By Felicia King
President & CEO, QPC Security

Hiring is an art and as such, it comes in many different forms and flavors. Some companies rely heavily on the resume and references that a candidate has, others prefer to hold multiple interviews with various team members, while some leverage a combination of assessments, resume, and interviews to select the right candidate.

At QPC Security, we believe that the right strategy and right process form a great team. While it’s true that a good portion of our team has come from direct referrals or as a candidate that is screened via a professional HR firm, we know there are quality candidates that don’t fall into either of these buckets, so it is important to share our hiring process.

In the interest of full transparency, we typically hire one in every seventy-five candidates. This statistic is not meant to discourage anyone from applying. In fact, it is meant to speak to those that are motivated, driven, and want to work with an exceptional team. The experience you get working at QPC Security is truly unique in that you work with end-user clients and other MSPs in need of our vCISO/MSSP services. A majority of IT companies in this space either support end-user clients or provide vCISO/MSSP services. We are the rare exception that does both. Because of this, we need to ensure our team can excel at delivering services to both types of clients.

A lot of other companies in the IT services provider business have help desk and service desk positions or dedicate project manager positions that put individuals into a silo. Due to the high level of skillset required for the work we do, there is no help desk at QPC. We do support tickets, but mostly we are doing projects and NOC/SOC type of activities. Our goal is to have the least number of hand‑offs possible which means that team members are expected to develop and maintain deep levels of technical expertise in many diverse types of technologies.

How do we ensure that our team can deliver the level of high-quality engineering and security services to our diverse clients? We start with an applicant screening process that is tailored to the ITSP community. Applicants are assessed and then interviewed by an IT-specific HR professional if they pass the initial assessment. The interview is reviewed by the hiring manager and a promising candidate is then requested to complete a technical video interview. Candidates who provide satisfactory answers to the video technical assessment are live interviewed by the hiring manager. If both parties feel it is a good fit to continue, then a final live environment technical assessment is performed. This process, on average, takes eight-hours per candidate to complete. While this is a significant investment of time on our part as well as a candidate’s part, it is the only proven method we have to ensure the right fit candidate.

As employees have administrative-level access to our clients environments, we owe it not to only ourselves but also to our clients to fully vet each candidate and ensure they are capable of appropriately managing this level of access. This is a good place to mention that each new hire does not walk into QPC Security and receive administrative access to systems. We rely on role-based access control with audit and cross training to grant staff access to resources in a controlled fashion. Access is granted on a per-resource basis only after the person’s skills and judgement have been vetted.

To round out our hiring process, we do a full criminal background check. Again, considering the level of access QPC Security staff are provided into a client’s environment, this is a non-negotiable aspect of our hiring process. Expect any job offers to be contingent upon successful criminal background check.

I will close out by sharing that our last two extremely high quality hires were people who just reached out to me on LinkedIn and wanted to work for me because they had seen me on forums and cybersecurity webinars. They saw other pros in the field calling me out as someone to watch. If our hiring process intrigues instead of scares you, I encourage you to apply. At the very least, you will walk away with a unique interview experience and if you are the right-fit, you will join an exceptional team of highly experienced architects and engineers.

For more thoughts on working at QPC Security, view our Perspective of ‘On Call’ and the Right Entry-Level Attitudes articles.