CISOs - How to retain talent

Losing a great employee is a clear detriment to the operational efficiency of any cybersecurity organization. The detrimental effects are innumerable - drops in morale, employees deal with balancing extra workloads, and the list can go on.

In addition, the entire recruitment and onboarding process is tedious and costly, which is only compounded by the growing cybersecurity skills gap. In the case of cybersecurity, the CISO are made up of hard-to-find talent, who are being contacted almost daily about new career opportunities.

However, it would be mistaken to focus on how to navigate a retention plan before clearly understanding why good employees leave. Unpacking the key reasons why employees find other opportunities are the first step in ensuring that your organization is prepared to keep top performers satisfied and successful. Below are some of the most common reasons for employee turnover within an organization.

Employee Turnover - Causes

Talent acquisition and retention is the most commonly cited 'driver' for diversity initiatives in IT and cybersecurity, identified by 32% respondents. This suggests that companies are looking to increase the recruitment pool for these positions in light of the skills shortage in cyber security. Another finding underscores this dynamic: 26% respondents report that more than one-fifth of their companies' current total job openings are for IT and/or cybersecurity-related positions.

  • Boredom. The number of mentally detached and unstimulated employees is surprisingly on the rise. 53% of employees across the workforce do the bare minimum in their jobs - which could seriously hurt your organization if those employees are in charge of cybersecurity efforts.
  • Mismanagement. Often when employees resign, some kind of administrative inefficiency may be at play. Employees who feel ignored, undervalued, and like they don't have an open line of communication with their managers are more likely to seek employment elsewhere. In addition, managers who ignore their employees can diminish company culture and team morale.
  • No opportunity for growth. Top performers will leave when they feel that their personal career goals and advancement have not been achieved or, worse, are impossible to achieve at a particular company. It is wise to understand that not all individual contributing employees will want to move up to management, so a variety of career paths should be discussed and made available.

There are a number of mistakes that can be made that cause fantastic employees to leave, but taking an empathetic and introspective view of what can be done in the company and with employees is the first step to ensuring your best talent is happy for the long term. Take a look at our CISO Hiring Guide for Integrating, Engaging, and Retaining High-Value Security Professionals to learn more about retaining top cybersecurity talent.

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