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4 minute read

How to Get the Right Talent to Fill an Entry-Level Cyber Security Role

Singapore’s cyber security industry is rapidly growing. Finding a good mix for your team can make all the difference to your business. Here we discuss how to find the right talent for your entry level cyber security roles.

With the Singapore government announcing a new $90,000 fund to grow talent in the cybersecurity industry, employers can expect an industry which has been chronically short of talented workers to open up rapidly. 

It is the perfect time to advertise entry-level cybersecurity jobs as the number of qualified workers begins to increase. But when the influx comes, how can you sift out the good from the bad and find the best person for the job? 

We’ve got some tips on strategies for hiring cybersecurity workers in Singapore’s growing industry.

1. Consider qualifications

When hiring for an entry-level cyber security job, it is natural to first look at the qualifications of the applicant. After all, if they have no certifications in cybersecurity, you have no assurance that they can understand, let alone perform, the job. According to the State of Cyber Security Hiring Report, “88% of cybersecurity postings specify at least a bachelor’s degree or higher, and roughly the same percent demand at least three years of experience.”

Qualifications are generally a good indicator of knowledge and competence. Most cyber security courses will have a foundation class that covers the essentials needed to work in cyber security. From here, the information your applicant knows will become more advanced depending on which course they have completed.

As an employer, you need to decide on the level of knowledge required. For work that is fairly simple or easily teachable, you can consider applicants who have a graduate certificate or diploma in cyber security.

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For more complex jobs that involve working in teams to complete large projects, you may want someone with higher qualifications like an honours or master’s degree.

Note that job listings with lower accredited degrees as requirements will often receive a higher number of applicants as this casts a wider net.

On the positive side, this provides you with many options and allows you to make the right choice with whom you hire. On the other hand, it creates more work for your hiring team, so take that into account when deciding what education level is ideal for your cyber security job.

2. Offer training

If you want to bring in applicants, especially those who are sought after, offering training is an excellent way to encourage those going through a mid-career switch or fresh graduates who may not feel confident in their practical skills.

On-the-job training should be provided by cyber security firms as it ensures the new employee is on the same page about how the current system works, allowing them to meaningfully contribute. Taking some time to train new staff early on will have worthwhile payoffs as your staff will all have a basic understanding of the company and their specific role within a few weeks.

But beyond on-the-job training, employers can entice applicants with further study opportunities. Many workers will jump at the chance to work and upskill at the same time.

The Cybers security Hiring Report projects that IoT and Public Cloud Security will be the most in-demand skills by 2024. Invest in your staff by providing pre-emptive training in these areas. This will pay off in employees who are at the forefront of an ever-advancing industry, capable of facing modern problems with innovative solutions.

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3. Understand theory knowledge vs experience 

Hiring managers must navigate the balance between knowledge and experience. Fresh graduates may understand emerging challenges to cyber security more than someone who graduated 10 years ago. On the other hand, veterans of the trade will often have tricks they use to work more efficiently and can fix problems before they happen.

Whether you hire a fresh graduate or someone moving between companies depends on what you’re looking for. If your cyber security team is filled with young people, then a more experienced person may bring balance to the team. Similarly, someone new to the industry may provide fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to problems concerning workflow, technology, and emerging security concerns.

Hiring the right fit 

At the end of the day, you want your team to be balanced and effective. Start by asking where the gaps in knowledge are, what kinds of problems they have been facing recently, and what they’re looking for in a team member. In larger companies, there can be a disconnect between the IT team and the hiring manager when advertising for entry-level cyber security jobs. Make sure you communicate effectively to ensure you hire the right applicant for your team.

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