require many people to use a magnifying glass when they tie the fly to the end of their fly line.

You won’t catch a trout with a bass lure.  

Recruiting is very similar.  You won’t attract a Chief Security Officer whose responsibilities will be 90% focused on cyber security and 10% focused on corporate physical security if the job description you create is 90% corporate physical security focused and 10% cyber security focused.

It’s All about Clear Communication, Proper Alignment and Setting the Right

I don't ever make things up when I share these stories.  Here's proof.

“I've never before worked with a recruiter of Jeff's caliber. He is great at understanding client needs to a scary level, and he is extremely successful at finding the best candidates for the job. I recommend his work without hesitation or reservation.Paul, Chief Executive Officer

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