Fortifying UK Cybersecurity: Where Recruitment & Career Coaching Join the Fight

Sep 4, 2023

Today we dive headfirst once more into the bustling digital realm, where opportunities abound and cyber threats skulk like mischievous phantoms. The cybersecurity landscape is a testing world where over 4.5 million instances of digital fraud offences, are joined by 1.6 million cases of misuse offences per year. And as we know, demand for cybersecurity defenders is surging like a caffeine rush – a staggering 81% of UK organisations are caught trying to catch up and arm their defenders with the skills needed to succeed.

And if that doesn’t rattle your virtual cages, hold onto your keyboards because we’ve got a curveball for you! The top 10 sectors in the UK spill the beans. Only a measly 33% of the big corporate fish in the pond invested in training in the past year. With the tech talent hunt resembling a gold rush, there’s never been a better moment to power up your training and rise to the occasion. In this digital dance-off, it’s not just about the spotlight, but about creating a lasting legacy of training that will position your organisation centre stage.

The Quest for Cybersecurity Talent

And in the great hunt for new talent, Tech Nation dropped the bombshell that a 40% gap in skills was increasing for the UK tech sector. Now, imagine a jigsaw puzzle missing a substantial chunk. To see the bigger picture, you need to fill in those gaps with knowledge, skills, and capabilities. But it’s a constant challenge, with the picture growing almost hour by hour as attacks become even more sophisticated. And with the tech sector employing a whopping 9% of the entire UK workforce, it’s become a high-stakes race to fill in the pieces.

But hold onto your bits and bytes because there’s more to the story! The Cyber Security Skills UK Labour Market Report chips in with some juicy tidbits. From their pole, a huge 62% of cyber security firms are hiring exclusively based on certifications and knowledge. It’s like they’re hunting for the ideal candidate, but instead of finding people they can grow, they are seeking the polished article. Oh, and that’s not all. Technical tests are also now used extensively in candidate selection, which can be a real hamper as not every candidate excels in examination settings.

The plot thickens even more. For the past several years, the average time-to-hire for cyber defenders has been hovering at around 8 weeks. It’s like waiting for a bus to arrive, and the real risk is that it won’t be three candidates turning up at once, but three employers per candidate. Selecting the right talent quickly is essential, and with demand sprinting ahead of availability, the answer is crystal clear: it’s time to make an investment in the training and development of other internal talent to create a pipeline from every avenue.

MSP Recruit, Retrain, Retain, Recycle

MSPs, those tech wizards who make the digital world spin smoothly, are caught in the same pickle as cyber security experts. It’s like they’re both trying to solve a riddle that’s been written in code. These MSP folks are facing a tricky challenge with capacity planning and team strategies, and it’s a puzzle that’s been keeping them up at night. With the world’s stage expanding and businesses going global, there are job openings popping up like confetti, but here’s the twist – filling those slots is turning out to be a game of musical chairs.

Hold on, it gets even juicier! The demand meter is stuck at “high,” and there’s a drought of IT pros wandering around the talent desert. As a result, the average cost-per-hire to snap up one of these tech wizards is quickly accelerating. It’s like the price tag on hiring a unicorn is increasing every time you blink. Right in the middle of this talent frenzy, some of the biggest jobs in demand right now include Service Desk Analysts and Service Desk Managers and the elite MSP Project Managers are all featured in the Most Wanted list.

Now, here comes the twist – MSPs need to crack the code not only on recruiting but also on retaining, retraining, and recycling the talents they already have. It’s like they’re part talent scouts and part talent nurturers. With turnover rates dancing above 20%, and the price tag for labour turnover rising above the £10,000 mark, it’s time for an ‘aha’ moment. Why not tap into the brilliance you already have, playing matchmaker with the skills you need to fill those pesky gaps?

Train & Retrain: Cybersecurity Skills Training

The cybersecurity training landscape is a colourful tapestry with more variety than a candy store. From a dazzling 47% of ICT sector employers who are gung-ho about teaching their troops, to the humble 3% of accommodation and food sector folks who possess a basic grasp of cybersecurity ABCs, it’s like a Halloween rollercoaster with jump-scares around. The lack of a consistent training rhythm for basic security essentials is like having a jazz band play classical symphonies – a tad bit concerning.

