Challenges in Hiring Cyber Security Talents

by | Sep 30, 2021

The past two years have been a whirlwind of global change since the pandemic began. This global occurrence has brought about several crises to the different sectors of our society, including the technology domain – and more specifically the cyber security industry. 

Going Digital

As the world continues to go digital, cybercrimes have begun to increase with many online platforms being frequently penetrated by hackers. More importantly, this has not been a country-level problem, but a global dilemma affecting individuals and businesses alike. In one article, it was said that by the first quarter of 2020, more than half a million phishing websites had been identified. This then prompted companies to invest more in securing their data and online platforms from internet criminals. What this, in turn, has called for is a sudden increase in the demand for cyber security professionals.

Talent Demands

The International Information System Security Certification Consortium or ISC also reported back in 2020 that there was a global shortage in the IT workforce with an alarming 2.6 million people shortage in APAC alone. In recent studies in Singapore, more specifically, the cyber security talent demand was at an estimated 3,400 job opportunities by the end of 2020.

While this has meant more open doors for IT professionals, it has not come without its challenges. Besides the fact that this increase in the need for cyber security talent, stemmed from an uplift in cyber-crimes, companies have faced significant challenges in hiring such skills for their organizations. 

Recruitment Challenges

Identifying new talent has been a constant challenge, within the cyber security domain, due to the deep technical knowledge and niche skills required. As every company is trying to cope with this technological shift and digitize their organizations, the need for well-trained and highly-skilled cyber security professionals continues to grow. To address this, companies have begun to widen their talent pool by looking for technically diverse candidates. Organizations have now started to hire professionals who possess a strong foundation in technical skills in other areas of IT such as applications, infrastructure and data. From a cultural perspective, companies are also now open to hiring people that may not have the direct necessary skills needed however exhibit strong potential and curiosity for the cyber security industry. 

Upskilling Internal Employees


Along with this, businesses have now started to invest more in upskilling programs for their internal cyber security talent. This includes regular IT training and courses which in turn helps in attracting and retaining their employees. Some companies have even begun to make the training mandatory, allocating a number of hours per month or per annum to such programs. These are fully funded by the organisation to help their employees continue to grow both individually and within the company.


Unique Hiring Process

Another challenge that companies are facing is a cultural shift within the market. As people are looking for non-monetary rewards, it has become more difficult for companies to acquire specialist cyber security talent. Due to how competitive the market has become; companies have resorted to shortening their application processes – with some now having a maximum of two to three interviews. With this, it has become critical for organisations to reiterate the unique selling points of the company and the role, throughout the process, to ensure good traction with potential candidates.

Companies have also had to prepare themselves for an increase in salary expectations from potential talent in the market. To combat this, they have introduced new components to overall packages such as stocks, shares, commission and/or equity.

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As it has become a full-on-war in the cyber security talent search, it is more important than ever for companies to identify and understand the key motivating factors that potential employees have when making a move in their career. This, along with many of the above factors, show how companies need to adapt fast to these changes that the global pandemic has brought upon us. 

Datasearch Consulting can assist you and your company in finding candidates that fit your organization’s needs. Please feel free to contact us at or head to our Contact Us page for any queries.

Brett Lockett is an Associate Director – Infrastructure, Cloud, Cyber Security & GRC at Datasearch Consulting, a leading executive recruitment firm specialising in the Cyber & Cloud Technology sectors.

You can download their FREE comprehensive guide on “The Complete Guide to Hiring Fintech & Data Talent – 5 Proven Steps to Secure the Best Candidates Possible” here Alternatively you can view the Datasearch Consulting website or contact them directly on for a more detailed discussion

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