Higher education sector at risk of cyber attacks

Higher education sector at risk of cyber attacks

Posted December 4, 2023

Cybersecurity professionals remain in high demand for the higher education sector as the Australian market continues to struggle with talent shortages. In a recent whitepaper Talent has released, the salaries, skills and experience needed to keep the sector safe is severely lacking. Please reach out to us to access the whitepaper.

Following the whitepaper release, industry leaders shared their thoughts at a recent virtual event on what these cyber threats were and explored strategies on how organisations can best protect themselves. Cybersecurity experts Jeff Whitton and Scott Flower joined Steve Tompkins, Talent, Client Relationship Manager to discuss these strategies. Key highlights included:

  • “We can’t leave people behind who can’t afford security. We really need to focus on collaboration.”
  • “We need people who are capable of self-reflection. That are good under pressure, not just people who know how to tick boxes. We need people who can think creatively about what they’re seeing and how to address what they’re seeing.”
  • “Students need to be made aware: if they’re working on sensitive topics, if they’re working on new technology, if they’re working on different areas of innovation, then they are a target, whether they like it or not. Threat actors want to use them as a link in the chain”
  • “AI has enabled more widespread industrialisation of hacking because people can just type in, give me a code to do an SQL injection attack.”
  • “Machines are learning about humans better than humans know about humans. Worrying and interesting at the same time, but that’s the sort of problems that AI is going to give us. They’re going to understand human behaviour. Better than most individuals understand human behaviour and their own behaviour.”

The whitepaper features salaries, skills needed, challenges currently being faced and trends and predictions for tech hiring in higher education in 2023. It also features insights from Talent’s Account Management team.

Key findings include:

  • “Many universities are assessing their enterprise systems including ERP and cloud platforms, student systems, and cybersecurity.” – Majella Sanders
  • “We’ve seen a growing shift in the importance candidates place on a sense of personal value and purpose in their work. The Higher Education industry is one that can provide a real employee community and shared purpose, which will be a big draw card in the coming year.” – Steve Tompkins
  • 91% of surveyed students expect a university’s digital services to be as strong as or stronger than face-to-face offerings. (Great State report)

Talent reaches $1 billion in global revenue for FY23

Talent reaches $1 billion in global revenue for FY23

Posted November 19, 2023

Talent has continued its track record of strong profit growth in the financial year to 30 June 2023. From a modest position in 2018, Talent have grown its revenue 105% from $487m to $1b in the 5-year period to 2023 growing normalised EBITDA fourfold to $27.5m. This success was underpinned by a 14% increase for contracting revenue, on top of its project delivery brand, Avec, growing by 104% year-on-year.

Employee engagement was critical in the five-year journey increasing from 52% in 2018 to a world-class 90% in 2023.  Mark Nielsen, Talent’s Global CEO stated, “Talent’s culture is centred around its #OneTeam mantra underpinned by its core values which are embedded into every area of the business.”  Nielsen further commented, “Talent’s success has been driven by organic investment in its income streams Avec and Solutions which has added real value to the service offerings Talent takes to market.”

Avec has increased its team and will continue to build out its technical expertise through partnering with, and acquiring, suitable deep-tech consulting businesses. Avec expanded its intelligent automation offering in FY23 through the swift employment of the majority of the technology professionals, engagement of customers, and contracting of suppliers from the Reveal Group.

Talent Solutions continued to grow during FY23 with a combination of embedded talent solutions for hyper growth tech scale ups, more traditional RPO solutions for midmarket companies, and MSP for enterprise.

Talent’s charitable foundation, Talent RISE, helps young people facing barriers to employment enter the workforce.  During the year, Talent RISE continued to expand operations with offices in Perth and Auckland. Talent RISE placed 75 young people into meaningful employment in FY23, which can be life changing for those starting their first job.

Mark Nielsen, Talent’s Global CEO, praised the Talent team on delivering these results. “Five years ago, we set out with a big hairy audacious goal of increasing our global revenue to $1 billion and I’m so proud to announce that we have successfully done this. Our team here at Talent is exceptional and this wouldn’t have been possible without their dedication. We have a strong culture here with a world class engagement rate of 90% which goes to show our focus and passion of building a better world of work for all.”    

Talent Global CFO, Megan Woodbury, said, “After being at Talent for just over a year, it’s evident that the passion and commitment from our teams has been a core reason for us to achieve this goal – which is particularly remarkable given the challenging market conditions. We have a culture of open and honest communication and with that, we’ve been aligned globally on what we want to achieve.”

Aligned to Talent’s goal of being a global tech services business, Talent has recently acquired Wellington based recruitment agency, People&Co. This acquisition reinforces Talent’s commitment to the New Zealand market, and supports the expansion of Talent’s core recruitment business, as well as establishing a platform for it to build out its project delivery, automation and data consultancy business, Avec in the New Zealand market.

