Get the Best Talent by Giving Back to the Community

Posted by Kathleen Smith

While today’s workforce consistently juggles demanding schedules of work and personal obligations, many dedicate additional time to volunteering in their professional communities. You’ll find that many conferences and programs in the cyber security community are completely volunteer run.

Through volunteering, these professionals learn key technical and nontechnical skills spanning teamwork, organizing, planning, communication, and more. Their “get the job done” mentality makes them increasingly desirable candidates to recruit and retain., assisted by a network of security conferences globally including BSides, HackInParis, and HackWestCon, conducted a global survey among professionals who spend time volunteering at industry conferences and other activities in the cyber security community.

The purpose of this survey was to find out more about community volunteering efforts, employer support for volunteering, and how volunteering contributes to the development of professional skills. The findings of this study are especially beneficial to employers looking to retain and recruit top skilled talent, while also building their employer brand in the community. 

Over 82% of survey respondents are employed and over 80% of those have an employer who knows they spend time volunteering and supports their efforts. Volunteering in the community has become a must have benefit for employees in the cyber security community.

Savvy employers know that their employees can build beneficial skills through their volunteer work. They also know that having their employees volunteering in the community reflects well on their company. This is part of building their Employer Brand and helps with retention and recruitment.

Nearly 60% of respondents say they stay with their current employer because of volunteering support. Spending just a few hours a month volunteering in the community has been shown to offer many substantial benefits to both job seekers and currently employed professionals.

These individuals make time for these added activities because it impacts their career and also provides personal fulfillment. Employer support is vital to these individuals and it can be the determining factor when considering possible career moves.

Over 97% would move to a company that supported their volunteering efforts. The most prevalent employer support, at 62.3%, is in the form of paid time off. Those that hold volunteering as a priority are asking questions in the recruiting process about employer support of volunteering. They want to know that their time away from the office will be upheld and encouraged. Offering your support for these pursuits can affect the outcome of recruiting your top candidate, so it is helpful to have this information available during the recruitment process.

Employers, if you are looking for a way to retain your employees or recruit great talent, you may want to re-examine your support of volunteer activities and organizations. Consider these tips for your employees:

  • Encourage volunteering by providing paid time off for community activities.
  • Find out which activities or events your employees attend or support and then look into sponsoring these activities.
  • Provide support for your employees who want to submit proposals and speak at conferences such as assisting with the Call for Proposals or creating the slide deck.
  • If you don’t have a volunteer support program, you might want to consider one.

Leveraging community volunteering is undeniably a valuable tool to retain top skilled talent, build your employer brand in the community, and support the professional development of key talent.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 7:14 pm

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