J Patrick + Associates Blog

5 Hiring Mistakes That Will Cost You Top Talent

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 @ 11:04 AM

Avoid these 6 hiring mistakes to win top talent


With top talent at a premium in sectors from cyber security to AV/IT, hiring great employees is more challenging than ever. And the last thing any company wants to face is hiring someone who doesn't work out. After all, replacing an employee can cost as much as 6 to 9 months of that employee's annual salary.

In order to avoid losing both time and money, or even worse not being able to find the right candidate at all, here are 6 hiring mistakes to make certain you avoid.


1) Chasing Perfection

All too often we see hiring managers clinging too tightly to their checklists. Of course there are certain prerequisites of any position, but if you are too set on an ideal you run the very real risk of missing out on a truly great candidate.

Or perhaps you are set on the idea of what your team should look like, the hiring equivalent of choosing from a take-out menu: one from column A, two from column B etc... But if you let go of pre-set ideals and consider candidates with diverse backgrounds and unexpected skills, you will enhance the team as a whole. An outsider's perspective can be refreshing and add the kind of new energy and boost you need to move the needle higher.

Remember: working with people who are different from us makes us more creative, more diligent and harder-working.


2) Not Truly Knowing The Job

It's one thing to know what function you're hiring someone for, but it's another thing to really understanding how the role functions on a day-to-day basis.

One of the best tools at your disposal to understand any given role on your team is the exit interview. And while that might sound counterintuitive, it makes perfect sense. After all, what better way to understand what works and what doesn't than to hear from people who are on their way out?

Yes, certainly there will be those employees whose opinion you will have to take with a grain of salt, but if you take care to ask the right questions and really listen to the answers you receive, you stand to learn an awful lot about the job you are now faced with filling.

So before you go into interviews to fill a role, take the time to talk to the people who have done the job. If you do, you'll not only be able represent the position accurately, but it will also help you look for the candidate best suited to do the job.


3) Forgetting That Time Truly Is Of The Essence

Every search has its own parameters. Some jobs demand casting a wide net due to location, skill set or competition for talent. Others need to be filled as quickly as possible in order to insure that critical concerns are handled. But no matter the extenuating circumstances your company needs to have an established hiring protocol.

While it may seem an obvious system to have in place, too many companies do not have clear hiring policies in place. But taking the time to build a set of protocols not only makes it easier on your hiring managers, it also sends a stronger message to candidates that you are desirable company to work for.

In terms of how long you should spend on a search, that will depend on the job you're filling. But take care to never allow the process to go on for too long, otherwise candidates will either lose interest, continue to take meetings at other companies, or decide you are not interested in them and take themselves out of the running.


4) Trying To Get Away With Less

Trying to undercut the competition might look good on paper, but it will not help you to attract top talent. If you're offering compensation that is not in line with your sector you are not only going to be less appealing to candidates, but you're also selling yourself short.

The best guideline to follow is a candidate's current compensation package. If you are not able to meet what they are currently making or beat it, adjust the candidates you are considering. Otherwise you'll just be wasting your time as well as the candidates.


5) Forgetting You're Also Selling

It's easy to forget that while you're vetting a candidate, they too are interviewing you. They're looking to see if your company supports a culture where they'll feel at ease, supported and can foresee an upward path for themselves. Since more of our time is spent at work than at home with friends and family, the contemporary worker wants to know that they'll be spending their time somewhere they'll feel valued.


Just as college recruiters have become marketing machines, pitching students why they're the best choice for their education, you too have to sell candidates on why your position is the one that they should take. 


Related Questions:

What do I have to do to hire the right candidate? 

How do I do on boarding right?  


New call-to-action


Tags: HR and Hiring

Are You Prepared For The Next DDOS Attack?

Posted by Dylan Rivera on Thu, Feb 09, 2017 @ 01:32 PM

How to be prepared for a DDOS Attack


With the recent cyber attacks against the DNS service provider Dyn, information security experts are doubling down their effort to develop the next generation of prevention and solution methods. In other words, the demand for online security has never been greater.

What was once a luxury item has now become a necessary component for your business's online presence. When a single cyber attack can shut down half of the internet, its safe to say it’s time to thoroughly check and protect your property. 

