The Cyber Security skills gap and how to attract candidates

 We dive into the UK Cyber Security market to understand the level of demand for good candidates and whether the skills gap really does exist. At Via Resource we also had the opportunity to speak first-hand to candidates to find out their views on how the recruitment process has changed and to establish what candidates find attractive in employers and job opportunities.

Torquil Macleod, Founder and Director of Via Resource comments:

“This report outlines everything an organisation needs to find their perfect cyber security professional that fits well into the role and company. We want to ensure candidates receive the best experience possible with quality support, advice and guidance from Via Resource.”

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Overview of results:

  • 62% of companies are employing staff who have, or are working towards a cyber security-related qualifications (i.e. higher education, apprenticeships or other certified training)
  • 66% of the cyber sector organisations have tried to recruit someone in a cyber role within the last 3 years (2017 - 2020). These employers reported 35% of their vacancies as being hard to fill
  • Candidates are more likely to apply via LinkedIn and through a recruitment consultant
  •  It takes an average 24 minutes for candidates to fill out one job application
  • After an interview 73% strongly agree and 37% agree for detailed feedback
  •  The top three benefits that are important to candidates are flexible working hours, working from home and health insurance.

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Conclusion

There have been four main insights into the individuals working in and applying for cyber roles, the skills gaps and skills shortages that affect employers, and the challenges that organisations face when it comes to training and recruitment. The main lessons we draw are as follows:

  1. Skills gap - Skills gaps and skills shortages continue to affect many organisations. There needs to be more investment in technical skills and training, within the cyber sector and the wider economy.
  2. Education - Schools, universities and training providers need to give young people and training recipients a holistic skillset, covering the relevant technical skills and soft skills that employers demand, and the ability to implement those skills in a business context.
  3. Guidance - The cyber security labour market is challenging to navigate. Employers, recruitment agencies and job applicants may benefit from further guidance on career pathways, qualifications, and training.
  4. Recruitment - Many employers could benefit from broadening their recruitment practices, to employ more career starters, apprentices, graduates, people transitioning from other sectors or roles outside cyber security.

Whilst creating this report we have set up a group on LinkedIn called ‘Cyber Launchpad’ where we connect graduates and industry-movers with Hiring Managers completely free of charge. We provide regular advice and guidance on Cyber Launchpad that could find useful.

Download the report here