A Novice’s Guide to Hiring Security Management

From time to time I am approached to assist in recruiting a security management professional by a hiring manager or HR professional that does not know a lot about security. What should you do if you find yourself in the same situation?  One way is to rely heavily on the experts in your company to tell you what to look for and do the interviewing, but that isn’t always an option.  You might be the first security professional for your company, or your experts might be too busy for interviews until you’ve weeded most of the candidates down to a short list. This is when you develop your gleaning, or information gathering, abilities.

Job description mash ups gleaned from like-looking job titles on job boards, liberally sprinkled with skills from online resumes, can provide an initial job post. This may also provide a checklist against which you can evaluate the responses, but eventually you’ll find yourself face-to-face with a candidate, and here’s where your gleaning really starts.

When you sit down opposite your first hopeful candidate, start the interview by describing the high-level company need (this is why you’re hiring after all), and ask your first candidate how they would accomplish it.  What steps would they take?  What time-frame would be needed? How would they evaluate success, what roadblocks might they encounter, and what resources would be required? Take notes furiously, and follow the same process with the next candidate, and the one after that, using what you learn from each to challenge the next.  You will eventually reach a point where, although you still aren’t a security expert, you now have a pretty good idea of the job, and the skills you need to hire.

This process should get a non-expert through the first hurdle; can the candidate do the job? Discovering whether your candidates have the motivation you need for the job requires the right interview questions, but can be helped with a little background gleaning.  Going beyond the usual background checks and reaching out to candidate’s former direct work supervisors and colleagues may help you glean a little more information and discover what motivates a candidate.

Gleaning the meaning from an interview question may even help you discover whether a candidate is a good culture fit for your organization. Gleaning, in essence, is listening to the kernels of knowledge or truth during an interview.  “” Entrepreneur magazine quotes Matt Szulik, former CEO of Red Hat, as saying; “It’s amazing how fast 60 minutes can get filled, as an interviewer, by keeping your mouth shut and asking people to tell you their life’s journey as they’ve created their success model.”

For more on how to hire the best security professionals, or for help with your security management recruiting needs,  today.

Recommended Posts
Contact Us

Hello, feel free to send us a message about your search needs.