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is a digital attack that attempts to disable any online service by sending an overwhelming amount of traffic from multiple sources, also known as ‘Botnets’. Though these attacks do harm, they are not intended to expose or steal any personal information, but rather overpower a hosting server, making it unavailable to users. Over 2000 DDoS attacks are observed daily with one-third of all online downtime complications resulting from DDoS bombardment.

The process of recovering from an attack can take from hours to days to weeks; all depending on the depth and breadth of the strike. All businesses should take the precaution of purchasing an anti-DDoS service to insure your IT safety.



In a volume-based attack (ICMP), the network/service bandwidth becomes congested with a mass amount of traffic resulting in a flood of access requests. Due to this attack all applications and services are rendered useless.



Protocol attacks are aimed at saturating networks resources by sending open requests (Pings of Death). These attacks manipulate IP protocol by sending large IP fragments, resulting in reboot or crash.



An application violation (Slowloris) targets the expected behavior of protocols (TCP. HTTP.) by tying up computational resources and preventing the user from accessing their requests. These types of attacks are very difficult to identify and defeat.

Here are our top 5 DDoS Protection Cybersecurity Providers:



There is just too much on the line when it comes to protecting your online assets. Always keep in mind that it only takes one single attack to compromise your business and your customers' online safety. Beat the botnets to the punch, and take immediate action by purchasing a protective service.

Better to be safe than... you know the rest.


Related Blog:




New call-to-action

Tags: cyber-security, cyber-threats, ddos

Cybersecurity Sales Engineers Are in High Demand

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Feb 07, 2017 @ 11:10 AM

Cyber Sales Engineers are in High Demand.png


According to projections from Cybersecurity Ventures, the cyber security sector is on track to see $1 trillion in spending between 2017 and 2021. With the refocusing of malware to phones, tablets and IoT devices (the internet of things), and the growing number and severity of attacks on consumer, institutional and government institutions in 2016, these projections might even need to be revised upward.

In essence, bad news for the security of our information is good news for the industry. And where there's a boom, there's a demand for talent. One field that's feeling the full effects of this expansion is cyber sales engineers.

With a salary range between $65,000 - $200,000/year, sales engineers in cybersecurity are in the fortunate position of not only being in demand, but able to negotiate terms. And in an environment where talent is at a premium, and the demand is outpacing the supply, candidates who are in the job market often are fielding competing offers, as well as counter-offer from their current employers. 

What this means is, if you're a sales engineer you have the opportunity to really consider your career trajectory and take the offers where you feel you'll be most challenged and valued. 

If you're a hiring manager charged with hiring cyber sales engineers, you already know that the competition for talent is fierce. You also know that you might have to push your budget to get the level of talent you need to keep your company's and/or your customer's data safe. And you probably also understand there's tremendous value in interviewing candidates even when you don't have an immediate opening. But there are a few other key issues to keep in mind.


Lose The Checklist

When you're faced with a competitive market and top talent comes at a premium, you have to be willing to look beyond your check list. The best candidate may not carry all the certifications you want to see, or they might carry ones you never considered important. They might come from a different sector or not have the years experience you're looking for.


Understand the Power of Soft Skills

As the bridge between the technology and the customer, a sales engineer's ability to manage and communicate effectively with customers needs to be a prime consideration. Since they are in daily contact with customers, they are your eyes and ears in the field, and having someone who is an agile communicator about the human experience (as well as the technical experience) is invaluable to you.


Hone Your Game

And speaking of soft skills, in order to attract the best talent, you need to have a company culture in place that both values and invests in their employees. We already know that the best retention and recruiting tool is to make employees and candidates feel valued.

When you're hunting for top talent in a crowded field, always make sure that you have the best position on offer.


Related Questions:

How do I handle a counter offer?

How do I create good employer branding?

How do you enhance diversity a workplace?



New call-to-action 

Tags: cyber-security, cybersecurity, HR and Hiring

Looking To Hire AV Techs? Make Sure To Look For Talent In These 2 Sectors.

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Jan 31, 2017 @ 11:05 AM

Looking To Hire AV TECH Make Sure to Look In These 2 Sectors


Complex AV Systems have become essential to corporations, government, education institutions, transportation and consumer outlets. Industry wide growth is steady and each year we are seeing the demand deepen. According to the NSCA's State of the Industry report, the majority of market sectors were projecting growth between 15-55% growth for 2016. These trends are borne out in our own practice here at J.Patrick, where we are seeing high demand for talent in all AV roles. See all our jobs listed here.

