Hiring the unhireable: We can’t do it–It’s just too damn hard

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Humans like to find reasons not to do something versus finding a way to do it and get it done.

It is easier for folk to cover their asses and say, “No, that’s too hard.”

Noted visionary, Richard Thieme, says he marvels at the hacker mind because it can simultaneously hold two or more multi-dimensional opposing viewpoints, and be comfortable with it. Hard things are fun, and can be both doable and not-doable – and that’s OK. Until we know for sure.

Geeks like hard. Hard is fun. It’s a competition. It’s bragging and one-upsmanship.

We went to the fricking Moon with 64KB of RAM. C’mon, quit bitching that anything is too hard.

Now, the challenge is laid down to the corporate and government communities who decry, “we can’t find the talent.” As this series opened, bull. Some points that should be obvious by now:

Security Folks Are Different

· HR needs to rewrite the rules.

  • “Lily-White” perfection is not what we need in our Critical Infrastructures. Battle-hardened pros, with a scar or two, are what we need.
  • If we limit our selection to only those who pass the “pristine test”, the best talent will be lost to McDonald’s or the Dark Side.
  • The lawyers need to figure out how to do this and stop putting up impediments.

I ask Lawyers to find way to DO versus find ways to discriminate.

  • This country ran the Manhattan Project.
  • We went to the moon.
  • We have led in technology for decades.
  • And now you’re saying no?

I don’t want to give up our astounding technical history all because “it’s hard.”

Hiring the Unhireable

That’s why we need to find a way to stop with the excuses, stop with the nay-saying lawyers, stop with the political correctness, stop with the HR people saying ‘you can’t do that’.

So, what are we going to be battling?

Lack of leadership. Management by fear. Hard-coded policies. Recalcitrant legal staffs and overly rigid HR folks.

I really don’t think any of this is terribly hard, once you take off the “I Can’t” hat.

It’s just a matter of changing some senior mindsets and the bosses ordering their staffs to “make it so.” It’s a matter of being politically incorrect, yes. It’s a matter of evolving a culture inside of an organization. And, it’s a matter of not trying to make everybody the same. Everybody is different in this community; everybody is completely different. The skills are needed, yet the companies and the governments are saying, “We cannot find the talent.”

No! It’s the self imposed policies and rules of constraint. It’s an outmoded way of thinking that has clearly put national, corporate and personal security at such risk, that we barely even notice the headlines anymore.

It’s about time we collectively enable and allow ourselves to say, “Yes! We do want to Hire the Unhireable.”

I can’t wait to see this ad appear:

Big Bank is looking to hire Unhireable Cyber Security Experts who can meet the following requirements: Massive network and security technical skills. Offense and defense. No drug testing. No degree needed. Certifications optional. Color blind OK. <Geek Out>

Part 15: What to expect from the unhireable once you’ve hired them

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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About Author

Winn Schwartau is one of the world’s top experts on security, privacy, infowar, cyber-terrorism and related topics. Provocative, informed, challenging, he’s on the leading edge of thinking, writing and speaking. Highly technical security subjects are made understandable, entertaining, engaging and thought-provoking. Audiences find themselves challenged with original ideas which are related through historical analogy and metaphor and made relevant to the present and future world.

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