Filling the Cybersecurity Talent Gap
Filling the Cybersecurity Talent Gap
In our modern business landscape, the war for talent is more complex than ever. You need to attract and retain the best talent for your organization to win, but without the right strategy or mindset, you won't be able to compete. If your revenue is declining, you're losing market share to your competition, or your organizational health is deteriorating, it's time to evolve how you approach this never-ending war. After all, your PEOPLE-not your product or service-are your strongest competitive advantage. Applying the logic of "The Talent War: How Special Operations and Great Organizations Win on Talent" to the cybersecurity job market. The book releases Nov 10.
Episode Table of Contents
- [01:40] Finding the Right People to Implement the Principles
- [08:11] Nine Attributes to Look for in a Cybersecurity Talent
- [14:44] Cybersecurity Talent Needs Resilience and Adaptability
- [21:37] Cybersecurity Talent Plus Leadership Equals Victory
- [31:18] All Kinds of Crazy Questions
- About Our Guest
Finding the Right People to Implement the Principles
Carolyn: Today, I want to start our podcast by asking our listeners a favor. If you like our podcast, please share episodes with your friends and leave us a review on your podcast platform. That's how we grow as a podcast and how we're able to stay on the air. This is the best part of my job, so I really want to keep doing it and we need reviews.
Eric: The feedback I get from the listeners is universally positive, so it makes your day.
Carolyn: It's week three of cybersecurity month. Last week we had our hundredth episode with General Stanley McChrystal. We talked about how to apply the principles from his book, Team of Teams to cybersecurity. This week we get personal.
Carolyn: We get to talk about how to find the right people to implement those principles. Our guest today is George Randle, who is Strategic Advisor to EF Overwatch. He’s a former US Army officer and Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition at Forcepoint.
Eric: The author of Talent Wars.
George: Thank you for having me.
Carolyn: Your book, The Talent War, is releasing November 10th?
George: The US Marine Corps birthday, yes. I didn't get a say in that as an army guy, that was all Mike.
Eric: Mike Saraille, your co-author, former Marine and Navy SEAL?
Eric: We were on Dahlonega up on the mountain phase of ranger school and it was the Marine Corps birthday. It's cold, we're starving, we're tired, we're freezing, and we're miserable.
The Cybersecurity Talent Wars
Eric: One hell of a Marine donated a cherry nut cake to my little group and we split it into 20 pieces, on the Marine Corps birthday. I'll never forget that. It was awesome, it must've been five calories or so, but we were starving.
Carolyn: There was a story about this Marine that did this. Like his grandma sent him this cake. It was Christmas, nevermind, but the same kind of story.
Eric: If you're in the military, you tend to be hungry and tired and wet and cold and miserable a lot, but it's a good gig. So back to the book, Talent Wars.
Carolyn: Your book actually echoed a lot of the same qualities that General McChrystal talked about last week. How can we apply those qualities that you talk about in your book, specifically to filling the cybersecurity talent gap? Before we dive into that, will you tell us a little bit about yourself? What prompted you and Mike to write this book?
George: It's a lot of ground to cover. The shortest version I can give you is, I enlisted in the army to pay my way through school. I kind of got the leadership bug and I had a very colorful tongue. It’s not that that's been seen here at Forcepoint in any way, shape or form. Somebody said, "Hey, if you think you're so smart, why don't you go be one of those officers?"
George: So I kind of shrugged my shoulders and said, "What the heck." I was fortunate to spend about eight years, active duty platoon leader. XO company commander, Berlin, Somalia, Gitmo, Colombia, Panama, Honduras, places like that. After company command, no more leadership roles for a long time.
Jumping Into the Corporate World
George: I jumped into the corporate world. Transitioning for a veteran was not easy at that time. Made a bad match with the big-box retailer that we talked about at the very beginning of the book. I jumped over into consulting.
George: It was consulting in the federal space there in Fort Belvoir, not far from where you are, Eric. I had to transfer back to Texas. So I had the opportunity, somebody said, "Well, do you know about resource management?" I told a little white lie and said, "Sure, I know all about it."
George: I went and did it for KPMG Consulting, which became very important, and then Deloitte. They said, "Well, you have some leadership, do you want to do recruiting and HR?" It just kept lumping together and it just rapidly took off. I've spent the last 20 years on the talent acquisition side, the last 10 as head of global organizations.