One of the positions we see some of the heaviest demand is for AV Techs. And while candidates entering at this level might not need much prior experience in the field or certifications, the search for talent can still be tough. It's important to keep an open mind when vetting candidates, and considering those who come from parallel industries.

Let's explore a few such parallel industries we've found to be good sources of talent.



The music industry is a natural place to search for AV talent as many of the skills and abilities are easily transferable to AV/IT. That the music industry can be a difficult place to make a living and/or to get ahead, makes it an obvious place to recruit for talent.

While many people enter the music sector for the passion and the love of music, they also realize they need an industry that can offer them career growth. AV/IT is a natural fit in that regard. We've found that the fact that techs can expect to work in a variety of settings (such as commercial locations, schools, corporations etc) with technology that is always changing and improving, is very appealing to these kinds of candidates.

It's worth noting too that video production is also a good source for talent.


Security Video

Once upon a time security companies simply offered alarm, call, surveillance, and sprinkler systems - the tent poles of basic home/office/institution security. But those days are long gone, and we've seen many traditional security companies expanding their offerings into areas that closely parallel AV/IT.

And as a result technicians from this field are well prepared to move into AV/IT. They come with a knowledge of cabling, installation, and the kind of troubleshooting that is required of AV techs. They're well accustomed to working on-site, crawling through walls and under tables in settings that can be sensitive, cramped or in use at the time of installation.

They also have a firm understanding of how to work efficiently all while being the face of the company with customers.

Just as with other in-demand roles, when it comes to the search for AV Technicians, being willing to set aside your check list can result in finding the best talent.


Related Blogs:




New call-to-action

Tags: AV/VTC/UC, HR and Hiring

Do you Have What It Takes To Be An AV Technician? ( Hint: You do! )

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad Sullivan on Mon, Jan 23, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Being an AV Technician


According to a 2015 study conducted by InfoComm, the next three years will be a time of consistent growth for both AV sales and service sales worldwide. This in an industry that has seen consistent growth rate of 3.10% per year since 2004. Accordingly, demand for well-qualified AV techs is expected to continue to rise with an expected 15,000 new jobs by 2018.

With a median salary of $52,573, an AV technician with a few years of experience can expect to earn between $45,000-$62,000.

And the beauty of many of these jobs, unlike many in the IT sector, is you don't need a raft of previous experience, hefty certifications or specialized degrees to enter the field.

Here's what you need, and what you can expect from a career in this field:


What You Need To Get Your First Job

  • A bachelors degree will certainly be helpful, but is not always viewed as necessary
  • A good facility with technology- this could be as simple as a strong working knowledge of consumer goods (TV/DVD Players/Game Systems) as well as a degree of comfort with cable-ing and connection conventions.
  • A working knowledge of electrical safety. Again this can be as simple as understanding the fundamentals of rewiring, grounding and wiring outlets.
  • Experience in either music, theater or other live events can be helpful. Did you volunteer with a local community theater and help setting up audio equipment? Perhaps you played in a band or are your family's go-to-guy for all issues with TV and stereo set up.
  • Any kind of facility with AV equipment will serve you well, but the real key quality you need is the drive to keep learning.


Typical AV Technician Job Description

Regardless of the vertical you find yourself working in (Video, Audio) or the sector the company serves (consumer, commercial, industrial) most job descriptions will include the following requirements:

  • Install, set up and adjust audio-visual equipment on site
  • Test equipment for faults then repair
  • Train customers on operation and basic maintenance
  • Perform routine checks and maintenance of equipment
  • Troubleshoot problems in the field


The Typical AV Technician (Or Not!)

While there might be the typical job description, that doesn't mean there is such a thing as a typical AV technician. AV techs hail from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Some come from the music industry, others from entertainment, while still others are attracted to the field as a way in to the larger IT world. Whatever direction you're approaching the field from you ought to have the following:

  • The desire to travel and to be exposed to a wide variety of environments. One week you might be working in a school and the next week you might be installing a video wall in a retail environment.
  • Flexibility and creativity to troubleshoot on site.
  • Good communication skills for both reporting to managers and supervisors as well as being able to field and manage customer concerns.
  • A passion to create cool stuff.

