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Providing Practical Solutions Winning the Talent Wars for Recruiting and Retaining 21 st Century Cyber Engineers Jeff Kubik, PMP, CISSP Sr PM, Praxis Engineering firstname.lastname@example.org 1
Agenda Background Distinguishing Cyber engineering talent from other technical fields Recruiting challenges for national defense customers PM’s role in recruiting and developing a successful recruiting strategy Lessons learned from previous programs 2
Background 2013 DoD Cyber Security budget: $3.4B DHS $769M – Cyber security budget for 2013 Gov’t IT projects all competing for the same cyber talent Increase use of mobile & cloud computing environments bolstering demand for security Shortage of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) graduates to fill market demand Growing number of STEM degrees in US being awarded to foreign citizens 3
Cyber Talent Distinction Cyber Engineer Talent Requires broad understanding of networking, operating systems & application development Understanding of cyber attack scenarios & mitigation strategies Encompasses Computer Network Defense, Computer network attack, Computer network exploitation skills Requires continuously updating of skills & maintenance of DoD 8570.1 certifications Technical Talent Focus on excellence within a specific domain: Programming, networking, system administration, Database administration More concerned about functionality vs security of solution Maintains proficiency in the technology 4
Recruiting Challenges Intense competition (Private Industry, Government) for new college (STEM) talent Limited supply of talent with active security clearances Processing new candidates for high level security clearances can take more than a year with no guarantee for adjudication Compensation expectations of new / recent graduates misaligned with reshaping of Federal marketplace Millennials seek challenging work environments that provides them with unrestricted access to mobile computing and social media Traditional IT workforce requires training investment to become Cyber ready 5
PM’s Role in Recruiting and Developing a Recruiting Strategy PMs need to outline recruiting strategy in advance of winning a cyber program Active involvement with recruiters & participation in candidate interviews Identification of sources of cyber engineer candidates Determine talent acquisition investment required in obtaining necessary personnel 6
Recruiting Strategy Identify sources for program staffing Identify recruiting sources & establish pipelines Other Contractor personnel Former Government/Military personnel External Recruitment firms Interns / Co-Ops Incentives: employee referrals, sign on bonuses Social Media & Marketing efforts Conduct targeted sourcing across electronic job boards, alumni associations, professional trade groups, LinkedIn Active participation in Cyber Competitions: Cyber Patriot, Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) 7
Involvement with Recruiting Team Provide recruiters with summary table of skills mapped to available contract labor categories Collaborate with recruiting on compensation strategy Maintain staffing spreadsheet to highlight vacancies Participate in candidate interviews Provide detailed feedback to recruiters to improve their sourcing criteria for candidates Join recruiters at campus visits (build future pipeline) Encourage employees to become extensions of the formal corporate recruiting team 8
Sources of Cyber Engineers Defense Contractors Government (Civilian/Military) Academia (IA Centers of Excellence) Security / IT engineers supporting other critical infrastructure sectors (finance, healthcare, energy) Pathways to Cybersecurity Careers Consortium College campuses Cross train current talent (long term investment) 1099s (Independent consultants) 9
Talent Acquisition Investment Determine employment offer: Contingent or Firm Establish budget for employee referrals Determine relocation budget for candidates possessing critical skills Budget training $ to ensure staff obtain/retain their DoD 8570.1 certifications (e.g. Security+, CISSP, GIAC) 10
Lessons Learned Allow candidates to share in the vision of their future professional growth on your cyber program Invest in the training of cyber personnel & create assignments that expands their technical skills Establish frequent and open communications with recruiting team, management and project staff Create a partnership with the Customer to enable staff growth which increases the program’s intrinsic value in retention of top talent Develop a flexible staffing strategy that accommodates change and staff transitions 11
Conclusion Active PM involvement is critical to winning the cyber talent war Coaching the next generation of cyber engineers contributes to increasing the talent supply for our Nation Maintaining technical competencies aides in cyber talent acquisition and development Invest time and energy in developing better awareness of your personnel’s needs to improve retention 12
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