George: Along the way, as I've been able to do it, I built a number of veterans programs. As I was sitting in Forcepoint, I heard Mike Sarraille on podcast 134, The Jocko Podcast. I reached out and said, "Maybe we should get some veterans here." We went to breakfast and immediately hit it off. It’s a pretty strange thing for a Marine Corps guy and an army guy.
George: Within a week, he goes, "We ought to be writing a book together. There’s just so much synergy between the two of us." We took his 20 years of special operations, my 20 years of talent acquisition, and got busy writing the book. That's really the thumbnail sketch.
Carolyn: My takeaway was just lie your way into a job?
I Want to Get the Right Person
George: Basically. The challenge was, I needed to get back to Texas and there was no federal work for me to transfer. I was used to the business side of staffing and resource management really for consulting with internal recruiting.
George: I was hired for my teams as a manager in consulting. I was like, "Okay, I can figure out how to do this. How hard could it be?" So I went from resource management, they said, "Well, why don't you take the external recruiting piece?" It just took off from there, like a lightning bolt.
Eric: You and Mike have a little more than 20 years of experience each. You guys come together with a lot of wisdom in those years. Both of you have a shared type of military background. You're both in the corporate world now, doing work. You say, "Let's write this book, let's educate, let's get this out there."
George: I wanted to write one for a long time about all the things that I had seen in recruiting. Most of the recruiting managers say, "If you have enough bananas, you can train a monkey to do anything." That's the way the kind of recruiting was for a while, meaning it was just turning the cranks. It was order-taking, filling jobs, cut and paste job descriptions and things like that.
Eric: I hate that, I see that all the time. It's like I have three heads open, I need to fill them. Management drives you to fill positions, because they're not producing revenue or they're not producing output. There's no productivity if nobody's there.
Nine Attributes to Look for in a Cybersecurity Talent
Eric: They drive you, even threaten to take your headcount sometimes, if you don't fill those slots quickly. You're like, I want to get the right person.
Carolyn: About lying your way into a job, at the heart of your book, it's not about lying, but it's about talent. There are nine common attributes for qualities that you want to look for in new hires and one of those is adaptability. For you to say, "Sure, I can do this." You knew yourself well enough and had the confidence to say, "Yeah, I can do this."
George: For me, the hard part was like, I was on the business side and it was so hard to hire. The recruiters that I work with didn't know my business. I literally set out and said, "Well, I could do this better." The teams that I've built to the best of my ability have embedded themselves. They understand the business problems they're trying to solve.
George: They're an extension of that business leader and they understand what the fits are. They understand that it's not necessarily about performance. That's a great indicator, but performance at one company is not predictive in another. It's a good indicator to look for, but it's not guaranteed to predict.
Eric: My favorite chapter in the whole book is Chapter Four: Hire for Character.
George: Train for Skill.
Eric: Train for Skill, because you can read a resume.
Carolyn: You made a point in the book. If you required five to seven years to be a Navy SEAL, we wouldn't have any Navy SEALs. They don't have experience.
When Skills Degrade and Character Comes Through
George: You couldn't go to a high school, you couldn't go anywhere. Mike makes the point, "Hey, maybe you send them over to the French Foreign Legion. Maybe you send them somewhere else, when you get that experience, come back." By default, they had to look at the character attributes and then they had to train for skill.
George: What's interesting that we make in the book, there are one or two fine lines in there. At periods of high stress, chaos, uncertainty, that's when skills start to degrade and that's when character comes through. The nine attributes of drive, resiliency, adaptability, humility, integrity, effective intelligence, team ability.
George: It is huge but a lot of people don't evaluate curiosity and emotional strength. Those things are far more predictive of success. In today's rapidly changing business environment, if you don't have those, you're at a distinct disadvantage.
Carolyn: Talk about stressors right now, our environment right now. My question is, how do you identify these when you're interviewing? You get 20, 30 minutes with people. How do you say, "Yep, this person has these nine attributes?"
George: First of all, and let me kind of digress a little bit. The challenge is, very few people get upstream. Very few people look at their teams and say, "What am I missing." A, and B, "What is success on this team?" Look at the most successful people on that team. Then look at those attributes that are paying dividends that are predictive of success in that particular team. Whether that's product, service, sales, it doesn't matter.