But hold onto your security badges because here’s where things get exciting! If you decide to be the guardian of knowledge for everyone under your company’s umbrella – from the tech-savvy MSP Business Developers to the friendly Customer Service reps – a magical transformation takes place. Those who’ve tasted the elixir of data privacy, data protection, and cybersecurity wisdom are more likely to blow the whistle on security incidents, change passwords regularly, and wield antivirus like true wizards.

And speaking of wizards, the realm of tech is expanding like never before. As you aim to keep your talent squad intact, look no further than virtual treasure troves like Coursera, Udemy, and edX. They’re like enchanted forests, offering foundational programs that are like stepping stones on the path to coveted certifications like CISSP, CEG, and CompTIA Security+. The Cyber Security Training for Business is like a banquet of wisdom, where courses can level up your crew’s knowledge of digital threats and online tricksters.

Oh, and that’s not all! Learn for Free’s website opens doors to courses on cybersecurity, firewalls, information security, and network wizardry, all leading to those glittering certifications. These courses aren’t just maps; they’re rocket boosters propelling you into roles like 1st Line Technical Support, Technicians, and even IT sales experts. They’ll arm you with knowledge so you can talk the talk and strut the security walk like a true virtuoso.

Total Talent Solutions

Shift your focus to this: The responsibility isn’t solely on the shoulders of employees. They certainly play a pivotal role, but they’re not the lone actors in this theatre. Consider this perspective: Flexibility has risen to prominence as a key aspiration for candidates, encompassing desires for hybrid and remote work arrangements. Similarly, nurturing internal talent to explore new career avenues within the organisation carries equal weight. It’s a reciprocal journey – identifying those with a thirst for learning, and transitioning temporary talents into permanent, value-adding assets. Embracing a comprehensive approach to talent management involves leveraging training opportunities and investing in talent development in alignment with workforce strategies.

Here’s the core concept – cultivating a ‘Human Firewall’. This involves ingraining a cybersecurity-focused culture throughout every facet of your business, underpinned by enhanced technical understanding to fulfil business requirements. The question arises: How can HR comprehend the landscape of cybersecurity threats if they perceive it merely as an IT concern? The path ahead involves building a collective knowledge base and fostering a culture that makes security paramount. This endeavour doesn’t solely reduce risks; it crafts a stronger organisation that recognises and respects the contributions of its technical talent.

The Future of Tech Talent

Amidst a world abundant with enticing prospects and lurking cyber perils, the imperative to bolster UK cybersecurity has surged to an urgent crescendo. Bearing witness to a staggering 4.5 million fraud offences and 1.6 million misuse offences, the call for fortified cybersecurity functions has reached astronomical heights. Yet, the response remains strikingly insufficient, as only a paltry 33% of large enterprises have extended the mantle of cybersecurity training to their workforce within the past year. The ominous reality that 81% of UK organisations encountered at least one cyber assault in the span of 2021/22 vividly illustrates the unrelenting digital storm we confront.

Within this high-stakes crusade for cybersecurity talent, the UK’s tech sector grapples with a daunting 40% skills gap, casting a shadow across the nation’s workforce landscape. As a countermeasure, formal qualifications and certifications emerge as coveted armour, while technical tests assert their role in gauging prowess. Nevertheless, the wait for these cybersecurity champions remains a formidable average of eight weeks, underscoring the growing chasm between demand and availability.

Simultaneously, enter the arena of Managed Service Providers (MSPs), where challenges manifest in the form of capacity planning and headcount strategy. The mounting cost-per-hire serves as a resounding echo, urging the entrance of Service Desk Analysts, Managers, and Project Leaders, highlighting the cutthroat nature of the industry.

Yet, amidst these trials, a guiding beacon emerges from Wildcat Careers. We’re uniquely positioned to support MSP and Cybersecurity recruitment and can advise on career coaching, paths, and training opportunities. With the ability not only to attract the right talent but also strategically position them to contribute to the broader tapestry of Total Talent Solutions, Wildcat Careers we are your compass to navigating through such challenges.

So how does your company beat to the rhythm of cybersecurity? Are they ready to improve talent, resilience, and human potential to meet tech challenges?  Are you ready to ascend, and bridge talent gaps for a brighter, safer tomorrow?

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