Let’s cut to the chase.
A lot of companies think that engineers should be queuing at the door to join them because they are a fantastic company and they are growing, they put out adverts on job boards and on social media. These are only seen by those actively looking.
Reality is that most of the best security engineers are either secure in their current role but open to something better, or they are in transition and have multiple opportunities to consider. As such, you need to offer something different and/or better to get the best in front of you.
Here are the facts: The security engineer market is busy, there is a severe skills shortage, there is huge disconnect between employers and candidates, and everybody is trying to recruit the best.
So what can you do about it?
Improve your hiring process, review your benefits package, and think like a security engineer. Yes, that simple. Your goal is to position your company as an ‘employer of choice’.
Make the candidates want you… and you’ll have the candidates you want.
Take these 6 simple considerations; Salary, Additional Benefits, Hiring Process, Company Story, Opportunity, and further Unique Selling Points (USPs).
You will find many of the answers come from asking yourself these questions. Once you do, you’ll be on the way to bringing on board the best security engineers.
Money is not always the overriding factor. Rewarding engineers for their value to the company and role is.
- Do you know what the industry average salary is for the security engineer role you’re trying to fill?
- Can you pay above market rate? Whilst the majority may be paid market rate, they will be looking to increase this with a move.
Request an industry-wide salary survey and work out if you’re paying competitive rates. If you’re not then you’ll have to work even harder on the following selling points, or, consider investing in someone with less experience that you can train.
Don’t view engineers as a commodity. Often it is the minor details when it comes to a complete package that will strike a major chord with security engineers.
- Do your engineers have to use their own tools (if so why aren’t you aren’t you including these)?
- Do you offer any other equipment? Mobiles? Laptops? Multi meters? Tablets?
- Is there a choice of company vehicle? Do these have air conditioning? Is there a fuel allowance or card? Can the engineer use the vehicle for private use?
- Do you offer time off the day after a call out?
- Do you have a Personal Development plan for your staff?
- Will you cover the costs of training that will improve the engineer’s ability to do their job?
- How much do you pay for overtime, travel time and standby?
- Is there a company health scheme? Do you offer a pension?
Consider a complete benefits package that takes into account the things that often seemingly don’t matter. Think like a security engineer.
Hiring and onboarding processes are absolutely crucial to both attracting and keeping the right people. I’ve written about it extensively here, but in short.
- Do you have clear understanding of what’s on offer and what you need in a person?
Senior management need to collaborate on defining what is wanted from the right candidate in order to ensure a coherent message to candidates and that time is not wasted.
- Do you judge a candidate based purely upon their CV?
Too many companies are making hiring decisions based upon gut feeling without considering attitudes and behaviours too… or even taking references.
- How are you attracting candidates and how does the process follow through after?
Consider using a copywriter to craft your job ads, and sell yourselves better. Then once you have the candidates ensure a process that reflects your company throughout. Less of the 5 stage interviews, more of the succinct and simple application. It’ll be better for you too and you’ll lose less people to the competition.
- Do you know that hiring is a two-way process?
That’s right – don’t forget to sell the company and opportunity to the candidate at each stage of the interview, give them examples and help them to understand why it would be a better place for them to work.
Linkedin recently did a study on what drives employees to change their job. The top answer wasn’t salary. It wasn’t even that they hated their boss. It was that they didn’t believe there were sufficient opportunities to grow.
- Are you offering exciting opportunities within your company?
- Is there a clear structure, or even opportunity, for progression?
- Are you clear about what the role will entail and what the future has in store?
- Are you utilising new technologies within your business that this person will be exposed to?
As always, honesty is the best policy. If you can’t honestly say there will be chances for growth, or that you’re a company with great opportunities, then the best security engineers probably won’t be coming your way any time soon. However, if you can, and provide examples with this, you’ll be an attractive employer.
Why should people join your company? The best security engineers have loyalty to their company, and company story and culture is a huge part of this. Of course, the above 4 factors tie into this, but it goes further.
- What’s your history and how have you grown to working with who you do?
- Do you tell staff progression stories? Have testimonials readily available?
- Is there a social atmosphere? Are there company get-togethers, trips, or incentives?
- Do you invest in training and the development of your staff?
With the market as it is, and skills continuing to shorten, the real company story appeal is greater than ever.
Sit down and talk. Talk to your managers, security engineers, to outsiders looking in, and find out;
- What makes your company different?
- Why do your employees enjoy working for you?
- What tempts others to want to work for you rather than a competitor?
- What made you choose our company over others that you were considering?
Speaking to someone who knows the market extensively and can identify what makes you stand out will further help in the selling of your company to the best security engineers. Know your key selling points. Sell your key selling points. Take stock of the questions above, answer them, and resolve them if the answer doesn’t come back as it should. Do that, and there’s a much greater chance the best security engineers will be at your company next time you read this.
At Eligo we help our clients recruit better. We can help you benchmark salary expectations with our industry wide knowledge and salary survey, identify USPs, write copy for your job ads, and improve your entire hiring process with reduced stress, time, and cost. What’s more we know who and where the best security engineers are.