Cybersecurity hiring: Drive transformation through new talent pipelines

Evolving technology and a continuing skills shortage require a new approach to recruiting. Here's how to broaden your talent pool and your organization's innovation
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The evolving technology landscape has spurred business transformation across industries – driving efficiency and unlocking new opportunities for companies to scale and increase impact.

But as businesses evolve, potential threats are expanding too. Business leaders must navigate an increasingly complex, ever-changing world of cybersecurity imperatives that require innovative approaches to mitigate these new risks.

Deloitte Global’s 2023 Future of Cyber Survey revealed that 70 percent of C-level respondents reported that cybersecurity issues appeared on their board’s agenda on a regular basis, either monthly or quarterly. With artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive computing among leaders’ top five digital transformation priorities, businesses are exploring new use cases for these technologies in cybersecurity systems – leveraging the tools for containment and response as threats increase.

These new technologies are driving digital transformation, and in turn, they require new skills and innovative thinking from today’s workforce.

[ Also read Discover hidden security talent: How to harness security champions. ]

However, the same survey shows that these high-maturity organizations are significantly more likely to cite a lack of skilled cyber professionals as a top challenge. This cyber talent shortage does not simply mean a lack of candidates. Rather, the industry is experiencing a gap in sourcing the right professionals – those who can help organizations drive AI and other cyber-leading practices to their full potential.

The application of these new technologies requires human thinking with a nuanced understanding of decision-making processes. As a result, sourcing the right talent will require looking at a wider variety of candidates, including those with nontraditional tech backgrounds.

Beyond the traditional

Candidates with non-technical backgrounds can bring the essentials needed to implement creative solutions quickly and in high-pressure environments. Hiring managers should go beyond a candidate’s technical expertise, assessing real-world experience and transferrable skills, to determine if they have the resilience to succeed in a rapidly changing cyber ecosystem and remain adaptive and agile amid a crisis.

Additionally, businesses need to consider how to build agile, well-equipped teams who bring the breadth and depth of experience needed to match today’s evolving needs. For some, that might be going beyond traditional boundaries, opening roles in new geographies outside of “traditional” tech centers where possible.

It could also mean creating and implementing “train to hire” programs that build a strong candidate’s technical expertise. New tools, like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), can train candidates from nontraditional backgrounds, ensuring relevant experience in a controlled environment that still allows full immersion into critical job functions.

Collaborating with academia to build programming into curriculums is another avenue to help the next generation of employees build multidimensional technical expertise that complements the intangible value diverse candidates can bring to teams.

A diversely skilled team with deep-rooted, broad knowledge and expertise will be better equipped to navigate, implement, and operate solutions at scale. Businesses should diversify talent pipelines as they drive digital transformation priorities and leverage AI and other cyber-leading strategies to fortify operations and achieve long-term success.

This moment in time presents business leaders with a unique inflection point to disrupt legacy approaches to hiring and welcome and nurture next-generation talent with broader skillsets and more diverse thinking – those who can weather the storm while continuing to protect the enterprise.

[ Learn the non-negotiable skills, technologies, and processes CIOs are leaning on to build resilience and agility in this HBR Analytic Services report: Pillars of resilient digital transformation: How CIOs are driving organizational agility. ]

Linda, a Managing Director at Deloitte & Touche LLP, is a Cyber Risk Services Talent leader for Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory, where she works to recruit, train and retain world class cyber talent for a culture of excellence and inclusivity.