ESCALATE The Workforce
Recruit, Retain, and Cultivate Tech Talent
The talent shortage is one of the cybersecurity sector's favorite things to fret about. It's "an industry crisis," according to Forbes; we hear words like "suffering" and "staggering" and it's hard not to get a little worried. Are you prepared for the cyber talent battles to come? And what about diversity? We know it's a good thing, yes; but how will you achieve it when your options are so few?
But the truth is that this crisis is mostly manufactured and can be easily solved. There are many real problems in cybersecurity, but there's no reason talent should be one of them. True cyber talent can come from anywhere. In fact, you may already have the best people for the job among your current employees; all they need is somewhere to hone and test their skills. That's why we built ESCALATE®, a gamified ecosystem of hands-on-keyboard challenges and human mentors where anyone can become a skilled cyber professional.
Competing For Less
In a sector where unemployment has hit zero percent, attracting and retaining talent is no small task. Simply advertising an opening is not enough. Nearly half of cybersecurity pros receive at least one inbound job notification per week from costly recruiters - even when they’re not looking for a job! Add to that the costs of onboarding and the high likelihood that your new hires will leave within six months, and it’s no wonder that talent management is so stressful.
Sourcing tech talent from within avoids all of these costs. Not only that, but ongoing training is especially important to cybersecurity professionals who need to keep up with the changing demands of the industry. Providing the tools and opportunities for growth establishes your commitment to your team’s professional development—and to the continued growth of the industry. “The most successful cybersecurity professionals we’ve seen are the ones who are always exploring,” said Point3 CEO Evan Dornbush. In a constantly evolving field, keeping skills up to date is critical. Using a self-paced platform like ESCALATE, employers can get a sense of who will rise to the challenge and push themselves farther in their everyday work-- something they can’t necessarily learn from a candidate’s degree.
Diversity is Easier than you Think
When tech companies recruit talent from the same 15 universities, it’s easy to understand why they’re worried about a shortage. As an example, just under 4,900 students graduated from Carnegie Mellon in 2016; more than 3,000 of them were men. Knowing where to look for tech talent is tough, with opportunities for bias at every turn—college education versus high school; technical degrees versus non-technical; recruiting and hiring decisions influenced by gender, race, and age—but leaving an open door for talent to walk through means anyone can come in. And the best part is, anyone will.
Having a diverse security workforce isn’t just about values; it’s also about achieving the mission. Adversaries come in all shapes and sizes, from all disciplines and backgrounds, and so should our defenders. As an online-only and gamified platform, ESCALATE levels the playing field in ways in-person trainings simply can’t. Cybersecurity is a team sport, and real-time mentorships and community chatrooms are a core part of how ESCALATE fosters new talent.
Better for You, Better for Everyone
“Ultimately, we created ESCALATE because we want to solve a problem,” said Dornbush. “The more people we can train and equip with cyber skills, the safer all of us will be.” It is true that the workforce of today can’t meet the security needs of tomorrow, but there’s no reason it has to stay that way. Industry experts from academia to national security agree that the best ways to fill the gap are by helping people learn what the field is all about, explore their own skills, and discover their own value, regardless of where they come from. In short, by creating your own in-house talent, you not only meet your own needs in a cost-effective manner, you also support the sector as a whole. The path to a diverse and skilled cyber workforce is easier than you think.