Building an Interview Process for a Cybersecurity Talent
George: Not everybody's going to have all nine of these. Each particular role might have three or four that stand out that you need to be looking for. If you know those before you make the job description, you can build an interview process to test those things. Most people are like, in that moment, "Oh, here's cut and paste, go do it. We need this experience." It's all objective groups.
Eric: The foundational question is, do you know what success looks like? Do you know what you need as a business to do the job? From my experience, you get a ton of glowing resumes in, all the time. Talent acquisition does a great job of handing you resumes and they're almost all qualified on paper. The process will weed people out, otherwise.
Eric: Now, how many people are lying about their experience? You got to work through that, you got to figure that out. Most resumes meet the requirements of the job if you wrote them appropriately. It's really getting to that character, to that mindset. I'll share something I read in the book, you hit me right between the eyes on this one.
Eric: People who don't quit, people who are calm under pressure. People who know how to beat the impossible, people who just keep going. I saw that in the military, as I looked at pre ranger and then ranger school. The people who made it weren't the big muscular guys. In fact, a lot of times they couldn't handle the endurance work of it or the stress under pressure. Many times they were athletes or something.
People Who Don’t Quit
Eric: They’re number one in whatever they did. They didn't have the same type of pressures that would just break you down. Some of these military schools are meant to break you down and see when you will quit. When you will break and how and why, and teach you through that process. So people who don't quit, to me, that's number one. Then you get into the characteristics of the job, the skills that are required there.
Carolyn: The theme for me was resiliency, it kept coming through in the book.
George: I'm probably in the most masochistic profession you could imagine in talent acquisition. You have two sides of the equation that can both say no to the deal and you have to have resiliency. Could you imagine hiring somebody into sales or into a product that's never failed, never had a setback? They collapse at that point.
Eric: Every time they hit the breaking point, the first time they have a problem. They're lying to you anyway, life, everybody has failures.
George: We talked to Don Robertson, who was a mentor of mine at HPE. One of the main things is, he dug right in. "Tell me about your biggest failure. Walk me through the failure." He wants to know how the failure occurred, and what you did at each step. How did you recover, and how did you course corrected?
George: Tracey Keogh, who we interviewed in the book, was another mentor of mine. She is the CHR of Hewlett Packard. She's very much the same way, if they haven't failed, I don't want them on the team, because they're going to fail. At some point, whether it's product, service, or sales. How many deals have you seen salespeople do?
Cybersecurity Talent Needs Resilience and Adaptability
George: They do a couple of million-dollar deals, fall through for whatever reason beyond their control and they collapse. They're not willing to get back at it, but the people with resiliency will go, "Okay, what could I have done better? What did I learn?" Then they get right back at it.
Eric: How do I prevent this from happening next time? Where do I go from here? It's that adaptability or resiliency that allows you to change and to go.
George: It's very much served me throughout my career. Could you even imagine what a career without failures looks like? I don't even know that it would be a career. It would be like a vacation on the beach and it just is a utopia. It's something that doesn't exist in any business whatsoever.
George: You're going to have setbacks, you're going to have failures. How you deal with those, how you get up, how you drive forward and how you win, is everything.
Eric: In the McChrystal podcast, he mentions the topic of the organic learning process. How quickly cyber goes. On Monday this could be your adversarial threat, on Tuesday it's something different. If you don't have that ability to adapt, or the ability to keep going, how do you deal when the adversary changes? How do you deal when the problem space fundamentally rotates or shifts on you?
Eric: You've got to be able to do that. If not, you need to get into piecemeal work. You need to get into something where you can continue to do your job without a lot of external impact.
Characteristics Other Than Skills of a Cybersecurity Talent
Carolyn: So the adaptability and the resilience, those were themes throughout the book. But in another lifetime, I'm going to reveal something here, I was an eighth grade English teacher. I had 180 students every day and I could have the best-laid lesson plan. It was beautiful, every little detail.
Carolyn: I never once was able to execute one of those lesson plans, but my lessons were usually really good. I’d remind myself every night, every morning, adapt. Adapt, adjust, and do what the students need. We always had a great time and I've been able to carry that through, into my new life, my new career.
Eric: School teacher to marketing. Adaptability. There are characteristics though, other than skills. George, you'd probably know this better than Carolyn. I bet school teachers are not a prerequisite for a marketer.
