A Cattle Call Approach to Recruitment

I Wish Employers Understood

A couple of months ago I heard about a company rebuilding their web presence and was in need of senior  Security Architect.  I called the CISO and left a voice mail  introducing myself and SecurityHeadhunter.com as a Security Search Firm. I indicated I would send my company Brochure and a link to the SecurityHeadhunter.com web site for their review. I was pleasantly surprised a few days later when I had a voice mail from the CISO (let’s call them John”) saying he would like to talk. When we spoke I had high hopes of picking up the search, which I hand already seen on their career page.

Well, I reach John and yes one of his managers was indeed still  looking for a security architect. They were frustrated in the fact this position had been open for over 7 weeks and the resumes from HR were not close to what was needed skills wise. I was sure my expertise could help identify quality talent, I told John. That’s when the shoe hit the ground. I was informed that all recruitment services must go through the HR department.  John had no control over that aspect of the process, but would  introduce me to the manager, which they connected me with while I was on the phone. Once John got off the call, the other shoe hit the ground. “I appreciate John introducing you, but we have a list of  approved vendors.  Please send your information and we’ll keep it on file” I was informed. I don’t go away that easy, so I let the HR manager know that I am not a general recruiter. I am president of SecurityHeadhunter.com and as the name implies we a  Security Search Firm. We have the ability and expertise to fill this job. Didn’t matter what I said. They had their vendors and they would let me know if I could help in the future. I let John know the outcome of the call.  He was also disappointed.

About 2 weeks ago I got a call from someone in HR (not the manager) asking if I could be available that afternoon for a conference call with the HR Manager and 2 Security managers to discuss the position since they were not getting the resumes they needed. Of course, I could and I was emailed the details to call for the CC.

At 2 pm I called in to enter the CC, but the code number to join the conference I was given was wrong.  I quickly reached the HR rep from earlier and was given the corrected code and called again. It was now 3 minutes after 2pm and when the automated system let me into the conference it announced to me “You are caller number 14  in the conference”.  You have to be kidding I thought. Am I just one of lots of recruiters on this call?  I must be part of a  “Recruiting Cattle Call”. What a waste of my time, but since I was already there I’ll listen.  The  HR Manager was already discussing  salary and other HR information before the  Security Managers detailed the job. It was good information, but nothing I didn’t already understand from a technical standpoint. The Security managers then asked for questions from those listening. I had a couple questions, but  I thought I would sit back and listen to what others asked. Like I suspected about 8 people (recruiters) asked question that made it so clear they had no idea what a security architect is and how to screen their skills.  At this, why would I want to spend valuable recruiting time on a search for an employer that utilizes the Cattle Call recruiting method. I did conduct a quick follow up call with the HR rep and was informed the others on the call were their approved vendors, the same ones that have not filled the job yet.

Time is money and the recruiting process is no different. Employers should try to fill their open jobs on their own if possible, but after 3 months of the efforts of the approved vendors with no success, perhaps it’s time to engage a “Security Headhunter” to fill the position.  In this case, it appears that the approved vendors just are not specialized in getting the correct talent  and I would not work on a search with 10 plus other firms. My time is to valuable to spend in a cattle call search process.

If you are not getting qualified resumes in your recruiting process, then you should change your process.

Moral of the story:  Make the decision to bring a “Security Search Firm” into your process at this point. You’ve given your other resources plenty of time with no success. Sometimes, as employers, you need to make an investment in your search with an exclusive search  that will actually results in a “search assignment” where candidates are recruited for your specific  job, not simply posting jobs to the Internet and see who replies.

I shared these thoughts with the HR manger and the CISO, but nothing yet. (the position is still open)  Perhaps next month the employer will decide to move forward on a real search assignment.

Have a great Monday!

Security Breaches on the iPhone – By Trevor Hawthorn

A friend of mine recently spoke at the Schmoocon conference in Washington on the New World of Smartphone Security.

I thank him for allowing us share the article. You may reach him

Trevor Hawthorn, CISSP

Managing Principal

Stratum Security, Inc.

Trevor has thirteen years of information security experience in various roles.  Trevor specializes in risk management, application and infrastructure vulnerability assessment, penetration testing, wireless security and incident response.  He is also a regular instructor of the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) training course.  Previously he was a Senior Security Consultant with Cybertrust (Formerly TruSecure) where he performed information security assessments.

Click Here to Read Article:

http://www.stratumsec.net/sites/default/files/Stratum%20Security-The%20New%20World%20of%20Smartphone%20Security-Shmoocon%202010.pdf

Wils Bell
Information Security Recruiter
SecurityHeadhunter.com, Inc.
POB 620298
Oviedo, FL 32762
Desk: 407-365-2404
Cell: 407-718-7764
Twitter: security_REC