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What can HR teams do to meet digital talent demand?

The shortage of cyberskills, particularly in the area of security, is well known

This is making it increasingly hard for enterprises to find the people they need to fill key roles, which in turn presents a challenge for HR teams involved in recruiting and retaining technical staff.

Candidates’ market

The demand for cyberskills means this sector is currently very much a candidates’ market. IT security salaries increased by around seven per cent in 2018, more than twice the average UK salary growth; however, salary is not the only driving factor in recruitment. Cybersecurity is a fast moving sector; therefore, demonstrating the availability of development and training opportunities is essential, particularly training that can lead to a recognised professional qualification or is part of a mentoring scheme.

It is also important to recognise that the workplace is changing; for example, offering flexible working or other schemes to improve the work/life balance is likely to prove useful in attracting a wider range of candidates. This will also help to deepen the candidate pool to include people from more diverse backgrounds.

Roleplay

It is also vital for HR to identify the emerging technology roles that are key to the organisation. With increasing regulation, such as GDPR, security awareness is increasingly taking a central place in many businesses. This is not a fully technical role but encompasses training to make employees recognise the risks that can be posed by poor data practices and the threats they face from phishing and other attempts to steal data.

In the cyberworld, the skills needed may not always precisely align with the job title. When screening CVs, HR teams need to be flexible and look at a wider range of information to see beyond the bullet points. It is important to get the existing technical team involved in setting the candidate requirements.

The skills shortage in cybertechnologies shows no signs of ending any time soon. Although the sector is responding to demand, it will take a number of years for this to filter through to the jobs market.

Brexit is also likely to be a factor, of course, as it will become necessary for staff from Europe to obtain work permits. Firms need to be aware of this and look at how they can help to ease the process in addition to looking at a more global approach to recruiting cybertalent.

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