History of Cybersecurity Recruiting: The Story About CyberSN and KnowMore

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Cybersecurity jobs are notoriously difficult to fill. According to a study by Burning Glass Technologies, cybersecurity positions take 20% longer to fill than typical IT roles, at an average of 50 days. For every open position, the study found companies only have an average of two people in the applicant pool to choose from.

Cybersecurity recruiting is challenging for many reasons, but few companies have attempted to get to the root of the problem and find a better solution. It’s what makes CyberSN an outlier in the cybersecurity recruiting industry. We’re the only company that specializes in just cybersecurity and we’re the only company that guarantees filling a job in under 39 days.

How is it that CyberSN is the only game in town? Here’s the story.

Traditional Recruiting Doesn’t Work for Cyber

CyberSN was born from conversations founder and CEO Deidre Diamond was having with her friends in the cybersecurity industry. Some were telling her they were struggling to find jobs. At the same time, she was hearing from others about a shortage of cyber professionals. Diamond saw this disconnect as an opportunity to reach an untapped market—there must be a faster, easier way to match cybersecurity professionals looking for a job upgrade and companies in need of skilled cyber talent.

Since the job search and recruiting process went online, both job seekers and companies have turned to keywords and automation to make the process easier. While this has cut the time required to find a job for most people, the result in specialized industries, like cybersecurity, has been a failure.

Diamond found some companies were cutting and pasting attributes from past job descriptions, regardless of what’s needed, to create nonsensical franken-jobs that savvy, experienced cyber pros see through immediately.

“These are highly wanted professionals,” said Diamond. “They’re not going to read that!”

Then there were the HR recruiters who don't understand what a job description means, making it hard to seek out skilled people for the job. Add to that cybersecurity professionals who are serious about their privacy online and stay away from LinkedIn and it was a wonder companies and cyber pros ever found each other.

“What hit me square in the face is that when content became free, it also became meaningless,” said Diamond. “Job descriptions became meaningless and resumes were always meaningless—you can put anything on a resume.”

With bad job descriptions and bad resumes, “It’s matching garbage content to garbage content,” she said. Plus, there’s the enormous cost companies must incur just to hire, and the mental energy it takes to apply, prepare, and interview for a job.

“There is an element of job searching that’s so bad it's causing mental distress. It’s amazing that in the year 2020 we can’t match people.”

Diamond wanted to know, how do you fix it?

Finding a Better Way

Sometimes solving a problem takes coming at it from the outside. Diamond didn’t come up through the cybersecurity industry, but instead in sales and management in the tech industry. After graduating with a degree in criminal justice, Diamond considered a career in law or in social work, but after seeking career advice, took an entry-level position with Motion Recruitment, a tech recruiting firm headed by two serial entrepreneurs. There, she was on a professional growth track that would take her into senior leadership. After 13 years in tech recruiting and helping take the company from $2 million to $89 million in sales as the vice president of sales, she became vice president of sales at the security software company Rapid 7, and then on to serve as CEO at Percussion Software.

Having led a company, Deidre began thinking about building her own company and took some time away to develop her ideas. It was during this time Diamond was at Black Hat, running into people she knew and hearing from just about everyone that they were looking for something new—cybersecurity professionals who were looking for a career change and companies looking to hire.

“You talk to cybersecurity professionals and they’d say, ‘I can’t get an interview that's the correct interview for me,’” said Diamond. Others said they wanted a new job but were working so much they didn’t have the time to look.

Diamond launched CyberSN in 2014 as the solution to this pervasive staffing problem. Tapping her industry connections in tech hubs on the East and West Coast, Diamond grew her staff from one to a full, professional team specializing in matching skilled talent to jobs they love.

 

Meet Know More cybersecurity recruiting

Cyber Recruiting Is About Building Connections

What cybersecurity recruiting quickly taught Diamond is that the current model for recruiting cyber talent was broken too. Working on contingency when filling cyber roles was not practical and difficult to scale based on the 90- to 100-day timeframe it took to fill some roles. If CyberSN could speed up this process, she could make it more profitable, Diamond thought.

“I am used to growing and I wanted to build an army,” said Diamond. “I was willing to invest and take a risk.”

First she started with her connections in the industry. She and her team had more direct access to cyber professionals who are very private and often hard to track down online. Then she took a hard look at the job descriptions companies were writing and realized that needed to be streamlined too.

The most substantial lead the company made was in 2016 when she brought in a team with vast experience in the cybersecurity industry to build a platform that would help CyberSN’s cybersecurity recruiters fill positions faster. The proprietary platform that would eventually be launched to the public as KnowMore gave CyberSN an advantage no other company had—a way to more efficiently match skills and experience with a company’s needs by using a common task-based language.

“That’s when we really changed the game in terms of cost of sale,” said Diamond “We were able to make matches in 30 days instead of 100 days.”

A Focus on Diversity

As a woman in the tech industry, she understands the challenges many women face, from hostile work environments to a lack of investment from venture capitalists. For Diamond, diversity is key to addressing these issues. CyberSN is not just about filling jobs, but helping companies to develop women and diverse talent. She also founded Secure Diversity, a nonprofit which aims to empower all genders, and specifically women, to find career opportunities in cybersecurity. As a result, companies come to CyberSN because they know they will have access to a diverse pool of talented cybersecurity professionals.

“The people who come to us really care about getting better at hiring and want to see a more diverse workforce,” said Diamond.

A Bright Future for Cybersecurity Recruiting

Diamond said she and all of CyberSN are committed to continuing to transform the job searching and matching landscape. Whether it’s finding more efficiencies or creating strategic partnerships, the company plans to grow and build on their reputation for being number one in the industry for identifying and placing diverse cyber professionals.

To learn more about CyberSN and the menu of services they offer for finding, matching, and hiring cybersecurity professionals, contact us today.