The beauty of beginning your career in AV/IT if you become an AV technician is that working in the field can prepare you for a variety of roles down the road (for more on the next steps after Tech, read here and here.). And with new integration opportunities blossoming all the time, AV/IT shows no sign of slowing any time in the future - neither will your career.


Related Blogs:





Tags: AV/VTC/UC, Job Search

How To Keep Your Resume Up-To-Date: Pain Free!

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Wed, Jan 18, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

Update your resume so it's ready when you need it


Remembering to update your resume is just one of those things everyone intends to do, but really, who ever gets around to it? That is until the day when you need it, and you need it fast. So, if you’re like most people, you dust off the old resume, throw your most recent experience in at the top and you get it out the door without a second thought.

But while your efforts may have been expedient, they are far from expeditious. You are not showing yourself in the very best light. We know that most recruiters will only spend an average of 6 seconds (6 seconds!!!) looking at your resume. You could be the most qualified person on earth for a position, but if your resume is not up to snuff then you run the very real risk of being overlooked.

Let’s run through some simple, easy ideas to help you avoid the last minute rush, and keep your resume up to date so it’s ready when you need it.


Mark Your Calendar

Think about the things you do on an annual or bi-annual basis. Dental cleaning, spring cleaning, rotating the tires on your car. We have built in reminders for all these chores; the dentist office rarely lets you leave without booking your next appointment in advance, spring has a funny way of making us WANT to clean out the closets, and your mechanic (if they’re worth their salt) will practically insist on rotating the tires at every oil change.

Why not create a built-in reminder to update your resume? My suggestion would be to use something that happens every year, or even better yet, twice a year. Daylight saving time might be the perfect candidate, this way it can become something other than the bane of parents of young children and anyone who dreads losing an hour of sleep every March.

So on Sunday, November 6, set a reminder, check the batteries in the smoke alarm and sit down to clean up your resume.


Clear The Clutter

When you’re an entry-level professional, it’s common practice to pad your resume with references, club affiliations and college accolades. But once you enter the workforce, all that padding needs to be stripped away. For the first few years you should still maintain a focus on your education, relevant internships and other skills you developed along the way but be certain to keep your most recent experience at the top.

Once you’re further along your career path, your resume must focus on only the most recent 10-15 years of experience. Be certain to edit out any skills, affiliations, college awards and outdated certifications that are no longer relevant. You might be attached to that Certified Novell Engineer cert you worked so hard to earn, but all it will tell potential employers and recruiters is that you are way behind the times.


Build The Perfect Ice Cream Cone

So what exactly does ice cream have to do with your resume? Well, just as all the good stuff is at the top of an ice cream cone, that has to be the case with your resume as well. Devote the majority of real estate to your most recent experience detailing projects, presentations and quotas met or surpassed. It’s here at the top that recruiters and hiring managers want to hear about accomplishments, and read stats from your last quarter. Providing the meat of your abilities (pardon the mixed metaphors) at the top, where the eye is naturally going to go, allows the folks looking you over to get the best snapshot of your current skill level.

As you move further away from the present, descriptions and lists of responsibilities become briefer. However, this isn’t the place to generalize. Providing dynamic descriptions of your past positions paints a much richer and fuller picture of you than a rote listing of job titles.


Practice Monthly Maintenance

When you are updating your resume there’s nothing worse than trying to remember how a specific project went down, or where on earth you filed those stats. In order to avoid a rush job, or trying to weed wack your way through your memory, I’d suggest you maintain a log of ongoing and completed projects, sales or installations. Not only will the information be at your fingertips when you need it, but you are more likely to remember the details better if you’ve kept a chronicle of  it in writing.  

Just as you make it your business to stay current with certifications, training and the most recent trends in your sector because it makes you a better employee and candidate for when you are ready to move up to your next job, keeping your resume up to date is part of career maintenance.


Related Blog:



Are you ready for the next step in your career? If so, contact one of our recruiters and...

Let's Talk!

Tags: Resume Optimization, Job Search

4 Ways To Maximize Your Recruiting Time At A Conference

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Jan 17, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Recruiting at a conference right


To say that your time at a conference or industry trade show is at a premium, is a gross understatement to say the least. Your days are packed with pitching your products and ideas, to network, to check in on the competition, and to foster business development opportunities. What you're not there to do is collect resumes and conduct an endless stream of interviews.

