cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Highlighted
Contributor III

Finding your Unicorn.

You read job descriptions sometimes that are so complex, you think to yourself that this employer is looking for a Unicorn! I think that I am very good at what I do, but I certainly wouldn’t advertise myself to be that individual who can take over ANY company’s security operations and make magic happen on a whim – that takes experience with that company; in its security unique environment.

 

Which got me to thinking about companies that post job descriptions that are so elaborate, that the only ‘great fit’ would be a person who already works for that company’s security operations and have been doing a great job the past 3+ years. Often, office politics stunts the growth of young security professionals. Besides that, some of the more experienced security professionals are a business’ biggest vulnerability and risk for future growth as they are often resentful of new ideas. I have seen some very capable and aspiring security professionals leave their jobs in favor of better career prospects elsewhere, when great opportunities are available right where they are; except for poor management and personality differences.

 

So when I see these elaborate job descriptions, I hesitate. I am of the opinion, at least initially, that this company has allowed its Unicorn to leave and are now trying to reclaim everything that that horse rode away with!

 

 

Lamont Robertson
M.S., M.A., CISSP, CISM, CISA, Security+, MCSE
Tags (1)
9 Replies
Contributor II

Re: Finding your Unicorn.

So true, Lamont.

 

Many companies tend to have their Unicorn in mind already. However, for whatever rules that exist or for whatever administratrivia they go through the charade and expense of posting the job.

 

These days it is not usually through job postings or advertisements that someone gets the job. The job goes to the lowest bidder, the nephew of the boss, the fact that someone has a fancy degree or plays great golf, etc.

 

So often the Unicorn has not left the company; rather, HR just wrote something up for him (not usually her) and the fix is in.

 

 

Contributor III

Re: Finding your Unicorn.

Yeah that too... the fix is often in. I have a hundred and one stories that
I can personally share about the 'Big Fix!'

--
Lamont Robertson
CISSP, CISM, CISA, MCSE
Lamont Robertson
M.S., M.A., CISSP, CISM, CISA, Security+, MCSE
Advocate II

Re: Finding your Unicorn.

> Lamont29 (Contributor II) posted a new topic in Career on 08-15-2018 03:27 PM in

> You read job descriptions sometimes that are so complex, you think to yourself
> that this employer is looking for a Unicorn!
[...]
>  So when I see these
> elaborate job descriptions, I hesitate. I am of the opinion, at least initially,
> that this company has allowed its Unicorn to leave and are now trying to reclaim
> everything that that horse rode away with!

I don't think that explanation is quite accurate. I can't believe that there are these
ubermensch (or uberfrauensch?) who can fulfill these fantasy job descriptions.
However, I have seen these types of job ads posted by companies that I've known
for a long time, and I know that the incumbent wasn't that great.

Generally, these ads result from getting rid of an incumbent, and trying to think of
all their shortcomings. So you add to the job description everything you wanted
them to do, but they didn't.

In either case, I wouldn't apply: you're right about that.

====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
rslade@vcn.bc.ca slade@victoria.tc.ca rslade@computercrime.org
/dev/earth is full, please delete anybody you can
victoria.tc.ca/techrev/rms.htm http://www.infosecbc.org/links
http://blogs.securiteam.com/index.php/archives/author/p1/
http://twitter.com/rslade

............
This message may or may not be governed by the terms of
http://www.noticebored.com/html/cisspforumfaq.html#Friday or
https://blogs.securiteam.com/index.php/archives/1468
Newcomer II

Re: Finding your Unicorn.

I can't believe how many job adverts are just as you say - apparently looking for the perfect candidate who knows and can do everything.

 

I feel very lucky to have collared a very good internal candidate who is quick to pick up ideas and technicalities, a lady from outside our organisation for which the job vacancy was perfect timing and she has excellent experience and ability and now a trainee who was on a general apprenticeship and was successful at interview against six other very capable young people - a mix of sexes. This is all within the last 12 months.

 

I am also painfully aware of the fact that the previous three times we advertised (and not with a particularly onerous job spec) we had no-one...

Contributor II

Re: Finding your Unicorn.

There is a dearth of experience because few want to hire the so-called "inexperienced". The trap with hiring someone who claims to be "experienced" is getting someone who is self-aggrandizing and can pose a threat to the organization. This is truly what Heller describes as a "Catch-22.".

 

Internal seems to be a good way to go. Finding people who are curious, principled and yearning to expand horizons. Finding people who don't merely know how to do something, but who want to know why. To understand "What's the point?" People who aren't satisfied until they have considered as many angles as possible and then as many angles as impossible, improbable and unrealistic, because that's often where the problem lies.

Tags (1)
Contributor III

Re: Finding your Unicorn.

That's a great point, and good for you! You are unfortunately one of the few who can effectively think outside the proverbial box and mine the talents that you have. Many managers become too familiar, looking for faults in everything and everyone around them.  In time, that 'unicorn' that they hired will be will earn the ire of such individuals.

Lamont Robertson
M.S., M.A., CISSP, CISM, CISA, Security+, MCSE
Advocate II

Re: Finding your Unicorn.

Just got back from the store.  Kid in a cute T-shirt.  (Wanted to take a picture, but, you know, privacy.)

 

T-shirt says:

 

 

 

Trust me.

 

 

I'm a unicorn.


............
This message may or may not be governed by the terms of
http://www.noticebored.com/html/cisspforumfaq.html#Friday or
https://blogs.securiteam.com/index.php/archives/1468
Advocate I

Re: Finding your Unicorn.

Rather than looking for the Unicorn, how about giving them a chance as "new collar" workers and teaching them on the job with the use of AI to assist them and teach them the principles?  Or provide an apprenticeship?

 

Regards

 

Caute_cautim

Contributor III

Re: Finding your Unicorn.

Yes. How about that?
Lamont Robertson
M.S., M.A., CISSP, CISM, CISA, Security+, MCSE