GCHQ Launches Cyber Expert Online Recruitment Initiative

The planned online recruitment effort from UK intelligence agency GCHQ has been launched, challenging potential intelligence operatives to solve a code on a standalone, specially-launched website. 

The challenge and the site will also be disseminated through social media sites and blogs, as the British Government seeks to take advantage of the increasingly dominant trend for recruiting through online portals and social media.

A spokesman for Cheltenham-based GCHQ said they were hoping to catch the attention of people with very specific information technology skills, who can otherwise be quite difficult to reach. 

"The target audience for this particular campaign is one that may not typically be attracted to traditional advertising methods and may be unaware that GCHQ is recruiting for these kinds of roles," he said.
"Their skills may be ideally suited to our work and yet they may not understand how they could apply them to a working environment, particularly one where they have the opportunity to contribute so much."

Those successful in cracking the code would then be given code word access to a specific form field, which would then redirect them to the GCHQ recruitment site. 

The need to find the technical experts that this exercise will track down was highlighted two months ago by Prime Minister David Cameron's response to the Intelligence and Security Committee's annual report. The report highlighted the problem GCHQ was facing in its "inability to retain a suitable cadre of internet specialists" to address increasingly frequent and difficult cyber threats.  

Geoff Newman from web recruitment experts RecruitmentGenius.com explained how innovative efforts such as these are being used to attract applicants.

“Traditionally finding suitable employees was made with the tap on a shoulder in an Oxbridge University. Thankfully times have moved on and online recruitment methods such as these help deliver a wide range of applicants to match diverse requirements. Interestingly this solution also assists in selection whereby only people with suitable abilities get to ‘unlock’ the job opportunity.”

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