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  • Challenges of Recruiting for Data Analytics, Cybersecurity

    March 05, 2018 | By NACE Staff

    Trends & Predictions
    A young woman accepts a job in cyber security.

    TAGS: best practices, compensation, candidate selection, recruiting, spotlight

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    Lack of competitive compensation is the biggest deterrent to effectively recruiting talent in data analytics and cybersecurity, according to a new report from the NACE Center for Career Development and Talent Acquisition (NACE Center).

    Part of the joint research project between the NACE Center and the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF)—which yielded two reports—explores how those directly involved in the promotion and recruitment of college graduates view two skill sets likely to be critical in the future economy: data science and analytics (referred to as “data analytics”) and cybersecurity.

    In the report titled Key Skills for the Future: Data Analytics and Cybersecurity, the importance of data analytic skills is undeniable as there is general agreement among respondents that they will be necessary for all management levels in the near future. The impact of hiring those with data analytics skill sets is expected to be felt primarily in terms of operational efficiency; bringing these skills to bear on the organization’s behalf is expected to result in reduced costs and an improved customer experience.

    While URR respondents revealed they have very little knowledge of cybersecurity hiring, they do believe inadequate compensation is the biggest challenge to attracting both data analytics and cybersecurity talent (see Figure 1), and developing a competitive compensation strategy is the most effective strategy for successfully recruiting it. (Figures 2 and 3.)

    Among URR respondents, there is also a general belief that hiring data analytics and cybersecurity talent directly from college/universities is an effective strategy.

    The NACE Center conducted two surveys among the NACE’s membership: Surveys were sent to 900 university relations and recruiting members and 1,600 college career services members. The surveys were open November 28, 2016, through March 17, 2017; a total of 66 URR members and 220 career services members responded. Key Skills for the Future: Data Analytics and Cybersecurity and an accompanying report from BHEF titled Investing in America’s Data Science Talent: The Case for Action are available on NACEWeb.

    Figure 1: Challenges Faced in Attracting Data Analytic, Cybersecurity Skills

    Challenge Data Analytic Cybersecurity
    I Don’t Know Yes No I Don’t Know Yes No
    % of Respondents
    My company doesn’t know what skills it needs in this area. 11.1% 22.2% 66.7% 16.7% 0.0% 83.3%
    There is a lack of career advancement opportunities for people in these roles in my company. 22.2% 0.0% 77.8% 33.3% 0.0% 66.7%
    My company doesn’t offer competitive compensation for people in these roles. 0.0% 66.7% 33.3% 16.7% 33.3% 50.0%
    My company doesn’t use advanced practices in this area. 11.1% 11.1% 77.8% 16.7% 0.0% 83.3%
    My company has an outdated infrastructure in this area. 11.1% 44.4% 44.4% 33.3% 0.0% 66.7%
    Source: Key Skills for the Future: Data Analytics and Cybersecurity, NACE Center for Career Development and Talent Acquisition and the Business-Higher Education Forum


    Figure 2: Effectiveness of Strategies for Increasing Data Analytic Skills

    Strategy I Don’t Know Very Effective Somewhat Effective Not at All Effective N/A
    % of Respondents
    Training your employees through company provided workshops, online courses, or by providing reimbursement for further education. 32.1% 7.5% 49.1% 0.0% 11.3%
    Acquiring companies with data science capabilities. 32.1% 3.8% 15.1% 0.0% 49.1%
    Using traditional external recruitment agencies or search firms. 22.6% 3.8% 41.5% 9.4% 22.6%
    Offering competitive salaries and benefits packages. 15.1% 18.9% 52.8% 3.8% 9.4%
    Hiring directly from colleges and universities. 15.1% 32.1% 34.0% 5.7% 13.2%
    Hiring directly from government-sponsored programs such as the federal government's TechHire Initiative or other programs designed to build talent pipelines in communities across the country. 32.1% 3.8% 5.7% 1.9% 56.6%
    Source: Key Skills for the Future: Data Analytics and Cybersecurity, NACE Center for Career Development and Talent Acquisition and the Business-Higher Education Forum


    Figure 3: Effectiveness of Strategies for Increasing Cybersecurity Skills

    Strategy I Don’t Know Very Effective Somewhat Effective Not at All Effective N/A
    % of Respondents
    Training your employees through company provided workshops, online courses, or by providing reimbursement for further education. 40.4% 7.7% 38.5% 0.0% 13.5%
    Acquiring companies with cybersecurity capabilities. 25.0% 7.7% 9.6% 1.9% 55.8%
    Using traditional external recruitment agencies or search firms. 26.9% 7.7% 30.8% 5.8% 28.8%
    Offering competitive salaries and benefits packages. 25.0% 19.2% 42.3% 1.9% 11.5%
    Hiring directly from colleges and universities. 17.3% 21.2% 34.6% 3.8% 23.1%
    Hiring directly from government-sponsored programs such as the federal government's TechHire Initiative or other programs designed to build talent pipelines in communities across the country. 34.6% 3.8% 5.8% 5.8% 50.0%
    Source: Key Skills for the Future: Data Analytics and Cybersecurity, NACE Center for Career Development and Talent Acquisition and the Business-Higher Education Forum