George: Most people wouldn't look at it. That's the thing that drives me nuts. There are so many people that will look at resumes, they don't see the competitor. They don't see those objective career-enhancing roles in that function. The resume's given five seconds or minutes get tossed away.
Carolyn: I've even almost pulled that off. It was a long time ago. Teaching, for that small amount of time, ingrained in me the need and the ability to be adaptable.
George: This is one of the things that I've tried to do when I walked into Forcepoint. The talent acquisition team was, for lack of a better term, was a dumpster fire at the time that I walked in.
Carolyn: How long have you been here?
George: Little over two years. I had everybody screaming at me.
How Do We Get People to Choose Cybersecurity
George: It’s been a long process to help teach the recruiters to look at the resume. Look beyond the competitor, look beyond the experience. If you get a really good cybersecurity talent consultant, that's embedded in the business. They'll look at that and say, "Okay, there's a teacher. First of all, there's got to be resiliency. There has to be the ability, the positive attitude, the curiosity, the drive to keep doing that, and the altruism."
George: There's a lot of things just looking at that one job function. If you understand talent, you can pull out of what somebody has done. It does not need to be the lazy, easy way of going, "Oh, they worked at this company. They're a competitor of ours. They did this role. Let's see if we can get them, throw a little bit more money and have them laterally."
Carolyn: There's a good question. How do we get people to choose cybersecurity? I fell into the job, Eric, to be honest, I got recruited away from teaching to do corporate training. My career went from there and I've never left high tech. How do we attract that talent, they weren't even thinking of cybersecurity?
Eric: It's a two-part question, how do we advertise? How do we market, how do we attract the talent? There are two million plus jobs open right now across the globe in cybersecurity. There's a huge market that pays well, a lot of flexibility at work. It's relatively good work. How do we attract talent is one thing, but two, there are two million jobs available across the globe.
Not Enough Cybersecurity Talent
Eric: There aren't enough cybersecurity people out there. We're not printing them in schools. You can't even take a job description, and go out to market. Say, "I'm looking for somebody with five years or 10 years or 15 years of cybersecurity experience." There simply aren't enough of them. You may get some, it's not as bad as the Navy SEAL argument they talk about in the book.
Eric: There are some people, but you need artists. You need teachers, creative thinkers, people who have the characteristics, maybe not the native skills just yet. Hire for characteristics, hire for character, and train for skill. How do we find them and let them know we're here, and bring that peanut butter and chocolate together?
George: There are three points. Cybersecurity is an easy sell when you find the right people. It is always cutting edge, always advancing, always changing. It's not static. Not to name any particular company, but there are some jobs that are just repetitive. They don't change fast enough. People generally like change, they like challenges. Cybersecurity is an easy sell.
George: Finding the people with those skills is not hard with modern technology and you have good recruiters. It's easy to find the people though. People with cybersecurity experience are high demand, low availability. You have to be thinking creatively and differently. Look for those people that we could build into and train those skills to.
George: The other thing I do is I sell the leadership. That is one of the easiest things. It's funny, the talent acquisition, generally, over the course of my career, hasn't done this. When people leave a company, they don't leave the company, they leave the boss.
Cybersecurity Talent Plus Leadership Equals Victory
George: On the flip side of the equation, the recruiters aren't selling the boss. That's one of the best things, because we put in the book that talent plus leadership equals victory. If the recruiting teams can find the talent and partner and know what a success profile is.
George: You have leaders dedicated to being better leaders every day, you sell that to the people with the talent skills. It's just convincing a number of people to get out of that mindset of they have to have this specific experience. Hire those character attributes and you can go a long, long way.
Eric: We see this in the government where you'll see a CIA and NSA, pick your government agency. They're not paying the most, you're on government income. There are a lot of upsides to the job, but there are a lot of downsides. Certainly pay isn't one of them, but they talk about mission. They talk about what they're doing for the country, and they give them that path. That's leadership coming through.
Eric: This is what we do. You can go make more money over there. If you care about the money, well go over there and make more money. But if you care about the mission, if you care about protecting America or the country you live in, whatever you care about. To me, that's the leadership coming through. Taking those aspects of the role, because everybody's job is different. Every company is different. They're striving for different things.
George: We made a point to cover that in the book. You can't be paying at the bottom of the market to find great talent. Money matters, but it's not everything.