But just because you don't have the bandwidth to devote to interviewing doesn't mean that you shouldn't take advantage of being under the same roof as the very best professionals in your field. In fact, a conference is prime real estate for connecting with and nurturing relationships with some of the top talent out there. After all, the professionals who get sent to represent their companies at conferences are the brightest that business has to offer, and they also happen to be the same folk you're looking to recruit.


Here are 4 ways you can make the most of your time at a show to meet and connect with top talent.


1. The "How Do You Do"

Whether you spend most of your time at your booth or roving the floor, you're going to be meeting lots of people. The mood is more convivial, people tend to have their guard lowered even the dress is more casual. So, you'll have plenty of opportunities to chat and feel people out. And this is why you want to have a pitch prepared, a friendly "script" if you will when meeting people who intrigue you.

This isn't a hard sale as much as an overture, and because time is short you don't want to have to have make it up on the spot. Just as you have an elevator pitch for your company, have a succinct, yet enticing, preview of what you do and what you're looking for in employees.

Do keep in mind, not everyone you'll meet and are excited by is looking for a new opportunity, but savvy professionals know that their next great job could come out of the blue. Both they and you have to prepared to make the most of the moment. If you're only focused on clients and prospects you might just miss connecting with your next top performer.

After you're back in the office the following week be certain to follow up and make personal contact (above and beyond connecting on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook). Even if you're not ready to pursue them any further at the moment, take advantage of that face-t0-face interaction to lay the groundwork.


2. Go Where The Talent Goes

Surely you've got your own busy schedule to keep up with: panels to attend, break out sessions to participate in, and key note speeches to catch.

But in addition to going to track sessions that speak to your needs or pain points, make some time to attend tracks that the talent you are looking for might attend. In addition to seeing how people conduct themselves in a forum, you also may learn something new about the concerns of people in this position are having, and you'll certainly gain insight into what they're looking at to do their jobs well.

Again, this is not active recruiting as much as name gathering and relationship building -- a golden opportunity to meet and cultivate future relationships. After all, you're far more likely to form a clearer impression of someone you've met and had contact with than just by reading a resume. You'll also have a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses long before you sit down for your first interview with them.

Conferences are prime real estate to practice the central tenet of: always be recruiting.


3. The Coffee/Lunch/Dinner Date

While carving out time off the floor and away from clients and prospects to hold an interview is not a good use of your time, meals offer the perfect opportunity to meet with a candidate that you're already engaged with.

Let's say you've already had the phone interviews, a video call and now you're looking to have a face-to face. Assuming the candidate is also attending the show, or is willing to fly in to meet you, meal breaks are a great time to meet. As they say, everyone's got to eat, right?

You stand to gain an unexpected bonus if your candidate is also working at the show as you very well might have the opportunity to see them in action. Not that you'd be spying on them or risking compromising their present position, but you can certainly get a real-life glimpse into how they comport themselves and if they are at ease out side of the cubicle.


4. The Final Round

Although it's not a regular occurrence, we certainly have had our clients meet candidates at shows that they've already made an offer to, or are in negotiations with. Not only is it a perfect setting for hammering out final details over a meal in a convivial atmosphere, it's also an opportunity for other members of your team who might not be part of the vetting process to meet the soon-to-be new hire.

And assuming you are close enough to a closed deal, if it suits you, you'll also have the opportunity to begin introducing them to vendors, customers and other industry contacts. It might just provide the perfect early training ground for you and your new hire.


What do you think? Do you have any room in your day or your head for thinking about recruiting or interviews while you're at a show? We want to hear from you, share your thoughts in the comments.


Related Blogs:




 New Call-to-action

Tags: recruiting, hirings

How to Do OnBoarding Right

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Mon, Jan 09, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

How To Do On boarding Right


It might be tempting to think that on-boarding new employees is all about insurance forms, office tours and parking passes. Or, you might think it's synonymous with training. But the truth is, knowing how to do on-boarding right is so much more than the sum of it's parts, and it's also the key to ensuring you have an engaged, inspired workforce.


Here is a timeline to insure that your new hire not only gets "on-board" with your company, but that they become a long-lasting, successful member of your team.


