Hiring the Unhireable

Hiring the unhireable: Sending talent to the ‘Dark Side’

Part 12 of 16

You’ve got competition.

Lots of it, and you are losing many of the best and the brightest for so many of the reasons I’ve mentioned. Political Correctness and the continued insanity of absolute Cold War binary thinking has created a sieve for talent. We are literally pushing away the very people our governments and organizations claim they can’t find.

I’m not talking about the competition between DHS, DoD, NSA, Big Banks, the private sector or Critical Infrastructures. The competition is with our adversaries: the people who don’t care who they hire as long as the job gets done. They want results, period, end of story. We claim we want the same thing, but we really don’t. Our choices and actions have proven that.

· “We need hostile code to do XXX. We will pay $25K now and $25K on delivery.”

· “Botnet engineers: Starting at $100K, no taxes.”

· “Work from anywhere, anytime.”

· “No background/credit checks. Just code.”

· “Got skills? Need good money fast?”

On our side, though, consider the difference:

· Only 15 percent of the class of 2015 said they would “prefer” to work for large corporations. (Accenture)

· Medium-sized businesses got the most love (35 percent), while start-ups and government agencies were the expressed preference for just 10 percent of respondents.

· Fun is a deciding factor in picking a workplace.

· 60 percent of 2015 grads (69 percent in 2013/14) want to work for a company that has a “positive social atmosphere” even if it means lower pay.

Hiring the Unhireable

In areas of the world with significantly different ethics, pay scales and unemployment, the competition is even more profound. We need to think like people that are different than us, live in different cultures and have different life experiences. They may ask themselves very different questions, too:

What’s wrong with working for organized crime in Eastern Europe? It pays well and feeds the family, plus gets a nice car and living situation.

What’s wrong with designing hostile cyber-stuff for terrorist organizations, anyway? It’s not like designing a suicide bomb… plus, I got bills to pay.

What’s wrong with helping the Chinese (et al) on cyber-espionage programs against the West? Nothing. The U.S. has all this money and too much power anyway. Besides, it really doesn’t hurt anyone.

The competition is real; it’s fierce, and we are screwing ourselves repeatedly by continuing to live in an archaic past. There are those I meet who seriously believe, that if we try the same thing over again, this time it will be different.

That’s delusional people trying to keep their jobs. I get it. But it’s still absurd.

Now, how about the small stuff … the little things that might not matter to you so much, but can be make-it-or-break-it when you’re looking for the best (albeit maybe “unhireable”) talent? What do you need to do?

Don’t sweat it. It’s the small stuff.

Part 11: Put ’em out to pasture (ageism)
Part 13: Working 9-to-5 and the whole IP thing to start

Winn Schwartau is the CEO of The Security Awareness Company, the author of Information Warfare, Pearl Harbor Dot Com (Die Hard IV), and the upcoming Analogue Network Security.

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