Security Talent Nightmares

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Hungry for Talent – Surviving the Coming Security Talent Famine of 2013


Part 1: Talent Nightmares


I wipe the sweat from my brow as smoothly as I can, trying my hardest not to let the candidate know how badly I need him on my team. At the same time I think to myself is that a Hugo Boss suit he is wearing?

“Nice Panerai,” I mention swiftly as we engage in small talk. Seriously, what happened to the green hair and nose ring from a couple years back I think to myself.  As we move deeper into negotiation I ask, “So you want how much? Is that inclusive of the relocation and signing bonus you are requesting as well?  Just want to be sure we are talking apples to apples.”

“Yes,” he responds, then, so it is fresh in my mind, adds “You need to finalize your offer quickly for me to consider; I have seven I am reviewing and I will be making a decision quickly.”

“Ok, sure thing,” I respond, trying to keep my voice from cracking.   Just as I begin to tear up in front of the candidate and raise my hands in frustration, which is common at this point, I get the sensation of something biting my finger and hear the growling of a dog; Weird, I think. I then quickly awake in a cold sweat to my wife’s Pomeranian dog chewing on my finger and going crazy; for some reason this dog likes to sleep right above my head (dog dominance I am told) and my talent hiring night terror apparently caused me to touch her…a no, no for this dog in my household. Awesome; yet another nightmare about my upcoming interviews and now a bleeding finger (again).

My wife, used to this scenario, with her standard sarcastic charm following a good laugh, quips, “Trying to add to your team again eh Mike?  Let me guess, you are interviewing another one today.” As she walks away, what she mutters reminds of the wit and no B.S. approach that I love the most in her, ”Who would have thought you security nerds would have become such high-paid, in-demand rock-stars; kind of sad actually.”

This series will explore five tips and one bonus tip for acquiring security talent in a landscape that currently has unquenchable demand and not even close to enough supply. So should you just shut down your security effort until the tide turns and you can find what you need? Your Board will buy into that won’t they? Yeah right! So what do you do? Glad you asked. This series will explore practical tips for getting fat on security talent during this brutal situation; a famine that is bound to continue for at least the next two years.

As always, please provide your feedback to or @MikeGentile03 on Twitter; I always read them.

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