The Cyber5 Podcast

EP58: Tips on Recruiting and Retaining Cybersecurity Talent

Episode 58 | October 28, 2021

In episode 58 of The Cyber5, we are joined by Magen Gicinto, Director of People Strategy and Culture for Nisos.


Episode 58 | October 28, 2021

In episode 58 of The Cyber5, we are joined by Magen Gicinto, Director of People Strategy and Culture for Nisos.


In this episode, we discuss the “Great Resignation’” that’s happening in the work environment during the COVID pandemic and how to realign your “people strategy” to recruit and retain the best talent in spite of those challenges. We address the aspects of recruiting and retaining the best talent and how to calibrate total rewards in consideration of employees’ ever-changing motivations. Finally, we cover the nature of startup culture in the technology sector and the convergence of generalists and specialists in high performance organizations.

Here are the 4 Topics We Cover in This Episode:

1) Recruiting and Retaining Talent During the COVID-19 Pandemic:

Employees who would have otherwise left their jobs decided to stay put during the pandemic. Now, even though we are still in the throes, people feel safe again to move jobs, which is leading to an unprecedented turnover in the global workforce. In fact, according to statistics published by the U.S. Department of Labor, voluntary turnover dipped significantly in 2020, but in early 2021, it jumped higher than ever before, with 4 million people leaving jobs in April 2021 alone in the U.S.

Employees that are looking for new opportunities and want to integrate work/life responsibilities are looking for employers who support those values. What remains is employees continue to want opportunities for career advancement and building their skill sets. 

One core solution for employers is to reimagine the employee experience so you can keep your best people and recruit great talent. Understanding what your employees value and what motivates them is key to reducing churn and attracting new people. High performing People Strategy departments are adept at creating employee engagement, from onboarding through the employee lifecycle, that help to continue to satisfy employee motivations throughout their tenure with an organization.

2) Experiential Support to Employees Is Critical​: 

Organizations that invest heavily in creating the best employee experience will have better success at recruitment and retention. Organizations and teams are most successful when the organization’s strategies, structure, and culture are aligned. 

During the infancy stage of  startups, there is little consistency for people to hang on to. Leaders are focused on doing what they can to source and hire the best talent, while outsourcing other services. Once you move past the infancy stage and start growing, your attention needs to move to ensuring stability and creating a life cycle for employees. 

Employees who are embedded into the organization from day one who have experience with a strong onboarding regimen will have more staying power and satisfaction with the organization. While white-glove on-boarding is not always achievable at a  startup level (based on lean staffing), companies that can find the resources to do so win it back with stronger employee integration in the entity from day one.

3) Challenge Playbooks to Create the Best Employee Experience​​: 

Here are some ways to create an environment where employees can succeed and grow within an organization. This is especially crucial within cybersecurity where the table stakes can be higher, and the goal posts can move quicker.

  • Set clear goals
  • Be consistent in performance management
  • Understand what obstacles are in the way of them performing at their best so you can help remove barriers to them being successful
  • Keep the lines of communication open
  • Have honest, fact-based conversations so that when they have concerns about their job or their performance, you’re prepared to address things with perspective.

4) Prevent Silos and Bring People Together When New Departments are Created: 

When recruiting, look for talent who create value and can deliver on company objectives. Employees want to have purpose in their work and know that they’re making a difference. As a startup organization, you have a great opportunity to create and influence organizational decisions and add value. Hire individuals who are up for the challenge and want to lean into the company’s goals with the team.

To avoid departmental silos, it’s important to:

  • Attract and help select the best talent that meets the business’ needs
  • Close any skills gaps
  • Recruit people who value differences in perspectives
  • Look for ways to create new and better ways for the organization to be successful
  • Hire people who are likely to drive results and tackle new challenges using both success and failure as learning opportunities

By bringing different departments into the recruitment and retention process, it helps avoid silo-type organizations. It creates more alignment, and helps employees understand what’s going on in the business. Once a new hire comes on, all of the departments are similarly invested in the individual, and can incorporate them, which will allow them and you to begin to utilize their skillsets effectively.


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