Discover Candidate’s Actions And Experiences When Applying For A New Role In The Cyber Security Industry

At Via Resource, we strive to provide a supportive service to our candidates and clients. In a year and half of unprecedented world disruption and change, we wanted to learn how this has impacted the Cyber Security recruitment market. Our research focused on the candidate’s views of how the recruitment process has changed, and to establish what candidates find attractive in employers and job opportunities. We carried out an industry survey from 5th – 26th July 2021, asking candidates their thoughts when applying for a new role.

Torquil Macleod, Founder and Director of Via Resource comments:

“We are incredibly grateful to all the candidates who took the time to complete our survey as we look to understand how the market has changed. The feedback gathered will help us to improve candidate experience and help inform our clients. We want to ensure candidates receive the best experience possible with quality support, advice and guidance from Via Resource to find their perfect role.”

How Candidates Apply For A New Role

Cyber security professionals apply for roles in a mixture of ways with LinkedIn being the most popular channel with 96% of the candidates initially discovering jobs or performing job related research via this channel. We believe this is due to the fact employers use Linked in to help inform on hiring decision, It’s an easy way to fact find a candidate’s previous experience. Using a recruitment Consultancy comes second, 45% of candidates reported finding un-advertised Cyber Security roles where hiring organisations have chosen to be more discreet. Candidates also preferred not having to negotiate salary package with potential employers, this part of the process made many applicants feel uncomfortable. Other ways of applying for a new role include Indeed (31%), company website (31%), using their own personal network (18%), Jobsite (16%) and Total Jobs (16%).

63% of candidates surveyed checked company reviews before applying for a role, in particular Glassdoor. Cyber security professionals pay close attention to the ratings and reviews which can significantly influence whether they choose to move forward with the application process. On average candidates spend 24 minutes to complete each application.

A well written, detailed and accurate job description (and advert) is highlighted as the key attraction by 29% of candidates surveyed.

What Candidates Want From An Organisation

When a candidate has applied for a role on average, they would expect a reply within three working days mentioning if they have been successful to the next stage or not.

If a candidate is successful to the next stage interviews, they are happy to incorporate phone and online interviews with the final stage to be in person interviews (61%). However, some candidates (24%) are only wanting to participate with online interviews due to technology allowing us to do so. After each interview stage it is important for candidates to receive detailed feedback with 73% of candidates strongly agreeing and 37% agreeing. This is an incredibly important statistic as the importance of employer branding and candidate experience is hugely important in today’s employment market.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

What Candidates Are Looking For

Within Their Role

We asked Cyber security professionals if they had to rank the most important thing, they look for in a new role the sequence is as followed:

1. Remuneration
2. Job Title
3. Job Benefits
4. Career Progression
5. Job Responsibilities
6. Skills
7. Training

Salary is regarded as one of the most important factors while making a choice between roles, therefore putting salary ranges in job advertisements may give organisations a competitive advantage when trying to attract candidates. That’s because most candidates look first at a position’s compensation and benefits when scanning a job posting, then at the job’s required qualifications and skills.

Even with training being the lowest importance to candidates 94% of candidates surveyed would be happy to take on additional training to learn skills.

Job Benefits

When an organisation provides company benefits, this helps recruit and retain the best employees, boost morale and improve company culture and benefit from a more productive workforce. Therefore, when candidates apply for a role, they would be looking at the benefits package which could be a way to differentiate one organisation to its competitors. Due to COVID-19, the working culture has changed by providing a more flexible working culture which is important to candidates (86%) and the ability to work from home (61%). Where technology is enabling businesses to continue to function, communicate effectively and maintain positive morale through video conference calls, virtual coffee catch ups and screen-to-screen team socials.

As employees spend almost 50% of their time working, offering a health program is crucial. Health benefits can improve overall productivity at work, reduce absenteeism, improve dietary habits of employees, and promote positive behavioural patterns. This is why candidates have chosen other benefits including health insurance (41%), additional training (41%), wellness programme (20%), gym membership (14%) and vouchers including childcare or gift voucher membership like Perkbox (20%).

This insight gained from job seekers shows the new thinking when applying for a cyber security role. Which in turn helps Via Resource when speaking to organisations to guide them with the best job packages, interviewing process and onboarding successfully where candidates can fit perfectly into the role.