It Begins Before The Offer

On-boarding begins long before a new employee signs their deal. In fact it begins before they arrive for their first interview. By taking the necessary steps to ensure that your interviewing and hiring processes are fluid, responsive and timely you're sending a clear message that you care about your employees and are dedicated to creating a healthy and engaging work experience for them.

And then it goes further into how you handle the negotiation of terms. Once again being responsive is key - no one wants to be left hanging or put on an extended hold, especially when their career is on the line. Transparent negotiation tactics and clarity send the clear message that you are invested in the candidates future and their long-term success.

Once the offer is made, the deal closed and the start date set, is when the active phase begins. Now it's time for the manager to reach out to your new hire with a friendly welcome and a letter clearly specifying the job objectives, expectations and strategies. They could also include package of suggested reading, a run-down of equipment used or even a big-picture view of how the team operates.

What's important is to open the channels of communication so that the new hire feels part of the team before they arrive for day one.


Day One

Regardless of the business at hand on day one (paperwork, insurance cards, key card, id photo session etc...) your responsibility is to be prepared and ready for your new employee's arrival.

Secure the proper building passes, alert the receptionist, make sure that the direct manager is in the office early, have all the necessary paperwork ready, and above all have a work station/office prepared, cleaned and ready to be occupied.

There's no worse feeling than arriving for your first day of work, a stranger in a strange land, and having no place to sit, no one to guide you and nothing to do!

Many companies utilize a mentor system for the first days and weeks, and we think it's a wise tactic. Even senior level executives need someone to touch base with regarding protocol and methods - appointing someone who is in either a parallel or senior role to be a touchstone not only smooths the way for your new hire, but it also helps to reinforce training, foster relationships and cooperation.

When someone leaves the office at the end of their first day at a new job, and are asked "How'd it go?" the only answer you want them to tender is "Great!"

Your job is to make certain you've done all you can to ensure that's the answer they give.


Week One

The first week is a time for your new hire to adjust to all the social and performance aspects of their job. Necessary training on everything from software to how to operate the espresso machine is taking place. But above all that they should be finding their feet socially now.

If you've fostered a company culture in which employees of all levels, from C-level to the support staff feel like they are part of the team, then they will be extending a warm welcome to the new player. A warm handshake, an invitation to lunch, even just a friendly introduction are key to helping the new hire "buy-in" to your company.

It's also during the first week that HR or the manager needs to make the review process known. By offering frequent check-ins and a schedule of formalized reviews (30 days, 60 days and 90 days), you are sending the clear message that you are invested in the individuals success.

Remember: Investment builds retention, not compensation!


Month One

While the new employee will likely have begun to find their feet at this point, it's important to keep some of the welcoming structures in place.

The Mentor relationships works best when it's ongoing and ever-evolving. At this point its not only serving to foster relationships and job clarity, but it also increases productivity and innovation.


The First 90 Days

The 90 review is an important tool for both employee and employer. Conducted one-on-one with direct supervisor, and/or team leaders this is the time to see what working, and what's not.

Not only are you reviewing their performance, but you must be open to hearing from them what's working for them, and what could have gone better. If the channels of communication have been open and available, there shouldn't be any surprises during this meeting, and if there are, then it's time to go back and review your process.

Taking care to handle on-boarding properly and thoughtfully, you are sending a clear message that you are invested in your employees happiness. And as we know, happy employees are more innovative, more loyal and perform better than workers who are just in it for the paycheck.


Related Blogs:






New call-to-action


Tags: onboarding, HR and Hiring

Are Women The Key To Better Cybersecurity?

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Jan 03, 2017 @ 12:19 PM

Women Key to better cybersecurity


We might not know what the new year will hold for us, but there's one thing you can count on: there will be more and more cyber attacks on businesses and individuals. DDoS attacks, Ransomware and hijacking of IoT devices are bound to double or triple in the coming months, and are projected to cost business upwards of $2 trillion by 2019. In order to defend your company and customers from (or better yet stave off) attacks, you need an agile team with a diverse set of skills and abilities. Not only does such a team allow for greater reach and a wider range of expertise, it also all but insures better employee satisfaction and retention.  

And yet, even though diversity of perspectives is key to devising innovative solutions, InfoSec currently has a big problem with lack of diversity.

