US gov initiative aims to attract 'world-class' cyber security talent

The DHS wants to make it easier to recruit, develop, and retain top cyber security professionals

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has launched a new hiring programme to make it easier to recruit "world-class" cyber security professionals, months after the organisation went on a cyber security hiring spree.

The DHS has released its Cybersecurity Talent Management System (CTMS), a new personnel system to help it more effectively recruit, develop, and retain the nation’s top cyber security professionals, it said this week.

It is hoping CTMS will help fill mission-critical cyber security positions by screening applicants based on demonstrated competencies, competitively compensating employees, and reducing the time it takes to be hired into the DHS.

Employees hired through the system will join the new DHS Cybersecurity Service, working to protect critical US infrastructure and the country from cyber security threats.

The DHS will initially use the system to fill high-priority jobs at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and DHS Office of the chief information officer. From 2022, DHS Cybersecurity Service jobs will be available across several DHS agencies with a cyber security mission.

“The DHS Cybersecurity Talent Management System fundamentally re-imagines how the Department hires, develops, and retains top-tier and diverse cybersecurity talent,” said secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas.

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“As our Nation continues to face an evolving threat landscape, we cannot rely only on traditional hiring tools to fill mission-critical vacancies. This new system will enable our Department to better compete for cybersecurity professionals and remain agile enough to meet the demands of our critical cybersecurity mission.”

DHS went on a cyber security hiring spree last July, the largest cyber security hiring initiative in its 20-year history. It onboarded almost 300 professionals and made another 500 tentative job offers between May and the start of July, exceeding its initial recruitment targets by 50%.

This didn’t signal the end of cyber security recruitment at the organisation, however, as it only filled 12% of its vacancies and was looking to fill a total of 2,000 cyber security roles.

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