March 1, 2017

Author: Joanne Pollock

Three business professionals in a meeting. Challenges to Acquiring Top Security Talent.

Recruiting for senior level security management positions has become more complex. Operational and technical knowledge of security-related topics may not necessarily be an indicator of success within an organization. Does your talent acquisition team know what to look for?

How many corporate security jobs are recruited for in-house each year within any given company? Odds are, not many. While security is certainly getting more air time now than it has in the past, it is a business support function that has still not fully evolved. The dynamics of convergence within the field further complicate formation of a complete picture of what an organization’s security structure could look like. With these factors in play, it is understandably difficult to ask someone to recruit for a moving target.

It’s also likely that even the most experienced in-house talent acquisition professionals have rarely conducted searches for senior level security management jobs. The relationship between the company’s security team and the person doing the recruitment becomes a key element to successful hiring for these positions.

Many security positions by their nature have no technical standards that can be assessed in terms of a person’s ability to do that job. The criteria are not missing; rather it’s just the nature of the roles that do not lend themselves having them. For instance, it is easier to recruit for a job such as a physical security engineer where knowledge and expertise with specific equipment is relevant. However, there is not a simple checklist for a security recruiter to go through with more generalized corporate security management positions, and that becomes more apparent as the level of the position increases.

Since people’s operational and technical knowledge of security-related topics may not necessarily be an indicator of success within the organization, assessment tools become a critical component in hiring the right match. Today’s top-level security managers are expected to interact cross-functionally in ways that would be equivalent to the company’s senior leadership team, therefore organizational fit in terms of style, philosophy and vison are critical. Soft skills and the ability to influence an organization are increasingly important components of the profile of successful CSO and CISO candidates.

Today’s security professionals unquestionably work to support of the business leadership of their companies. Hiring security management who possess the skills and competencies required to successfully interact with almost every single aspect of the organization is key.

Thinking about utilizing assessment tools to better structure your corporate security team? Then Contact SMR to learn more about the behaviors, competencies and skills sets required for success in today’s dynamic marketplace.