Philip Cao

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The Role of Certifications in the Hiring Process

2 min read

Thomas JohnsonWithout a doubt, the information security space is experiencing a dramatic increase in hiring. Finding qualified candidates is continuing to get more difficult, and the duties of managers are steadily increasing. As a result, hiring managers and human resource recruiters are looking for ways to make the process more efficient. Because most certifications in the information security industry come with experiential requirements, the search for candidates possessing industry credentials is seen as a good way to achieve this goal. However, other challenges begin to surface if the proper value of certification is not considered, which I explore in further detail in my recent Journal article.

I personally value certification in the hiring process and use this as a tool to screen potential employees before evaluating their resumes. Some scoff at this idea, as there are many qualified candidates without certification. While these candidates will almost certainly be filtered out, there are few better qualifiers to help parse through resumes and candidate requests in an efficient manner.

Whether it be on Internet forums or in discussion with industry peers, there are widely varied opinions about requiring certification as part of a job search. It appears that this practice is taking place in many organizations—glancing through job postings recently, I have seen many job postings requiring certification. Pushback from a few of my peers in the industry caused me to reevaluate my stance and to dig deeper into understanding the value certification brings to the process, the person and the organization. While my evaluation was not scientific in nature, it highlights many experiences I have had over the years as a hiring manager and is an aggregation of conversations I have had with many of my peers over the past year.

I suspect that some may feel that certification is becoming irrelevant or that candidates do not possess the skills that are expected, but if you put certification in the proper context, I truly feel that it helps in the hiring process and also helps identify a great employee with some of the positive characteristics I mention in my Journal article.

Read Thomas Johnson’s Journal article:
The Value of Certification,” ISACA Journal, volume 6, 2017.

Thomas Johnson

[ISACA Now Blog]

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