Building the Cybersecurity Talent Mindset
George: It's the mission, the value, the empowerment, the challenge that you give them. That's what true talent thrives on. That is what you need to be selling. We talked about building the talent mindset within the company. Later in the book, we also talked about how you have to be advertising that talent mindset.
George: Our leaders are committed to growing you, to training you, to mentoring you, to coaching you. That's everything. On a little bit of a side note, I've coached well over 10,000 veterans over the last 20, 25 years, and you get them coming out.
George: They're like, "Well, I've been making that government stepped pay and now want to make bank. I want to make money." I tell them, if you're chasing dollars, you're going to get your heart broken every time. You chase the opportunity, you chase the leadership.
Eric: The dollars will come.
George: It happens every time.
Carolyn: I would imagine this to be true with veterans, that they need to feel a purpose. Going back to teaching, where I made a huge impact on these kids' lives. I loved it, it was so rewarding. Moving into the corporate world, I felt lost. The money was there, but I was like, this doesn't matter.
Eric: Why am I doing this?
Carolyn: In cybersecurity, I find purpose here. I believe this is incredibly important, to our children, to our nation. That might be an aspect of getting people into this field, showing them the purpose here.
George: You can show them purpose across a very broad range. The stuff that we're doing in government, there's no value you can put on it. That mission is what people are dying to be a part of.
A Very Sexy Job
George: You could even break it down more simply, make it personal to them. Talk about their privacy, talk about their exchanges. As simple as protecting the banks that they use, protecting their transactions.
George: You can make it personal, take it from the individual all the way up to protecting the country. That's what is unique about cybersecurity. To say it in a crass way, it's a very sexy job. There's so much that you can do across the spectrum. I absolutely love it and I was very grateful that I could get into it.
Carolyn: It's why I've stayed in it for as long as I have. I don't want this to be a Forcepoint commercial, but we're talking about leadership and teams. I'm on the government team at Forcepoint and there is a tremendous sense of mission and purpose on that team. It's kept me there. In general, I've been able to do many different things with my career here. Cyber is changing so much and so fast.
George: You guys might find it funny, but I know that you're all fans and my partner in crime. The person who I think is the best ever I've seen in the function is Karen Clark. As our vice-president of HR business partners, our interview when she conducted me, we talked for an hour.
George: The interview was about two minutes. I think I was the first TA person with government experience. The government side in cyber is different by a long shot from your general consulting. It’s where you're running task orders and you're doing simple stuff. You have a mission and you can see the difference that you're making every day.
The Worst Things You’re Going to Run Into
George: Selling that side of Forcepoint, that's a walk. Don't get me wrong. If you've got somebody doing with a company that's got a great mission. It's such an easy sell. We have such a strong leadership team over there that it's very easy to talk to people about the great mission we have. The leaders are going to invest in them over the course of their career.
Carolyn: Our leaders are strong, but it's a broad thing. It's almost like that living organism, where we have a lot of individuals who possess those leadership talents. They possess those nine attributes that you list in the beginning of the book, George.
George: I love working with those people. One of the worst things you're going to run into is ego. It doesn't matter in the company. You can see a ton of people here with humility that do operate like Mike and I did. Writing this book, with the best idea wins. It's not about your idea, it's about accomplishing the mission. It’s so easy to get behind. Then you know you're a part of something.
Eric: Carolyn, you mentioned the word purpose. When I'm looking for a character and mindset in an individual, I'm looking for their purpose. Why do they want this job? Do they just need the money? Is it just a stepping stone, going one level up from individual contributor to manager?
Eric: They're going to a bigger part of the business. Why do they want it? I will, many times, ask questions of purpose. George, you have much more experience than I do here. When you get down to it, what is your purpose? Why are you here? You start to really get into character.
Cybersecurity Talent Is All About Character
George: I want to be careful how I word this next portion. I've put it in a video where people over-rotate experienced the most. They tend to be at the most senior and executive levels and they don't dig in. I do a 30-minute interview with all the execs I see and it's all about character. It's all about the why, why did you do this? How do people see you? What are the attributes that you hope people see in you?
George: Tell me how you use those across the spectrum of your life. I'm a big believer of those character attributes. When we interview them, they show up in life, your personal life. They show up in your professional life. Once you get digging into those character attributes, this picture is painted very clearly for you. How they will fit and succeed on your team or not, alternatively. You can tell when somebody is not humble.
