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Recruiting and Retaining the Best Cyber Security Talent

Date Posted: 1 December, 2019

Top 5 tips for recruiting and retaining the best cyber security talent in the Middle East:

1) Be an innovative and inspiring leader. Most of my candidates are looking for a challenging and exciting role with companies that really care about their security. We all know that no company can be 100% secure, however, understanding the priorities, having a clear vision of execution and the ability to communicate it not just to the security team but to the rest of the business is a necessary trait for a good leader.

2) Drop some of the certifications and degree requirements from your job description. Don’t take me wrong, they are valuable, but is it essential for a candidate to have ALL of them? I’ve recently asked my connections what their frustrations with the recruitment process are, and one of the most common ones was the certifications requirement. HR tends to overlook experience in favor of certifications and in my opinion, that should not be the case.

3) Timing is everything. Try to make the process as efficient as you can. Good candidates won’t wait 6 months for you to make a decision.

  • Speak to a specialist consultant about the market and available talent.
  • Write a clear job description with realistic expectations.
  • Make sure you know exactly who needs to interview candidates and their schedules.
  • Manage candidate’s expectations. If you know it takes X amount of months for the sign-offs and what not, just let them know.

4) Get involved in the community. There are multiple groups for cyber security professionals, with regular events being hosted. Get involved, share the knowledge and find your next superstar. Here’s one for UAE: Desert RATs – Networking for UAE Cyber ProfessionalsWomen in Cybersecurity Middle East and there are many WhatsApp groups that you can join for daily updates.

5) Look at young talent. Lots of fresh graduates are looking for mentorships and internships. They are amazing, talented and hungry for work. Employ them, nurture them and you’ll have a loyal employee who will be a great asset to your company.

Additionally, you can use a specialist recruiter with a vast network to help you identify, assess and attract talent. Get in touch with us on email via


Get in touch with:

David Mackenzie

Group Managing Director