Businesses continue to struggle to fill cybersecurity roles

Businesses continue to struggle to fill cybersecurity roles

Posted November 16, 2023

Cybersecurity professionals remain in high demand as the Australian market continues to struggle with talent shortages. In a recent whitepaper Talent has released, the salaries, skills and experience needed to keep our businesses safe is severely lacking.

The whitepaper features salaries, skills needed, challenges currently being faced and trends and predictions for key cybersecurity positions in 2023. It also features insights from Talent’s Account Management team, as well as anonymous insights from cybersecurity professionals across ANZ and the US.

Key findings include:

  • There’s significant demand for cybersecurity talent due to recent high-profile cyber incidents
  • There’s a shortage of qualified and/or skilled cybersecurity talent – Research has revealed that 60% of global IT and cybersecurity leaders struggle to hire qualified cybersecurity candidates
  • Seniors and specialists are in high demand – A Head of Digital at a retail client notes that they are seeking to hire “Cyber Architect and Cyber Consultant professionals who possess technical depth and are able to consult and talk business risk to the internal stakeholder. These are quite senior roles which I see are in short supply within the market”.
  • Salary expectations from candidates are high, even if they don’t necessarily have the experience or qualifications to command these higher salaries

Skills in highest demand are:

  • Cloud computing security
  • Offensive security
  • Security operations
  • Artificial intelligence

Predictions for 2024 and beyond:

  • Regulation will increase
  • AI will present new risks
  • Digital fraud will rise
  • Employee training will be a priority

Insights from the anonymous cybersecurity professionals include:

  • “If I’m hiring tomorrow, it’ll be a junior / mid-level person with a couple years of technical experience with the right attitude and mindset. Good generalists are hard to come by.”
  • “Currently I lead a team of level 1 and 2 security analysts and over the past 6-9 months I’ve had to hire. Given what we do, we tend to look for entry to mid-level experience to fill these roles, and cost is a big factor. What I’ve found is that those entering the market with little to no experience (or at least relevant experience) are commanding more in terms of salary. This is putting pressure on the profitability and competitiveness of the services we deliver.”
  • “A great communicator will achieve more than a brilliant tech in some cyber roles.”

Insights from the Talent and Avec team include:

Michael Megally, Avec General Manager, “Cybersecurity can’t all be left up to your IT team. You can build the biggest cyber defence in the background, but your people are your biggest vulnerability. Training your people is the biggest defence you can have for cybersecurity.”

According to our Sydney cybersecurity recruitment expert, Elliott Howard, large consultancy firms and banks rolling out cyber graduate programs to grow internal teams has had a strong impact on salary expectations. “While these programs have had a positive impact in increasing the pool of cyber candidates in the market, they have also resulted in candidates with only a couple years of industry experience asking for very high salaries which does not correlate to their experience. However, strong competition for cyber resources has meant that these less experienced candidates are able to attract the higher salaries and rates, resulting in enterprise sized companies with large cyber teams and strict salary bandings struggling to match these salaries. They have therefore been unable to attract candidates, resulting in vacancies and extended periods of time to recruit.”

Please get in touch if you would like to receive a copy of the report.

Talent wins at the APSCo Awards for Excellence

Talent wins at the APSCo Awards for Excellence

Posted October 31, 2023

Talent has taken out two wins in the 2023 APSCo Awards for Excellence; Best Brand and RPO of the Year.

In the Best Brand category, Talent was recognised by APSCo for excellence in upholding and communicating its brand values; Lead the Way, Strive for Better, Give a Damn; and delivering exceptional experiences for contractors and clients through resources.

In the RPO of the Year category, Talent was recoginsed by APSCo for excellence in promoting and demonstrating a commitment to best practice in the RPO sector. Talent’s outsourced recruitment experts showcased their commitment to designing, building and managing Talent Acquisition functions that differentiate their clients from their competition.

Talent Managing Director, Marketing, Chloe O’Toole, commented on what this award means to the company. “Over the past five years, our brand has undergone a transformative journey, driven by our values: Lead The Way, Strive For Better, and Give A Damn. These values have become much than words on a page. From delivering exceptional experiences to contractors and providing hiring managers with resources for building successful teams, to our work supporting young people who face challenging employment barriers, our values guide everything we do, and we are so proud to have this recognised.”

Tom Mackintosh, Talent Solutions Managing Director, commended the team on their brilliant work. “Our deployed Talent Acquisition partners do the research and put in the work to design, build and manage Talent Acquisition functions that differentiate our clients from their competition. It’s about so much more than outsourcing for us, we become part of their teams and take on their challenges as our own.”