To say that InfoSec is a growth industry is to grossly understate the facts. There were over 1 million openings in the Cyber security sector in 2016. More over, demand for well- qualified InfoSec professionals is set to exceed 6 million globally by 2019. What was a $75 billion industry in 2015 is set to rise to over $170 billion in 2020. There is no other sector in IT, or perhaps any other industry, that shows similar growth potential.

And still, women who comprise 51% of the US population only make up 11% of info sec workers. And the statistics for minorities are even more daunting. According the US Department of Labor only 5.2% of security analysts are hispanic, 3.2% are Asian-American, and 3% are Black/African-American.

If we expect to to meet the ever-increasing security demands, industry has to do far better. And better means not only encouraging more women to enter the field, but to stay there. (For more on attracting and retaining women in tech, read here)


Begin At The Beginning

Certainly the best place to start making meaningful changes in the make-up of the IT sector is in early education. And there have been some hopeful signs of progress in recent years. (For more innovative STEM programs, read here and here.)

But what if industry got more actively involved? What if businesses took an active role in educating, training and recruiting more women and monorities?

Well some have.

One such example of businesses getting involved in and supporting education programs is the Scholarship for Women Studying Information Security (SWSIS) sponsored by Hewlett-Packard. The program, which supports women studying the theory and practice of security, is offered by more than 60 accredited universities.

Another great example of industry offering support to girls early in their education is Dell Computer's partnership with GirlStart. This volunteer run organization is devoted to implementing innovative, high-quality STEM education to inspire girls to transform our world.


Lead From The Front

One of the most important things companies can do to encourage women and minorities to move into security is to foster a business culture where diversity is celebrated. Highlight the achievements of your entire team, and allow individuals to shine. Women and minorities need to see people like them succeeding in order to feel that they too can step in.

Hiring managers need to look past direct experience when vetting candidates and look for the dynamic range of skills that make for a good security professional. A focus on collaboration and teamwork creates an environment where more women can thrive. And where you have thriving workers, you have increased productivity, creativity and better protection for your data.


Support Networks

There are a number of professional organizations and educational institutions all geared toward fostering and supporting women in InfoSec. These networks play an important role in fostering support, encouragement and training, and business would be wise to support them.

A participant at the 2016 Women in Cybersecurity Conference said it best when she was quoted on the website as saying: “ As an information security officer for a global company, there are very few women in my peer set. It is exciting to see so many young women passionate about the field, and I believe everyone benefits when women are encouraged to pursue stem fields as, otherwise, we limit ourselves from an entire pool of potentially successful candidates and peers, simply because, as girls, we are not encouraged to pursue technical careers. ” Business can do its part by supporting these organizations and letting them know they are interested in widening


Additional resources include:

The SANS Cybertalent Immersion Academy for Women launched by SANS Cyber-talent Immersion Academy in 2015 offers an accelerated training and certification program geared toward getting more women into roles in Cybersecurity.

Women's Society of Cyberjutsu is a not-for-profit organization devoted to providing training and support to women in InfoSec. Their focus is on everyone from the seasoned professional to the recent grad interested in learning more about the field.

Women in Cybersecurity brings together women (students/faculty/researchers/professionals) in cybersecurity from academia, research and industry for sharing of knowledge/experience, networking and mentoring. They are hosting organization for the Women in Cybersecurity Conference as well.

The Society for InfoManagement launched SIM Women after Kristen Lameroux, the groups founder, attended the 2006 Tri-State CIO Event and discovered that there was great need for a way to promote communication, mentorship, leadership and career development amongst the female members of SIM.

Jane Frankland is a CISO advisor who has built her own global penetrating testing firm. She writes and speaks frequently about women in cyber security, and is currently writing a book on women in InfoSec due out in 2017.

Business cannot just sit by and allow all this available talent to languish on the sidelines. Companies, recruiters, educational institutions even certifying bodies need to get involved and help create a more inclusive, collaborative industry not only for the sake of on-line security, or their bottom line, but for the health of society at large.


Related Blog:



New Call-to-action

Tags: cyber-security, women in Cyber-security

Are You Making These 5 Networking Mistakes?

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Dec 20, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Are You Making These 5 Networking Mistakes- (1).png


Once upon a time networking was a new idea.

