Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What Defines a Great Career Move?



Talent Acquisition Strategy

While building a talent acquisition strategy for my client to sit behind two positions I’ll soon write up, many thoughts are coming to my mind that I want to share.

The experience I’m currently having working with a CISO whom I’ve worked with before, a CISO who is highly competent and a CISO who operates with the highest level of integrity is prompting me to share what success looks like when it comes to acquiring top talent.  We’ve shared success when working together in the past and I’m highly confident that we’ll replicate that success in the near-future.


Very soon, I’ll be writing up job descriptions for an IT Security and Risk Management Analyst and an Information Security Architect in the Burbank, CA or Philadelphia, PA regions.  These roles will be new positions in a company that has gone from 500 to 5,000 employees over the past 2 years through more than 20 acquisitions.  More acquisitions are in the works.  This is an exciting place to work for someone who thrives on constant change.

A Successful Busy CISO

My CISO client is one of the busiest people I know at the moment.  He is building the entire information security, IT risk management, compliance, governance, business continuity, disaster recovery and privacy program for this company from the ground up.

The two security and risk management professionals I’ll soon identify to join this CISO’s team will be highly fortunate.  Not because I placed them but because this CISO will focus a significant amount of his time and energy on building the careers of the people I place with him. 

Once we find candidates who have the right level of competence and who approach their work with the right level of personal responsibility, my CISO client will put these candidates in positions where their personal stock value will double over the next couple of years.  Yes, this has been part of the discussion I’ve had with my CISO client.  He knows that he’ll be building security professionals who can transfer their skills.  His challenge will be to perform at such a high level as a CISO that his highly skilled people won’t want to leave him. 

How many times have you worked for a boss who cared as much about your success and your career development as he or she did about their own success?

This CISO helped me to get a search contract signed with his company in just a few days.  My retainer check was cut on Friday and is in the mail.  This CISO invested time to help me understand now just the skills I need to find but more importantly, he focused on his company’s culture and his leadership style. 

My CISO has equipped me to help him win!

A Busy CISO Who Isn't Successful

I kicked off January of 2013 working with a CISO I knew from the past but he was a CISO I’d never worked with before.  It took from January 2 until March 28 to get a search contract signed with his company.

This CISO was too busy to communicate his needs.  He expected me to deliver great talent by way of poorly written and/or outdated job descriptions.  When I did deliver candidates, there was no intelligent talent acquisition process in place on my client’s side of the equation. 
When I tried to help my client to build a process around talent acquisition, he pushed back telling me he didn't have time for such nonsense.  He planned to fail and he is failing.  I moved on by the way.  I will not do work for a CISO who in my opinion will be responsible for leading the candidates I place to a future career train wreck.

It Takes Planning to Succeed

If you fail to plan, you’re sure to not succeed most of the time.  The CISO who was too busy to communicate failed to attract great talent.  If he continues with the same behavior, he’ll continue to fail when it comes to attracting great talent.

In complete contrast, my Burbank / Philadelphia CISO worked with me on the front-end of the search process to build a step-by-step talent acquisition process that is designed to attract great talent. Because the CISO has invested time and energy to succeed on the front-end, there is a 100% chance that we’ll attract outstanding talent to his company.  We've done it before.  We’ll do it again. 

What Defines a Great Career Move?

  •       Join the team of a boss who will be there to help you succeed
  •         Surrounding yourself with colleagues who are smart enough to push you to new heights
  •         Take on a role that will allow you to expand your skills
  •         Position yourself in a company that will appreciate and leverage your strengths
  •         Align your personal values with a company that shares your values

I don’t have a crystal ball.  If I did, I would have avoided the bad CISO in this story entirely.  If I’m wrong about the predictions I’ve just shared regarding the CISO I’ve worked with in the past, you have my word that I’ll write a follow-up to this blog in the near-future to tell you how I was wrong.

Alternatively, if I’m right about the idea that planning to succeed leads to success in this case, I’ll likely write about my experience so you can learn from it and apply it to your own career and your own decisions in the future!


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