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How can Australia’s technology sector retain the best cybersecurity staff?

Amee Karat, Davidson Technology | Sept. 5, 2017
How do you compete against other organisations head-hunting your best staff?

Credit: Graphicstock 

There is no doubt that the more we come to rely on technology, the more likely we are to be held ransom by it if we do not have the right systems - and staff - in place to mitigate the risks of this happening.

And with new legislation now making it compulsory to report all data breaches to the Australian Government if your business has an annual turnover of more than $3 million, the need to find and retain the right cyber security staff has never been more important.

I have worked in the cyber security sector since 2009 and in that time, I have seen the demand for talented cyber security increase exponentially. 

This is particularly true for the past two years where we have seen exceptional growth in this space as businesses - small, medium and large - have become more aware of the need to ensure their data is secure.

So how do you compete against other organisations head-hunting your best staff? Are your cyber security staff happy to plan out a career with your organisation?


It is not just about the money 

Many organisations make the mistake of thinking they can retain their cyber security staff simply by raising their salary packages, but this approach rarely works long-term.

Yes, specialists in cyber security command high wages because of the value of their work and the demand for their services.

However, in our experience, we have found time and again that job satisfaction is the key to retaining your top cyber security staff.

Cyber security is a unique field which attracts a unique set of creative-thinking, problem-solving devotees who love a challenge and finding solutions to problems. In short, they like a challenge.

Mundane and repetitive work will doubtless account for some aspects of cyber security work, but candidates and employees who are well paid, given the chance to stretch their wings and challenged are much more likely to remain on your staff than someone who is very well paid and bored!

Job satisfaction very often comes down to how interesting and challenging the role is for the individual.

This may mean providing ongoing training and professional development, flexible working arrangements and attractive wages as the focus shifts to positive steps to attract and maintain top performing cyber security staff.  


Contractors versus permanent staff

While there is a general acceptance that cyber security contractors can command high wages because of the demand for their services, there is less understanding of the need to attract and retain on-staff cyber security specialists with salary packages which appeal to them.


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