Let’s face it: the phrase “Identity Administration and Government” does not send sexy shivers down the spine of the new university graduate.
It doesn’t initially sound like the fast-lane to money, power and a corner office. In fact, to the aspiring white-hat hacker, it evokes the dreaded notion of working nine-to-five, in a fluorescent office, while wearing actual pants (and possibly even – horrors! – a tie).
Still, identities must be administrated, and talent must be hired.
This is a big enough challenge to have several recent startups dedicated to its solution. In the related field of cybersecurity, it typically takes 8 to 12 months to fill a vacant position. In the meantime, we have to find our own ways to attract those elusive professionals.
When resources are scarce, prices go up; thus is the law of market economy. But the price does not necessarily have to be paid in cold, hard cash. Assuming that you would rather avoid being bankrupted by exorbitant wages – what can you do to make your company more attractive to talent in the Identity Administration space?
Check Your Rep
When hiring talent today, you are often dealing with the famous Millennials. Members of this generation practically grew up on the Internet. They are connected to their peers 24 hours a day, over large distances and national borders. T0 them, exchanging information globally is as easy – and natural – as breathing air.
In a world like this, reputation travels fast. This is bad news as well as good: You can’t hope to attract talent by buying ad space and painting a pretty picture of the good life in your company. If your promises don’t live up to reality, word will get out soon, and the already scarce talent will vanish like little chicks seeking cover.
On the other hand, if your company becomes known for treating its employees well and offering perks that are actually relevant to talent in Identity Administration, your job of hiring the right people will be made significantly easier by word-of-mouth.
Find Them Fast
Some CIOs are attacking the problem at the root and visit elementary and middle schools to motivate students to go into STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, maths). Even though you may not have time to wait for your next team leader to master reading and writing first, you can still learn something from that approach: Build trust and encourage interest in your company and the Identity Administration field early. Why not get in touch with college students, offering them part-time opportunities or a topic for their master’s thesis?
Look @ Mid-Career
If all the young talent in your region is sucked into tech startups (and you don’t want to wait for them to come back once they’re burned out from working 20-hour-days), consider hiring mid-career people that have demonstrated adaptability and problem-solving skills in their previous jobs. You may not be able to teach someone with a liberal arts background the finer points of penetration testing, but they may still become a decent Identity Administration professional.
Finally, there are more important perks than money and a fancy title for many Millennial professionals. Especially those with “nerdy” background instead expect a higher degree of freedom in how, where and when they do their work. If it is at all possible in your company, let them decide for themselves how to equip their offices (even if you end up with some obscure posters on the wall), be open to non-conventional working hours, and think about whether it might be possible that some tasks be done remotely.
Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a free lunch: If you want to attract high-quality talent, you either have to pay premium prices – or work for it. (Or both.) If you your Identity Administration department is small, you may be better off outsourcing these functions to a trusted third party.
If you want to know more about this option, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! We help hundreds of companies, from many verticals, handle IAM every day!
Dr Christina Czeschik is a writer and consultant specialized in information security, digital privacy, and Blockchain. Originally a doctor, she has slipped into the infosec pool by way of cryptoparties, and never quite been able to climb out again.