Well, maybe not the idea but the label certainly was. Sure, people have been forming bonds and making connections in the marketplace for as long as there have been marketplaces. But attending a networking event and ‘selling’ yourself has only become part and parcel of our vernacular in the last 20 years or so. And now that it's taken hold it's vital to our career success.

The last thing you want is to make any networking mistakes.


Why We Network

Okay, so when we ‘network’ what we are really saying is that we have an underlying agenda where we are after something. Usually we want the people we meet to help us in some way. 

  • A promotion
  • A new job
  • Insight into an industry or company
  • Inspiration on what to do next 

Basically, we would like the people we meet to help us in our career and lives. 

This is fair enough - however, going to a networking event and spending all of your time trying to ‘sell’ yourself or whatever your company offers isn’t particularly useful. After all, wow many people are there to ‘buy’? 

None right?

So don’t sell! (But if you're looking for some ideas on how to shine as sales leader ... read here!)

Go there to get to know the people around you. Don’t shove your life story or current major problem or need in their faces. They don’t know you yet so they aren’t going to help you if you just ‘sell sell sell’. No-one likes a salesperson – so don’t be one.


Valuing Quantity Over Quality

Networking is not about the number of contacts you have.  Do you have 5000 facebook contacts? 6000 linkedin connections? Maybe a couple million business cards and a few zillion email contacts? 

Is that good networking?


Networking is not about collecting the largest number of names you can get, unless these are people who are going to help you when you drop them a line. When push comes to shove and you ask them for help – what will happen?  Will they remember you? Will they care? Or are you just another number in their database?  

Networking well and building up useful connections is all about having real world connections with people. People only want to help you if they know you, trust you, respect you. If you are just a number – you mean nothing. If they are just a number – what’s the point?


Gaming The Game

How many times have you had people try to connect with you simply to ‘network’. How many invitations on LinkedIn or Facebook do you get from people wanting to ‘widen their network’? And if you join their network – then what? Will you become good mates and help each other out? Do they know you and do you count as anything more than a number to them?

Now, of course in some cases there is something genuine there – but we have to use our judgement to think before we click. 

What about meeting and greeting people IRL? Well if you’re being genuinely interested in getting to know the people around you then you are more likely to build a useful connection and grow your network effectively. If you are simply building a network superficially so that you can call on them when you want something and you don’t really care about them as individual, unique, talented people, they’ll suss that out and not really like you for it. 


Dismissing The Network You Already Have

Even before you set out to grow your network, you've got one- a large one. Chance are you already know many interesting and talented people - people you met at school, university, through friends, family, extended family, friends of friends, work - een that job at the local pizza place. May of these connections have likely gone on to lead diverse and interesting lives -- their experiences and interests varied and vast. It can be very easy not to realize just how many people we really know or just how valuable our network actually is. 

Maybe you know or have come across many people but you do not really ‘know’ them. Why not spend some time getting to know them. Dig deeper. Find out what makes them tick – what experiences they have had, what they have done in their careers, who they hang out with, who their mates, family, friends are. You are closer to getting what you want and meeting whoever you need than you think.  

Your friend's brother, dad, second cousin, next door neighbor could be just the person who could help you. So do not dismiss or forget about the people you already know. Get closer to the network you already have, form deeper relationships with them - you never know who you may come across.


Forgetting That It's Not All About You

People want to help those who help others.

And people want to help those who help them! 

So if you just take, take, take you won’t continue getting for long! Don’t make the mistake of just calling people up when you need something. Also don’t make the mistake of expecting those you ‘network’ with you give you whatever you want, when you want. It’s not all about you! 

If all you do when speaking with others is talk about what’s on your mind -- what you need, what you’re after, how they can help you, what you care about – it’s a one sided story!

Remember: networking is a transaction that takes place in the marketplace - in order to get something you have to give. So next time you are meeting someone new, or reconnecting with an old acquaintance, stop and listen for their pain points.  Offer to help wherever you can. You might not think you have much to offer, but if you really stop to listen you very well might realize you have a useful contact to offer, or recommend a product you find indispensable.

Engage, Connect and above all Listen!


Related Blog:


If you'e ready for a new job, or just thinking about what might be out there for you, give us a call.New Call-to-action


Tags: Networking