George: One of the attributes we have in here is integrity.
When’s the last time anybody in an interview tell us when they had to hold the line on integrity? That question just doesn't even come up. It's almost taken for granted, but some of the biggest failures in corporate America have been failures of integrity. Lack of integrity.
Eric: It's actually on my behavioral interview checklist. I have a sample set of questions that I rotate through, depending on who I'm talking to. That's important to me.
Carolyn: We should share those with our listeners because that's where the rubber meets the road. How do we implement this stuff? We could talk about it all day long, but stuff like that is very helpful to people.
All Kinds of Crazy Questions
Eric: They're relatively easy questions. Tell me about a time when you needed to do the right thing. Make a choice between the right thing and the more lucrative thing. They're relatively easy questions to ask, to get down to the integrity component.
George: I asked somebody, tell me the most senior person you had to disagree with publicly and make your case for it. How did it turn out?
Carolyn: Let's end on that with George. What do you want to leave our listeners with? I'm going to ask you both if you want to share interview questions that I can share with our listeners.
George: I have all kinds of crazy questions that I use. A couple of things I would leave with. Number one is Jocko, when he wrote our foreword, that electing talent is a subset of leadership. You have to master that skill. Second, human capital is the only true competitive advantage that you can hope to maintain.
George: Everything else all around you will change so rapidly. If you don't have people with majority of those character attributes, you're not going to win in your particular space. Talent is everything. The last thing is, and I want to point this out as kind of a small segue I did. I don't know if you knew this, Eric, but we'd looked at the data.
George: CHROs are generally paid one third of all of their C-suite counterparts. The HROs aren't viewed as a strategic asset as much as they should be. So the point I'd leave you with is that human capital has to be managed as carefully and with the same rigor. The same level of importance as your financial capital.
Throw Them Off
Eric: I would argue with more. It is the primary raw material or input into the business, which then generates capital down the road. If you have substandard people, you will derive substandard results. If you have top people, they will figure out a way to evolve and get the business moving.
George: Every time. So do you want the weird questions, Carolyn?
Carolyn: I love weird questions.
George: I predominantly interview the execs now. When I’m interviewing, I don't want it to be anything that they're prepared for, ever. Throw them off. There’s one question at the end of a series of questions that I ask. "I want you to think about your best friends. Your best friends are the people that you would trust completely. In the event of your demise, they’ll erase the contents on your phone, before it was made public. Do you have those people in your mind?"
George: "All right I play them with alcohol. I signed an NDA. What are the three top traits that they say describe you?" I get a number of things and see how introspective they are. I get to see if they're tap dancing. If they give me some tap dance answer, I'm going to call them on it. The other thing is, I know what's aspirational to them by having them list out those traits. Even if they don't possess them in spades, I know what they're striving for.
George: Then I follow up real quickly. I said, "Okay, what's the number one pet peeve, the most irritating behavior about you, that your friends would say?" You can tell immediately if somebody is being authentic, if they're introspective.
Over and Above Getting Into Integrity
George: You can tell what's really important to them with just those two simple questions. That's, over and above getting into integrity and stuff like that. There was one person who was a pain, and Eric, I'm going to let you guess who this was.
Eric: I don't even want to know, I'm going on mute.
George: Absolutely pain, taking him through and I'm sitting there going, "Oh my God, come on. Would you just answer the question? I'm not giving you the offer. I don't care if our CEO says you get the offer or not, what is the irritating behavior?" He slammed his hand down on the table and he said, "Fine, I'm ADHD. There, I said it."
George: And nobody had any idea. I said, "It's great." He still got the job, but at least we knew who that person was at their core. He had come through and knocked off several examples. Especially the effective intelligence and the curiosity that were just off the charts.
Eric: I'll give you my answer later, either on other podcasts or privately, no secret for me. Anyway, George, thank you so much.
Carolyn: This has been great. Thanks to our listeners, again, please leave us a review. Share the episode and we will talk to you next week.
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About Our Guest
George Randle is a Strategic Advisor to EF Overwatch. He’s a former US Army officer, and Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition at Forcepoint, a human-centric cybersecurity company. George has more than two decades of experience in talent acquisition at Fortune 100 and Fortune 1000 firms.