It’s no secret that hackers are becoming more and more skilled, and in today’s digital world, companies large and small are recognizing the importance of having a robust cybersecurity arsenal in place. Cloud has become another crucial component of modern business. With the threats and needs facing businesses constantly changing, the need for skilled cybersecurity and cloud experts is growing. Unfortunately, according to Forbes, the talent gap for cloud and cybersecurity experts is becoming an “industry crisis” without an end in sight.

With the rise of the gig economy, many top security and cloud experts have shifted to consultant or project-based roles. And while these consultants enjoy the flexibility this working style affords, many companies now scramble to find full-time skilled employees who can handle security threats and cloud resources daily.

With fewer qualified candidates in the job pool, it’s more important than ever to know what to look for when filling your next cloud or cybersecurity role. If it sounds overwhelming, don’t fear! Today we’ve got some great tips for closing the cloud and cybersecurity talent gap in your organization.

Certifications Matter

Whether you’re looking to fill a position in your cloud services department or your cybersecurity division, there are a variety of important certifications you can use as a litmus test for gauging a professional’s level of expertise. If a candidate has already passed a certification exam (many requiring hours of hands-on experience or training), you’ll know they’re ready to jump into the role.

The PMP certificate simply guides candidates through a proven project management style, which helps more organizations meet their goals on time.

An ITIL certificate focuses on the IT Infrastructure Library and standardizes IT management across the board.

Certified Scrum Masters have learned to protect the team from distractions and perform at a high level to complete projects efficiently.

Many certification programs from Cisco (including CCIE) will prove that your candidate can implement standard or expert-level infrastructures for your organization. If you’re growing and expanding quickly, you’ll need an engineer with this expertise.

Cloud-Specific Certifications to Consider

AWS certification program has varying levels of accreditation — from foundational to professional — so you can determine what best suits the job you’re looking to fill. They also offer helpful certificates in Big Data and Advanced Networking. Even the most basic level of AWS knowledge will guarantee understanding of cloud security and technology.

The CWNA Cloud certification from Cisco trains software engineers to meet the demands of a changing industry. If your team needs assistance in keeping up with technology advancements, an expert with this certification could help navigate this unpredictable terrain.

Cybersecurity-Specific Certifications to Consider

CISSP certification focuses on network and telecommunications security and compliance with various regulations important to the world of IT.

A Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA) is considered an industry standard, but this base-level certification should always be accompanied by continuing education for those touting themselves as consultant-level experts in the cybersecurity field.

Where to find top talent in the industry?

If it feels like finding that perfect person to round out your IT is harder to find than a needle in a haystack, perhaps it’s time to call in expert assistance.

The easiest way to find top talent is to work with a hiring agency that can introduce you to pre-qualified candidates. You won’t need to post a request on job boards and hope the right person responds. Just tell the recruiter what you’re looking for, and he or she will connect you with professionals who already have the skills you’re seeking right out of the gate.