How a Boutique Cybersecurity Recruiting Agency Can Help You

Apr 26, 2016 10:50:14 AM

“We’ve been looking for months on our own, can you help us?” These are familiar words heard by Ken Henley, CISSP, CEO & Founder of Redbud, a Cybersecurity Boutique Recruiting firm based in Chicago.

Why wait so long for help in finding that great cybersecurity candidate?

The Benefits of Using a Cybersecurity Recruiting Agency

Henley went on to say that one of the benefits of a cybersecurity boutique firm is that they have developed a pipeline and relationships with a specific pool of cyber talent. “Rather than casting a general net,” Henley explained. “We are using a lure instead of a net. A fisherman selects a certain sort of lure to attract a certain kind of fish. Whereas, if you cast a net you are settling for whatever you pull in.”

Henley elaborated that by using a boutique firm, they are already engaging with these professionals so it gives them a jump-start in locating candidates. It enables them to be uniquely qualified in understanding role specifications. For example, a generalized agency recruiter may not understand the nuances of penetration testing or what a Director of Incident Management really is. Because they understand pen-testing and the other cybersecurity sub-specialties, a cybersecurity boutique firm can hit the ground running which means quicker and higher quality hires for clients.

The second benefit focuses on screening candidates. Henley felt that too many agencies just send clients a stack of resumes for them to sift through simply because they matched a certain set of keywords. Henley added, “Take the penetration tester, for example; If I search just for the keyword “penetration tester” or some form of that, and I start sending you every resume that is a match, in reality, 99 percent of those candidates are not qualified for that specific role. They just happen to mention that they did it once upon a time or read a book on it. They are not really suited for the role. There is no way that any kind of algorithm or search methodology can discover that uniquely qualified candidate. You have to read each resume. You have to understand each resume. And that means you must know cyber-tech.”

“You have to understand what you are reading and because we are a boutique agency we are specialized. For example, I am a former security professional myself and I still hold my CISSP. We understand the resumes that we read. We put the extra work in making sure that even before we have the first interview, this candidate looks really good on paper. And then we do the pre-interviewing. A lot of agencies don’t even do the interviewing because they don’t feel that they are qualified to ask the right questions. We can effectually screen cyber candidates because we can ask the right questions and candidates can’t snow us.” remarked Henley.

The Right Job Description

One of the first steps in finding the ideal cybersecurity candidate is to have a job description that clearly identifies the role and responsibilities. In Henley’s experience, most client’s have already prepared the job description but it is rarely ever used without a rewrite. When using an experienced niche recruiter who actually understands the job description, they can work with the hiring manager to revise the job description and make it more technically accurate. Henley proceeded to elaborate, “In which I would say 100 percent of the time the job descriptions that we use in searching for the candidate is not what the client has sent us. We also offer job description writing as a free service for our clients.”

The Secret in Finding the Best Candidate

Having some great qualifications may not be enough. What really drives good cybersecurity professionals is the passion they bring to their jobs. As Henley noted in what he looks for in candidates “I look for candidates that are passionate about their craft. It is not just a job for them. You can’t be good at cybersecurity unless you love it. It really is too hard. You have to put in the effort it takes to be good at it and to stay current. I believe we can send these types of cyber candidates to clients because I come from the same industry.”

Redbud is a cyber security placement agency sought out by leaders who recognize the need to attract the best cyber security talent. Through Redbud’s extensive network of relationships, we can identify and secure individuals that represent the top tier of cyber professionals. Contact us for more information.


Written by khenley

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