With almost nine years of experience hiring for enterprises, our Head of Technical Cybersecurity recruitment across North America Luke Zbieranowski has worked alongside a range of organisations to hire high-end cybersecurity talent. He now exclusively works with Series B and Series C, high growth, and high demand start-ups in cybersecurity.
We spoke to him about his role and how hiring for start-ups differs from building teams for enterprises in the current climate. Read his thoughts below.
How does Hiring for Start-ups differ from Hiring for Enterprises?
“It is a challenging, fast moving, and competitive space. However, if you and your business can stand out from the crowd and offer transparency, specific technical expertise, then it is a really rewarding market. We work with the top 5% of the industry, and these high-growth businesses have a lot of resources, but the one thing they do not have is time. So, we get the best cyber and information security talent to them in the shortest amount of time.
It is all high growth, permanent hires essentially, and it is super competitive in that space. We work with a set of clients that we are very proud of, and a set of clients that you know the candidates would be interested in is what sets you apart.
It is more about being able to support your clients who have a really high bar of technical standards mixed with a need to be client facing as well as technical. On top of that, there is the need to be an expert in security and the ability to learn brand new technologies quickly.”
Can you tell us about building a cybersecurity team from scratch during pre-IPO stage?
“The pre-IPO people that we hire tend to be selling technical security products. So, what the lifecycle essentially is, is the creation of the technology, the monetization of that technology - that is hiring a sales team - and then it is the commercialization and optimization of the solution for their end clients, which are three very distinct stages.
So, when you are building a team, it is dependent on which stage you are at. You are either building the development team and security expert team in the development stage or you are hiring sales and other monetization positions.
And then finally, an executive team to run business as usual in the optimization stage, getting products to market.”
Is the current market candidate driven?
“Yes and no. In the start-up market, these high-growth companies just need to hire the best people: it is as simple as that.
I have long-term relationships with many of the candidates I have placed, and we always stay in touch about new companies. They know when I come to them it is going to be about a really exciting opportunity.”
How did COVID-19 impact the Cybersecurity talent acquisition landscape?
“At Xcede, we were very busy because everyone was going remote, so you had connectivity of remote working solutions such as Cisco and other large connectivity providers. And on top of that, companies had to ensure they were secure when handling company data. From government to hospitals going remote, there is a huge market.
Before, companies were hiring to keep up with the demand, but the demand for some reason has not slowed down.
Companies that did not think it was an urgent necessity six months ago and now realising they have to do it, because we didn't know when full time work is going to resume.
It has been a pleasure finding the talented people find their next job.”
What else have you been focused on over the past year?
“It has been nice to be a very small part of the puzzle that protects people. We don't just work with Xcede security companies per se, I also work with companies that fight against terrorism and human trafficking. We try to work with clients who make a real positive impact in the world.
Another thing to note here is the internal talent acquisition across Xcede globally. All of our consultants are senior and experienced in their absolute domain expertise. I specialise in technical security, for example. My respective team lead purely cybersecurity sales. So again, within just that domain, we have experts that break down into technical and sales. Then even with that, I have my team focused on different positions like customer success and professional services and technical account managers.
It is about truly adding value beyond the candidate placement. We can tell clients about the movers in the market, rounds of investment, growth plans, inform them on company strategy, what the market is doing and the like.”
If you would like to learn more about joining Xcede, visit our Work For Us page.