Anushika Babu
April 3, 2023

Security Hiring is Hard

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Why is Security Hiring So Hard?
  3. How to Ease Security Hires?


As per a recent survey, it was found that there would be a demand for over 1 million cyber security professionals but only 400,000 eligible candidates would be available. These numbers show why most companies struggle to hire software security professionals, as cybersecurity has become vital for a company's success today.

If you are a product team manager, security hiring can be very challenging. Security hiring calls for a specialized set of skills and knowledge about security practices and policies. You have to source candidates with experience and a proven track record in security. 

You have to find a security professional with a deep understanding of your product team's goals and objectives. Most organizations opt to have an internal team with good security training and up-to-date information with the latest innovation to close the talent gap and have a robust security team.

But more on that later. The most pertinent question remains: why is it hard to hire skilled security professionals? And how can you work on making it easier?

Why is Security Hiring So Hard?

A common malpractice of product team managers is approaching security, and engineering hires in the same way. 

During security hiring, focus on technical skills, knowledge, and experience in the security domain. A comprehensive understanding of the latest security tools, cyber threats, and risk management is essential. They should be able to develop and implement security strategies. Strong problem-solving and communication skills are close seconds. 

But it is easier said than done. In reality, we can pinpoint 3 main hurdles:

Security Resources Are Limited

Limited security resources make security hires harder than engineers like Developers and QAs. There is a much smaller pool of qualified security professionals than engineering professionals. The number of security professionals with the right skills and experience is even smaller. This means you must compete for the best security professionals. 

The screening process for security hires is also more intensive than for engineering hires. 

Security Hiring is Expensive

Security hiring is expensive because it requires highly specialized skills and experience. A developer with 3 to 4 years of experience is considered a junior to mid-level. But a security engineer with the same experience is considered senior-level.

Security hiring expenses include the costs of recruiting, interviewing, background checks, and onboarding new security personnel. This includes fees for: 

  • Job postings
  • Recruitment agencies
  • Background checks
  • Health tests
  • Onboarding 

It also includes the time the HR and departmental managers spend interviewing and onboarding the new recruits. As they are much in demand, the salary and perks provided to security executives are much higher.

Security Professional Retention is Hard

Security professionals are in high demand. Companies are willing to shell out big bucks to hire more experienced security professionals, increasing their salary range. It is easy to lure away your "top security person" by offering extra perks and remuneration. This poses a big challenge for medium and small enterprises.

How to Ease Security Hires?

That’s all about the obstacles in the security hires and retention process. But the question remains: how can you address the complications related to security hires? So far, we have noted three problems: limited resources, high cost, and low retention. 

We believe there is a one-size-fits-all answer to all these hurdles: training. How? Let’s understand how training helps your team ease security hires.

Educate Your Product Team

Training your product team in security can help make security hiring easier. It can provide your team with a better understanding of security principles. This will help them identify potential security risks and vulnerabilities more quickly and accurately. 

If you want to reduce the need to hire additional security personnel, training your current team members helps. Organizations can train developers to write secure code, understand encryption, and remedy vulnerabilities.

A comprehensive understanding of security can also help your team better guide new personnel. Training can help developers recognize the value of a security-focused approach to product development. 

Training is Comparatively Cheaper

New security hires involve interviewing time, recruitment fees, onboarding costs, and productivity loss for 6+ months. These are the easiest ways to pile up hiring costs for security professionals. Excluding salary, all these costs can come to $35,000 for ONE security engineer. 

But getting training for your whole team will require a fraction of this cost. Not to mention, teams with new skills perform 10 to 15% better than before. Overall, it is far more economical for large and small companies in the long run.

Training Boosts Retention

It is a misconception that training will incentivize employees to seek better jobs elsewhere. Surveys show 70% of professionals prefer to stay at a company if it provides learning and upskilling opportunities. Training can help employees better understand the company's goals, objectives, and policies.

Training can motivate employees to stay with the company. It gives them a sense of accomplishment and provides an avenue to advance their career. Training is a no-brainer solution for companies struggling with a shortage of security professionals. It helps you build in-house talent, cut costs, and retain employees. 

Are you wondering where you can train your team? we45 provides Instructor-Led Training (ILT) which can be tailored to meet your organization's needs and make your team security pros.

At we45, we provide security training on Cloud security, DevSecOps, Kubernetes, and Threat Modeling. Connect with us to learn more.