Balance Approach

Cyber security incident response professionals want better work/life balance.

Data from Stott and May has found 50 per cent of cyber security incident response professionals want a better work/life balance, while 29 per cent say the quality and calibre of potential new team members is the number one factor that makes a potential employer stand out.

The data is based on a survey of 100 incident response professionals across the UK and the US, and also shows that consistent communication and feedback is the most important factor when it comes to keeping candidates engaged in the hiring process. The most important consideration for accepting a new role was salary (37 per cent), followed by the potential for career growth (27 per cent).

“The incident response talent market is a highly competitive one,” said Andrew Gee, chief revenue officer at Stott and May. “That is evident with 66 per cent of the candidate sample getting approached at least once a week regarding a new role. Companies are therefore in a constant battle to ensure their employee value proposition stands out, whilst consistently optimising their hiring process to maintain candidate engagement.

“Work/life balance is also key when it comes to retaining the best incident response talent,” he added, “putting the onus on employers to manage against employee burnout in the backdrop of ever-increasing demands on the function.

“The shift to remote working over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic will ultimately raise questions around the necessity for travel and levels of on-site presence required in the new world of work. Employers have an opportunity to get more creative in this space.”

The research, which forms part of Stott and May’s Inside Incident Response Report, also reveals:

  • Technical skills, adaptability and a strong focus on personal development were seen by candidates as the most essential qualities for success in the IR profession
  • 17 per cent said the challenge of the day-to-day role and responsibilities was the most important factor for staying in a position, while 14 per cent said the same for team chemistry
  • Crowdstrike, Crypsis and FireEye were voted the top 3 most attractive employers in the IR space by candidates

Gee concluded: “Our research shows employers need to put themselves in the shoes of their candidates and deliver a high-touch, well signposted recruitment process. At the point of onboarding high quality IR talent, businesses must focus on delivering a good work/life balance and a clear path for career progression and development. It will be the companies that can succeed in these areas, and deliver a highly personalised experience, that will ultimately win talent from the competition.”

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