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Columbia Business Monthly

Skill Set Seekers

Sep 11, 2019 09:27AM ● By Elizabeth Pandolfi
By Callie McCarty

It’s critical that organizations have strong cybersecurity talent for effective cyber-risk management. However, that skill set is in low supply and in particularly high demand. 

Organizations need to focus on overcoming the cybersecurity skills gap and gaining a competitive advantage over others by attracting and retaining the right talent. Capgemini is helping to close this talent gap while building and shaping the workforce of the future through recruiting and training cybersecurity professionals from Columbia’s own community.

Finding and developing talent
In a survey of 1,200 senior executives and front-line employees conducted by the Capgemini Research Institute, 68 percent of organizations recognize the need for cybersecurity talent, with that number growing to 72 percent in the next two to three years. However, cybersecurity currently holds the highest digital skills gap.

How do organizations find and grow this talent? How are they discovered? There are a few things to focus on. The first is training: 80 percent of cybersecurity professionals surveyed in our study said they would prefer to choose their own development path. The main factors cited in choosing a company include culture and compensation, with infrastructure and career progression ranking much lower. Therefore, a compelling company story would be more beneficial in recruiting talent than the particulars of the job itself. 

However, what if companies struggle to find the right kind of talent? A company can be as flexible and engaging as it wants, but if it can’t find qualified cybersecurity talent, then organizations must find new ways to attract and hire. More than 80 percent of cybersecurity professionals would be willing to engage with firms that use innovative approaches for hiring. 

For example, hosting a hackathon can be a way that organizations can find new, qualified talent. These competitions give professionals the ability to present innovative ways to solve real company problems, demonstrating their skills and talents in real-life scenarios. 

Another way can be to look internally and invest time in current employees to develop new skills. This not only incentivizes talent to remain with the company, but it also is a motivating factor for talent growth. 

Talent seeks talent
Retention is an issue for cybersecurity professionals, so how do companies encourage great talent to stay? With 81 percent of cybersecurity employees preferring to join organizations where they feel they have a clear career development path, it’s imperative that organizations establish processes that provide clarity to its employees. They can do this by creating career maps, providing regular feedback on the developmental areas, or introducing mobility programs to allow employees to move to other areas of the organization. 

Capgemini cybersecurity in Columbia 
Capgemini recently launched its Security Operations Center (SOC) in Columbia, a hub of cybersecurity talent helping companies across the globe with their cybersecurity needs. SOC aims to decrease the cybersecurity talent gap by hiring an exceptional cybersecurity team from Columbia’s own community. 

Through training programs and recruiting, the SOC is filled with individuals who not only have the necessary skill sets, but also a desire to see the Columbia office grow and reach its full potential. 

The Columbia office hires those new to the field, as well as military veterans, to present a unified but diversified work environment of various skills and experiences. Many of the military veterans that are recruited have accumulated cybersecurity skills throughout their time of service and offer valuable insights from a global vantage point. 

For those that are not fully credited, the SOC prepares them to take their credential tests and get them up to the appropriate skill level. This combination of fresh perspective and experience is what enables their growth and the closing of the talent gap seen in the cybersecurity field. 

Callie McCarty is a Columbia-based business analyst in the intelligence automation division of Capgemini, a global leader in consulting, technology services and digital transformation.