With 25 years of experience and two cybersecurity unicorns under his belt, Mickey Boodaei has been called “Israeli cyber’s unheralded entrepreneur.” But cybersecurity wasn’t something Mickey studied in school. He learned it in the Israeli military.
Mickey is co-founder and CEO of $2.3B authentication company Transmit Security, where he’s putting to use the skills and lessons learned in the Israel Defense Force.
We recently spoke with Mickey on the Forge Ahead podcast about Israel’s booming tech hub, why he doesn’t look for a university degree on resumes, and how he manages to keep his workforce growing during a talent shortage.
1. Value Experience and Education Equally
When hiring, look at all of a candidate’s history. Consider their work experience as well as their education, because they might have valuable hands-on experience that qualifies them for the job.
“As an employer, I’ve stopped looking at whether people have a degree or not, and really focusing on their experience,” Mickey said. “And a lot of their experience for Israelis is where you’ve been in the military. It’s definitely something that sets you up [for] success.”
Mickey says experience in the Israeli military is the best training for someone in the security industry because they get hands-on experience with massive, complex projects. So hire those people who have experiential knowledge, not just academic.
2. Invest in Your Employer Brand
How your company is perceived plays a critical part in your ability to attract top talent. A company that is actively raising capital is more appealing to an innovative workforce than a self-funded startup. Self-funded startups are a point of pride, but there are benefits to accepting external capital. One unexpected perk is building brand awareness with prospective talent.
As Mickey said, “It’s easier for us to get talent when we are certified as a unicorn and as a successful company by VCs than it was before.”
Now Transmit has a valuation of $2.3B, and that’s enough to grab new talent’s attention. The takeaway for your company? Running a financing round helps you build brand awareness and gain credibility.
3. Your Business is Only as Good as Your People
The investment you make in your people will reap the greatest return. Focus on building your team, not the cost it takes to recruit them. The right talent will pay for themselves.
“It’s not about the price or the cost of the talent,” Mickey said. “It’s more about being able to attract good talent.”
But keep in mind good talent and expensive talent are not necessarily the same thing. Choose people who you think are the right fit for the role, regardless of the cost.
Visit the Forge Ahead homepage to hear the entire conversation with Mickey.