5 Ways to Improve Cyber Talent Retention

The average CISO tenure is only 18 months. Even more disconcerting, 65% of cybersecurity professionals are considering quitting their jobs.

High turnover rates are plaguing the cybersecurity industry. The high turnover rate is a symptom of a larger problem, the cybersecurity skills gap. And it’s what analysts are calling the perfect storm.

Not only is cybersecurity talent retention tough, but new data shows it takes an average of 3-6 months to fill a cybersecurity job. The effects of an unfilled cybersecurity position can have profound and lasting consequences, like leaving vulnerabilities ignored or burdening others in the department.

If you’re losing talent at an unsustainable rate, it’s time to step up your efforts. Here are five ways you can improve cyber talent retention:

1. Fair Pay

Attractive pay isn’t a replacement for job happiness or career development, but it sure is a start. Cyber pros are some of the most highly sought after, and they’ve got advanced tech skills under their belt to help protect the organization. Should they be paid a fair amount? According to recent research by ISACA, over 80% of cybersecurity professionals cited wanting an increase in pay as an incentive to leave their jobs.

2. Career Growth Opportunities

Prioritize your people so they can succeed and progress with you. According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report,  94% of employees reported that they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development.

While this notion holds true across all industries, it is especially important in cybersecurity. Because cybersecurity is an evolving threat, cyber pros must continue to learn and progress. The defenses of your organization are largely dependent upon the expertise of your workforce. Keep talent from becoming stagnant, and you’ll be rewarded with more loyalty.  

3. Healthy Work Environment

The cybersecurity industry is notorious for long hours and high stress environments. Cybersecurity burnout is real, and there’s not enough of an effort to avoid it. While some stress on the job can’t be helped, there are ways to ensure your employees don’t feel like they’re drowning in responsibility.

Build a strong culture around your people. A healthy work-life balance is a good start. In fact, just over half of millennials say that a healthy work-life balance is a priority for them. A healthy work environment can look different across many companies and industries, but it starts with a few basic principles. Build trust, remain honest, and strive to communicate effectively.

4. Prioritize Cybersecurity

If your organization isn’t prioritizing cybersecurity these days, you’re likely facing a flurry of cyber-attacks or using outdated methodologies. Feelings of defeat can be demoralizing. When you invest in cybersecurity, you’re creating a larger team effort, instead of making employees feel like it’s left on the backburner. If they feel like they’re continually on the losing side, employees can feel like there’s not much to fight for.

5. Strong Leadership

There’s no better way to build confidence than to lead by example, and have your team believe in you. On the other hand, lacking passion in your leadership style can quickly rub off on your team. If there’s an opportunity to improve the support or inspiration you offer your team, take it- and your team will respond with stronger loyalty.  

Each organization faces different challenges in retaining talent, but not investing in your team is a surefire way to leave them feeling disregarded and underutilized. If you’re searching for talent, streamline your search today and network with qualified candidates.  

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