National Security Agency Launches Hiring Effort Amidst Massive Tech Industry Layoffs

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As the technology sector continues to conduct large layoffs, the National Security Agency has begun advertising its open roles to current and former employees of major technology firms, the Washington Times reported on Friday.

Last month, the agency launched a large-scale hiring effort in which the organization is seeking staff to fill more than 3,000 openings surrounding computer science, cybersecurity, engineering, intelligence analysis and business, among others.

According to Christine Parker, talent management senior strategist for NSA, these layoffs offer an opportunity to expand the agency’s workforce as technology employees search for new positions.

“NSA started reaching out through LinkedIn, through some of our career boards, specifically sending messages to people that we thought might be linked to some companies that either were in the news saying they are going to lay off or were predicted to be laid off,” she said.

She noted that these efforts resulted in approximately 2,000 applications.

Planned technology industry layoffs have reached tens of thousands. In November, Meta disclosed that it will decrease its workforce by 11,000. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has announced future layoffs of around 12,000 people and Amazon intends to shrink its workforce by 18,000.

Molly Moore, NSA’s deputy director of workforce support activities, cited stability and opportunities for variety in work as key promotional points in the agency’s hiring efforts. 

“We certainly offer stability, and that’s what’s really kind of front of mind for a lot of people these days in the wake of these layoffs,” she said.

“But we offer amazing missions, things that people can’t do in private-sector companies for the most part. This is not just a job; it’s a mission,” Moore continued.

To attract talent, the NSA is relaxing some of its strict hiring requirements, such as those regarding marijuana use.

In a tweet posted by NSA Cybersecurity Director and two-time Wash100 Award winner Rob Joyce, he said that applicants will not be immediately rejected for past marijuana use, but they must also discontinue use to be hired by the agency.

The agency launched this effort in part as a response to growing adversary threats. According to a Brookings Institution report published last month, a Russian hacker conference has grown to 8,700 attendees at its 2022 event, a massive increase from its attendance of only 500 in 2011.

Despite job cuts from industry giants, staffing firm Robert Half stated that 70 percent of managers at midsize technology organizations are preparing to grow and create new positions this year, which may create competition for NSA. By the firm’s standards, midsize companies are those with annual revenues of $50 million to $1 billion.

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